A mother started vaping as a “healthier” alternative to smoking after giving birth to her son.
But she later feared he would grow up without a mother after she was rushed to hospital gasping for air.
Jodie Hudson, 26, swapped cigarettes for e-cigarettes two years ago, not realizing the “less harmful” alternative would leave her fearing for her life.
She quit smoking when she became pregnant with her toddler Dillon, but tried vaping after giving birth and quickly became addicted.
The councilor, who lives in Worksop in Nottinghamshire, said she had started puffing on her vape “everywhere and everywhere” – and had no immediate plans to stop before she felt unwell.
After experiencing severe shortness of breath, Jodie was admitted to the emergency room at Bassetlaw Hospital on September 24, where doctors warned her about the harmful effects of vaping on her lungs.
While she was there, she feared she would never see her son again – and her own mother told her that she “could die if she didn’t stop vaping.”
The health crisis led Jodie to swear off e-cigarettes for good – and now she’s warning others to stay away from the “highly addictive” products.
She said: “I started smoking cigarettes when I was about 18 and stopped when I became pregnant with my son.”
“After he was born my partner was vaping and I just thought I would give it a try because it seemed healthier to me because it didn’t have all the tobacco in it and I really liked it.”
To her surprise, Jodie loved the flavored sticks.
“I actually found it much more addictive than smoking cigarettes,” she recalls.
“When vaping you can choose any flavor and there is no residual taste like with cigarettes. I’m just addicted to it.”
“When I started using disposables, I went from buying them just two to three times a week to buying them every day.
“I just smoked it anywhere and everywhere. It was like a hookah bag. It was much more relaxing than a nicotine addiction, even though it was a nicotine addiction.”
Jodie’s health deteriorated as she soon developed tonsillitis.
Afterwards, she struggled to complete daily household tasks without becoming out of breath.
Jodie said: “The weekend before I had smoked a whole e-cigarette a day and then on Monday I thought I had tonsillitis and I was really not feeling well.”
“I couldn’t eat, I had trouble breathing, I kept waking up snoring because I was breathing so badly.
“On Saturday I was really not feeling well and had a panic attack because I was really scared about how little oxygen I was getting.
“I just couldn’t function. I was running around the house and was completely out of breath.”
I had trouble walking – I couldn’t breathe.
Her worried mother advised Jodie to go to the emergency room to get help.
Jodie said: “I struggled to walk – I couldn’t catch my breath.”
“When I walked from the car to the emergency room I was shaking, sweaty and had to sit down almost immediately because I was so dizzy.
“I could barely get my words out – I barely had any energy to talk. I just wanted to sleep.”
“If you can’t breathe, you can’t do anything.
“I got there and pretty much straight away I was put in a room because my oxygen levels were too low.
“I had low blood pressure and my heart rate went through the roof – it went up to 130 beats per minute.”
A normal heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute, according to the NHS.
Jodie underwent a series of tests, including an EKG and chest x-ray, which confirmed the diagnosis of vaping-related pneumonia.
Jodie said: “I wasn’t surprised but I thought if I didn’t stop now it could end up being a lot worse.”
“My mother told me you really have to stop or you could die.
“The doctors said it was obvious that vaping was affecting my lungs.
“They didn’t say if there was any permanent damage or anything like that, but I need to go back and get another X-ray to check.”
What is vaping pneumonia?
Vaping-induced lipoid pneumonia occurs when oily substances in e-cigarette vapor trigger an inflammatory response in the lungs.
Symptoms include chronic cough, shortness of breath, and coughing up blood or bloody mucus John Hopkins Medicine.
Research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) suggests that e-cigarettes can cause potentially life-threatening pneumonia.
The 2019 paper describes a case of hypersensitivity pneumonitis – a condition in which the air sacs and airways in the lungs become severely inflamed – in a 16-year-old boy who developed respiratory failure, presumably caused by the fluid in E- Cigarettes were caused.
Professor Andrew Bush, one of the study’s co-authors and a consultant pediatric thoracic surgeon at Royal Brompton, said: “This case is very worrying.”
“We simply don’t know the long-term consequences of vaping.”
“We don’t know what’s in these devices and fluids. So how can we say that breathing into our lungs is safe?”
“They should be kept out of the hands of young people.”
Jodie remembered being very afraid that her son would grow up without a mother.
“When they thought about taking me in, I thought, ‘I’m never going to leave this hospital; I just wanted to see my son one more time,'” she said.
“It was scary. I don’t want my son to grow up without parents.”
“They just said, ‘You have to stop because it can get a lot worse from here’.”
The mother said she is “full of regret” about the impact vaping has had on her health and finances.
Jodie said: “I’m asthmatic now because of all this. I’ll probably be on inhalers for the rest of my life.”
“I have so many regrets – it was just a waste of money and it’s killing me.”
“It’s money I could have spent on my life, and now I have to spend more money on prescriptions.”
“It was a real wake-up call. Before I desperately tried to quit vaping, I just put it on ice now.”
Two-year-old Dillon’s mother vowed never to smoke or vape again and offered advice for other people turning to e-cigarettes.
“People always think they won’t be. You never are until it’s too late,” she added.
“This is definitely the wake-up call I needed. It will kill me sooner than anything else.”
“Now I’m telling everyone to just stop – you don’t need a reason other than your own health, save yourself.”
“It’s a waste, you’ll kill yourself.”
Vaping is also thought to cause a condition called popcorn lung – a rare condition that causes permanent narrowing of the small airways of the lungs, also known as bronchiolitis obliterans.
20-year-old Abby Flynn, who had never smoked a cigarette in her life, was diagnosed with the disease after becoming addicted to disposable vapes.
Read more at the Scottish Sun
Doctors recently claimed that e-cigarettes can “grill” the lungs because the temperature is “higher than cigarette smoke.”
It comes as the UK government debates whether to ban disposable vapes to prevent children becoming addicted.