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American Chance (18) deathly ill after e-cigarette: ‘it can ruin your life’

In America, a sixth person died this week from the effects of smoking electronic cigarettes. More than 400 people have also become ill. One of them is Chance, who tells RTL News how he got through the eye of the needle.

Chance Ammirata (18) from Florida started smoking e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, a year and a half ago. “Nothing was known about the harmfulness of vaping. You could just buy it in the store. I was a minor, but no one in the store ever gave any trouble.” 

Thought of heart attack

At the end of July this year, he woke up with severe chest pain. He thought it was muscle pain and ignored it. But the next day the pain was so bad that he thought he was having a heart attack. He went straight to the hospital. “Within hours, seven surgeons were around me and placed a pipe in my lung to pump air into it.”

Dutch lung doctors are very concerned about e-cigarette after deaths in America

Chance was baffled, especially as he had been perfectly healthy all his life and rarely had anything to worry about. “The surgeon said I had all kinds of black spots on my lungs and had to stop what I was smoking immediately.” That same day, Chance went under the knife. He got a new lungpipe. He is recovering, but he will probably never be able to pursue hobbies like running and snorkeling again. Even flying is not an option in the near future. e liquids for e cigarettes sold online.

Trendy flavors

Chance regularly smoked e-cigarettes from the Juul brand, but stopped immediately. Juul has become extremely popular in America in a few years. The company has a market value of more than EUR 30 billion.

The Juul e-cigarette is the size of a USB stick and is easy to hide from parents or teachers. The nicotine comes from the so-called pods, a tube of liquid that is put in the e-cigarette and the vapors of which are inhaled. Such a pod contains just as much nicotine as one pack of cigarettes, and is available in trendy flavors, such as mango, cappuccino and mint.

Trump administration plans to ban flavored e-cigarettes

While Juul claims to be a healthy alternative to the regular cigarette, the company has focused specifically on young people in the past. So new users.

There were colorful advertising campaigns with attractive teenagers. More than 20 percent of secondary school students now indicate that they sometimes use an e-cigarette. That is double compared to last year.

Should we be concerned in the Netherlands?

The alarming reports from the United States are also causing unrest in the Netherlands. Is that right? Esther Croes of the Trimbos Institute sees major differences with the situation in the Netherlands. “We set fairly strict requirements for the e-cigarette in the Netherlands,” she says.

According to her, there are only suspicions about why people in the US got sick, but they have not yet been confirmed. “For example, we know that some of the people who became ill or died, had THC oil in the liquid.” This substance is officially prohibited in the Netherlands. e-cigarette package is sold online.

As far as is known, there are no known people in Europe who suffer from the new lung disease.

Chance is determined to tell his story to young people across America. With his Instagram page Lung Love Foundation he wants to help young people to stop vaping. He is also active on Twitter.

“It can ruin your whole life, we are guinea pigs. E-cigarettes are terrible, people should stop immediately.”