A TEENAGER claimed his lungs had collapsed four times because of his vaping.
He was told by doctors that he looked like he’d smoked three packs of cigarettes a day for over 30 years.
But it took the teenage months to connect his collapsing lungs to his vaping habit.
Draven Hatfield, 19, said he picked it up when he was 13 because he thought it was a “clean trend”.
That was in 2018, and Draven says he started out with box mods — e-cigarettes that come in the form of a box — before trying disposables three years later.
“When I first started, I usually only vaped on the weekends and ended up vaping all day every day,” recalls the contractor from Harts, West Virginia, USA.
“I refilled it at least once a day, sometimes every two days. I switched to disposable vapes and used a disposable vaporizer probably every two to three days.
The 19-year-old said he didn’t smoke cigarettes before taking up vaping – although he had picked up the habit for around a month and a half.
Draven’s left lung collapsed for the first time in October 2021 when he was just 17 years old.
He recalled, “I was just sitting there one day and then out of nowhere I really had chest pains and cramps all over my side.”
Despite the intense pain, Draven didn’t immediately seek help.
“I went home and went to bed and my heart rate dropped really low.”
But he rushed to the hospital when his heart rate hit 40 beats per minute.
“That’s when I found out my lungs had collapsed,” he said.
Doctors told Draven he suffered a spontaneous pneumothorax, which occurs when air is trapped between a lung and the chest wall.
“I had no idea what it was or what had happened, I thought I might have done something wrong. I had to have a chest tube for about a week and a half.
“I haven’t connected it to the vaporizers at this point. It took three times for it to collapse before I connected it to the vaporizers,” Draven explained.
The same thing happened a week later, and it wasn’t until his other lung collapsed for the third time in December 2021 that he connected it to the vaporizers.
Draven said: “The third time I was about to draw a vape, I felt him collapse.
“I just felt a little pop and once I went through it I knew what it was. I breathed differently and every time I swallowed I had a small pinch in my side.
“The third time I realized it was the vapes and I spoke to the specialist and that’s when I decided to try and quit vaping.”
Draven said he used nicotine gum to kick the habit, gradually lowering the dosage and eventually switching to regular gum.
But in February 2022, Draven’s lungs collapsed for a fourth time while he was at school and he had to undergo bullectomy surgery to remove air pockets from his right lung.
“The specialist said that air bubbles had developed in my lungs and they would burst and air would leak out and that would cause my lungs to collapse.”
Draven’s condition was similar to that of 20-year-old Abby Flynn, who was diagnosed with terminal “popcorn lung” after becoming “attached” to her vape.
He was also told that his lungs looked like he had “smoked three packs of cigarettes a day for at least 30 years.”
“I was pretty angry,” the 19-year-old recalled.
“I thought vaping was better than smoking and I was worried about my future. I was very afraid.”
After his horrific ordeal, Draven has since recovered but remains scarred and in pain to this day.
Aside from a collapsed lung, the teenager claims he suffered from PTSD after his initial hospitalization.
“From the first time it collapsed I had PTSD because they had to rush and didn’t fully anesthetize me when they put the chest tube in.
“It was the most painful experience of my life,” he shared.
Now he is striving to raise awareness about the dangers of the popular vape smoking devices.
“I don’t think many young people realize that vaping can be so serious. I wish there was more impact on vaping.”
Draven said: “I’m still in pain to this day. Sometimes on the collapsed side it hurts quite a bit and I have scars.”
“I have a feeling my lungs are going to collapse again, but then I realize it’s just the pain.
“And my lower back hurts quite a lot now.”
He promised never to vape again.
“I will never touch or smoke a vape again. I am very sure that vaping did the damage, my board doctor and pulmonologist were also sure.”
Last week, The Sun exclusively announced that Health Secretary Neil O’Brien will launch a call for evidence before restricting access to highly addictive fruit-flavored vaporizers for under-18s in the UK.
Kid-friendly packaging and sweet flavors, from Apple Peach and Cotton Candy Ice to Strawberry Kiwi, could be banned, a change that can’t come soon enough for parents, teachers and medical professionals.
It comes as cardiologist Jim Liu said vaping could lead to a rise in heart disease among young people.
Experts have also warned that the popular e-cigarettes can damage your skin and cause premature aging.
There are four surprising signs parents might know their child is a vaper.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/7801921/teens-lungs-collapsed-because-of-vaping-addiction/ My vaping addiction caused my lungs to collapse four times – now my insides look like I’ve smoked for decades