A mother was left fearing her toddler would grow up without a parent after being rushed to hospital with vaping-related pneumonia.
Jodie Hudson, from Worksop, Nottinghamshire, swapped cigarettes for e-cigs two years ago in pursuit of a less harmful alternative.
The 26-year-old would vape ‘anywhere and everywhere’ — getting through a vape every day — and had no intention of quitting.
But last month she suffered severe bouts of dizziness and breathlessness that left her struggling to move, so she rushed to A&E at Bassetlaw Hospital.
Scans revealed the council worker had vaping-related pneumonia, with further tests set to determine if the devices have triggered permanent lung damage.
Ms Hudson says she will never vape or smoke again after being left terrified that she may never see her two-year-old son Dillon grow up — and is now urging others hooked on the devices to quit.
Jodie Hudson, from Worksop in Nottinghamshire, swapped cigarettes for vapes two years ago as a less harmful alternative. The 26-year-old would vape ‘anywhere and everywhere’ and had no intention of quitting. But last week on September 24, after suddenly experiencing severe bouts of dizziness and breathlessness leaving her unable to walk around the house, she was rushed to A&E at Bassetlaw Hospital
It was only after medics took an ECG and chest x-ray that she was diagnosed with vaping-related pneumonia. Further tests will reveal if the e-cigarettes have caused permanent damage on her lungs. While in hospital the council worker, who is mum to two-year-old Dillon, was so scared she worried she may never see her son again
She started smoking cigarettes aged 18 but quit when she became pregnant with her son.
After giving birth, Ms Hudson tried her partner’s vape as it ‘seemed healthier’ than traditional cigarettes and she ‘really liked it’.
‘I actually found it to be a lot more addictive than smoking cigarettes,’ she said.
‘Vaping you can choose any flavour and you don’t have that residual flavour on you like cigarettes. I just got hooked on them.’
Ms Hudson added: ‘When I was using disposable ones I went from buying them two to three times a week to every day.
‘I was just smoking it anywhere and everywhere. It was like a shisha bag, it was a lot more leisurely than a nicotine addiction even though it was very much a nicotine addiction.’
But in September she developed tonsillitis and found herself struggling to do daily tasks around the house without becoming out of breath.
Ms Hudson said: ‘I couldn’t eat, I struggled breathing, I kept waking myself up snoring because my breathing was that bad.
‘I really wasn’t feeling well and had a panic attack because I was so scared of how little oxygen I was getting, I just couldn’t function. I was walking around the house and completely out of breath.’
She went to A&E where she was left shaking, sweating and struggling to stand due to being left severely dizzy from the walk between her car and hospital.
Ms Hudson was swiftly admitted due to having low oxygen level and blood pressure, along with a high heart rate.
After undergoing an electrocardiogram (ECG) and chest X-ray, medics diagnosed her with vaping-related pneumonia.
She said: ‘I wasn’t surprised but I thought this could end up being something a lot more serious if I don’t stop it now.
‘My mum said to me you really do have to quit, you might die.’
Pneumonia is a type of chest infection that affects tiny air sacs in the lungs.
The condition causes these sacs to be become inflamed and fill with fluid, making it harder to breathe.
It is usually caused by bacteria or viruses, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae. It affects between five and 11 out of every 1,000 adults every year in the UK.
She added: ‘My mum said do you want to go to A&E? She said you need to go, you need to help. ‘I was struggling to walk – I couldn’t catch my breath. Just walking from the car to A&E, I was shaking, sweaty, I had to sit down almost straight away, I felt so dizzy. I could hardly get my words out – I hardly had energy to talk. I just wanted to sleep. When you can’t breathe, you can’t do anything. I got there and pretty much straight away I got put into a room because of how low my oxygen was. I had low blood pressure and my heart rate was through the roof – it went up to 130bpm’
Tests on e-cigarettes confiscated from youngsters found they contained dangerous levels of lead, nickel and chromium. Some were almost 10 times above safe limits. Exposure to lead can impair brain development, while the other two metals can trigger blood clotting
Almost 1,000 serious adverse reactions to e-cigs have been logged by Britain’s health watchdog including blood, nervous system and respiratory disorders, as well as cancer and injuries like burns. This includes five deaths linked to the devices. Latest figures show the proportion of adults using e-cigs in the UK increased last year to the highest rate on record, at 8.3 per cent, according to the charity Action on Smoking and Health. This accounts for the roughly 4.3million people across the country
According to the NHS, it is diagnosed in between five and 12 per cent of adults who present to GPs with symptoms of lower respiratory tract infection, each year.
