Everyone thinks that vaping is safer than smoking, but 18-year-old Chance Ammirata disagrees. After 18 months of vaping, Chance was left with a medical emergency. He was out bowling with his friend when it all started.
“I remember she made me laugh and it felt like my chest was collapsing, like I was having a heart attack,” Chance said.
Chance had been vaping Juuls, which are legal nicotine vapes, and it all took its toll.
"It felt like I was genuinely having a heart attack," said Chance. "I would say my chest felt like it was collapsing and tightening up and I couldn't breathe."
The teen was rushed to the emergency room, where a team of doctors was called in. It turns out, Chance's lungs had collapsed.
“Seven surgeons came in, and it’s scary when you see seven surgeons come in, you think they’re going to tell you you have like five days to live,” Chance said. "When they did the actual major surgery to re-inflate my lungs, the surgeon said, ‘whatever you’ve been smoking has been leaving these black dots on your lungs.'"
Even though the surgery was successful, Chance is never really going to live a normal life again.
“[The doctor] said running occasionally is okay after a month or two of healing, but constant running is just not going to be on my agenda, and that really sucks, because I’m 18, and that really sucks to have that happen so young,” he said.
Now, Chance advocates for others to stop vaping or smoking Juuls, and wants everyone to be aware of the dangers. He took to Instagram to talk about his experience.
This whole experience is absolutely insane and life changing (disclaimer I don’t always look this bad just when I’m glued to the hospital bed for 8 days) I came into this experience completely negative mad at the world , and scared of how things were gonna turn out after my lung collapsed.
But I decided to take this negative and completely find another meaning. I decided that spreading my story could help others not have to go through the same thing as me. One by one reading each message from every single one of you explaining how I was able to CHANGE YOUR MINDSET I was able to help you throw out your juul. Makes you realize enough is enough and that nicotine is rotting our brains and destroying our bodies.
It overcame me with emotions. I’ve never been happier to make such a difference. My surgery to get my chest tube removed is scheduled in around 2/3 hours and I’m insanely nervous. But I want to make sure my story is always out there. And that the change doesn’t stop. Every day we need to fight to help not only ourselves but the ones we love put down the nicotine.
This epidemic has taken enough. We don’t need more evidence telling us just how bad it is. How many more kids are going to have to get hospitalized for us to stop !? None should be the answer don’t take this with a grain of salt. And keep on pushing yourselves to take control of these cravings. I know it’s hard , and I know it will be a long one/2 weeks of getting over the addiction.
But 1/2 weeks is so much more worth it than a lifetime of consequences. #lunglove #stopjuul #revolution #wewillmakeachange #wearenotcontrolled edit: hole* reference to third slide
Chance also posted an image of his lungs, with another plea to stop using Juuls.
"You thought Juuls were safe," the image read. "So did i the black dots are all reminiscence of juuling. I've been doing it for a year and a half and can never do it again. You really shouldn't either. I know how hard it is to change anyone's minds who's addicted because I was to. And I don't think anyone could have said anything to make me stop. But your lungs most likely look like this to if you've been smoking. Don't let it get worse. Please stop."
It's eye-opening to see that something most people consider a "safe" alternative is actually just as bad as smoking, if not worse. It really makes you worry about these kids you see using vapes all the time.