A little over a week ago, a news story about an 18-year-old woman who started vaping and then three weeks later developed wet lung made the rounds. Within hours, several major news outlets jumped on the sensationalism associated with the story, quickly painting vaping as the culprit. The result was a full-on wet lung vaping controversy.
When asked of his opinion, vaping proponent Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos criticized the case report, according to vapenews.com.
“Total nonsense,” said Farsalinos, a cardiologist/researcher at the University Hospital Gasthuisberg in Leuven, Belgium.
The story spread quickly, picked up by MSN and other media platforms. A woman in Pennsylvania recently started vaping as a means to handle the stress of working at a restaurant and within three weeks, she experienced problems breathing and was admitted to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s emergency room.
Doctors diagnosed hypersensitivity pneumonitis (wet lung) and, despite looking into medical facts, reporters ran with the anti-vaping angle, supported by the case report.
“As electronic cigarette use increases, we will be seeing more case reports and side effects,” said Dr. Casey Sommerfeld, who served as lead author of the report. “It is difficult to speculate on how frequently this could happen; however, there are a few case reports involving adults that developed respiratory distress following electronic cigarette use.”
It was a curious conclusion, Farsalinos said.
“The case was about an allergic reaction causing pneumonia,” Farsalinos stated. “This is the first time that I see a case report being featured in the media.”
“This is a new low for e-cigarette opponents.”