A young woman has pleaded with others to "please stop" engaging in a dangerous habit after she suffered through a collapsed lung and "the most excruciating pain" she has ever been in.
University student Grace Brassel filmed a chilling warning from the grips of her hospital bed, revealing that what she initially suspected was a broken rib turned out to be far worse.
One of the 23-year-old's lungs had spontaneously collapsed, which combined with the detrimental health affects of vaping, "could have killed" her.
"Please stop vaping," she begged viewers of a TikTok video she posted last week.
Brassel shared how she woke up one morning with pain in her ribs and soon began "coughing up blood".
At the time, she thought: "maybe I bruised a rib? Eh whatever".
Brassel eventually went to the doctor, who apparently "freaked out" after seeing her X-ray.
At that point she was told she needed to rush to the emergency department because she had a collapsed lung.
An X-ray showed Brassel's right lung at its normal size, while her left one appeared to be about half its usual capacity.
She was later told that while her collapsed lung – spontaneous pneumothorax – had not directly been caused by vaping, her persistent use of the device could have easily made the condition fatal.
"It [the lung] spontaneously popped because I am tall and thin," Brassel wrote across the clip, later writing that "this didn't happen directly because of vaping but the vaping could have killed me".
After making the discovery, she said doctors had to "shove a massive tube in my lungs to suck fluid out".
She said the process was "the most excruciating pain" she had ever been in.
"I couldn't move for 12 hours," she told one viewer.
Chief Executive at the Australian Council on Smoking and Health, Maurice Swanson, said vaping was threatening to undermine 40 years worth of work in reducing youth smoking.
"Those who get addicted to nicotine from vaping have got a three-fold increase in probability of going on to smoking regular cigarettes," Swanson told news.com.au.
He added there had been many cases in the US where young people had been hospitalised with serious lung diseases as a result of their vaping.
In most cases the patients were found to have been adding cannabis oil to their devices, he said.
"They use their vaping devices to add cannabis oil to the mixture, so they get even more of a rush," Swanson said.
"Some of them have ended up in hospital and they haven't added cannabis oil at all."
Key findings from the most recent global review of the health effects of e-cigarettes, conducted by the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health and commissioned by the Australian Department of Health listed a myriad of detrimental health issues caused by vaping.
Among the risks were addiction, intentional and unintentional poisoning, acute nicotine toxicity, including seizures, burns and injuries and lung injury.
Vaping also created indoor air pollution, environmental waste and fires, dual use with cigarette smoking, and increased smoking uptake in nonsmokers risks.
Less direct evidence indicated adverse effects of e-cigarettes on cardiovascular health
markers, including blood pressure and heart rate, lung function and adolescent brain
development and function, according to the review.
At least 32 countries have banned the sale of nicotine e-cigarettes, 79 countries – including
Australia – allow them to be sold while fully or partially regulating them.
The remaining 84 countries do not regulate them at all. In Australia, nicotine e-cigarettes are legal only on prescription, for the purpose of smoking cessation.