Some 22 to 42 per cent of these are admitted to hospital.
Ms Hudson however is still unclear whether her vaping-related pneumonia has triggered permanent damage to her lungs.
She said: ‘The doctors said it’s obvious vaping is having an effect on my lungs.
‘They didn’t say whether there’s permanent damage or anything but I’ve got to go back for another X-ray to check that.
‘When they were considering admitting me, I thought I’m never going to get out of this hospital. I just wanted to see my son one more time.
‘It was scary. I don’t want my son growing up without any parents.
‘They just said you’ve got to stop because it can get so much worse from here.’
Ms Hudson says she has been left with asthma because of her vaping habit and faces having to reply on inhalers for the rest of her life.
She said: ‘I have so many regrets. It’s just been a waste of money and it’s killing me. It’s money I could’ve spent on life and now I have to spend more money on prescriptions.
‘It’s been such a wake-up call. Before I was struggling trying to quit vaping, now I’ve just done it cold turkey. I’m never smoking or vaping again.
‘Now I tell everyone to just quit — you don’t need any other reason than your own health, save yourself. It’s a waste, you’re killing yourself.’
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last month show around 4.5million Brits vape daily or occasionally — a rise of some 500,000 in just 12 months.
E-cigs allow people to inhale nicotine in a vapour — which is produced by heating a liquid, which typically contains propylene glycol, glycerine, flavourings, and other chemicals.
Unlike traditional cigarettes, they do not contain tobacco, nor do they produce tar or carbon — two of the most dangerous elements.
Although widely viewed as safer than smoking, the long-term effects of vaping still remain a mystery.
Doctors have expressed fear there could be a wave of lung disease, dental issues and even cancer in the coming decades in people who took up the habit at a young age.
Earlier this year leading paediatricians also warned children were being hospitalised with vaping-induced breathing difficulties amid a ‘disturbing’ youth vaping epidemic.
In June, MailOnline revealed that e-cigarettes have been linked to five deaths in Britain.
None of the fatalities, which have all occurred since 2010, are proven to have been caused directly by vaping. No ages were mentioned for any of the deaths.
But health chiefs tasked with policing the safety of e-cigs admit there is ‘a suspicion’ the gadgets may have been to blame.
Two were put down to heart disorders, including one cardiac arrest.
Respiratory complications were blamed for the other three deaths, with one caused by inhalation of fat — a known potential consequence of vaping.
Almost 1,000 serious adverse reactions to e-cigs have also been logged by Britain’s health watchdog including blood, nervous system and respiratory disorders, as well as cancer and injuries such as burns.
It comes as disposable vapes are set to be axed to prevent children from becoming addicted to the devices under new Government plans.
Campaigners have long called for much tougher regulations on marketing to children and a tax on disposable vapes, which are most popular among teens.
But concerns have mounted in recent weeks with ministers urged to ban predatory firms selling vapes in brightly-coloured packaging and in kid-friendly favours like bubblegum.
The proposals — which follow in the footsteps of countries including France and New Zealand.
A ban would apply in England and could allow the use of reusable vapes to continue.
The devolved administrations would set their own policy for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
WHAT IS PNEUMONIA?
Pneumonia is a type of chest infection that affects the tiny air sacs in the lungs.
The condition causes these sacs to be become inflammed and fill with fluid, making it harder to breathe.
Pneumonia is caused by bacteria or viruses, with the most common being Streptococcus pneumoniae.
It affects between five and 11 out of every 1,000 adults every year in the UK.
Anyone can suffer from pneumonia, however, at-risk groups include:
- Babies and young children
- People over 65
- Those with long-term heart, lung or kidney disease
- People with cancer, particularly those having chemotherapy
- Those on drugs that suppress their immune systems
Antibiotics or mechanical ventilator use in hospitals also raise the risk.
- Coughing up mucus
- Chest pain
- Loss of appetite
In severe cases, sufferers may cough up blood, vomit or have a rapid heart rate.
Treatment is usually antibiotics, which may need to be given intravenously in hospital in severe cases.
Source: British Lung Foundation