Teen Urges Others to Pay Attention to Real Danger of Vaping

Simah Herman was an average 18 year-old doing what many teens have been doing these days, vaping both nicotine and THC.

Now, she is desperate for other teens to know what happened to her, in the hope that she can dissuade them from vaping and ending up as sick as she was. She shared a series of heart-wrenching photos on her Instagram account that illustrate how vaping nearly killed her.

Here is her story in her own words:

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About 2 years ago i started having terrible nausea issues. that turned into being unable to eat, sleep and just live normally. 2 weeks ago i started having trouble breathing. it took 48 hours for my lungs to fail which led to me being put on a ventilator. This is all because of vaping. Vaping is advertised as “a healthier alternative to smoking” which is false. whether it’s nicotine or weed vaping can be fatal. I was lucky. the doctors didn’t think i was going to make it but with prayers from family and friends i pulled through after almost a week on a ventilator. No one thinks this will happen to them and neither did i which is why i kept vaping. It took less than 48 hours for me to be put in a drug induced coma and a tube put down my throat because i could no longer breathe on my own. The dangers of vaping are real and this can happen to you. Please don’t let it. It’s not easy to quit, nicotine is a very addictive chemical but the more you vape the more likely you are to end up where i did. take action and don’t let this happen. please tell your family and friends the dangers of vaping because no one realizes until they’re put in a situation so serious. i’m sharing my story so you don’t have to have your own. get help please and if you need someone to talk to i’m here to help anyone who needs it. Don’t let vaping win. take back your life and quit smoking. it’s just not worth it. @truthorange #bigtobacco #vapecommunity #smokingkills #dangersofvaping #dangersofsmoking #vape #juul (i didn’t end up having pneumonia. the signs of respiratory failure from vaping make it look like pneumonia, if they didn’t find that first i would have died)

A post shared by simah (@simahherman) on

Simah’s story is unfortunately NOT unique. The last few weeks have seen a startling spike in life-threatening lung diseases, believed to be linked to vaping. In the last few weeks otherwise healthy young people in their teens or 20s, have been showing up at hospitals with breathing difficulties, after vaping. Often they’ve also suffered with vomiting, fever and fatigue for several days prior. Some have ended up in intensive care on a ventilator for several weeks.

On September 10, 2019  a sixth person in the U.S., a fifty year-old man from Kansas has died of a severe lung illness related to vaping.

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said that the number of reported cases of vaping induced lung illness had more than doubled to 450, from just over 200. Most of the 450 cases involved people between the ages of 18 and 25 who were initially thought to have a pneumonia-like infection that turned out to be a pulmonary illness.

The CDC recommended that while its investigation of these vaping-induced illnesses, “is ongoing, consider not using e-cigarette products.” In fact the CDC goes on to say that regardless of the ongoing investigation youth and young adults should not use e-cigarette products.

In related news, former New York mayor Bloomberg committed 160 million dollars to banning flavored e-cigarettes. Last week Michigan became the first state to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. New York, Massachusetts and California have considered following suit.

At long last, the tide seems to be turning against vaping, because quite simply, people, young and old are dying from it.


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About Helene Wingens

Helene Wingens has always been passionate about painting pictures with words. She graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in psychology and three years later from Boston University School of Law with a Juris Doctor. In a year long clerkship for an appellate judge Helene honed her writing skills by drafting weekly appellate memoranda. She practiced law until she practically perfected it and after taking a brief twenty year hiatus to raise her three children she began writing a personal blog Her essays have been published in: Scary Mommy, Kveller, The Forward, and Grown and Flown where she is Managing Editor. You can visit Helene's website here

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