MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Andrew Doss was a long-time smoker, but he wanted to get off cigarettes and did what many do and turned to vaping. Doctors told him that switch is what caused his stay in the hospital for five days.
Doss says the picture of an E-cigarette in his hand was meant to be a sign of a new beginning away from 15 years of cigarettes and eventually away from nicotine altogether. Instead, he found himself a patient in a hospital bed.
“I’m doing much better than I was, but I think I’m going to get as good as I’m going to get,” he told FOX 46.
Life isn’t exactly easy for Doss right now. He’s on a growing list of people who have been hospitalized due to illnesses related to vaping.
“It started with a really strange cough that was backwards,” he said.
Doss says the backwards cough eventually turned into what almost felt like a heart attack. The scare led hom to the hospital where he says he remained for five days.
“They told me ‘you’ve got a collapsed lung’ and they asked me if I had been in an accident. I told them I had just coughed.”
The 35-yer-old says the doctors told him his problems were related to vaping.
Doss is one of the hundreds of cases across the country and one of several in North Carolina. Just this week, Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro reported the state’s first death linked to vaping. A number of hospitals reported increases in vaping-related illnesses.
Doss says he is happy to be back as close to normal as he can be, but life is different for him now. He now has an inhaler and can still get winded easily. Now he’s telling others to just quit.
“I didn’t know this could happen. Worst case I figured, it would be as dangerous as cigarettes.”
Doctors have not been able to pinpoint the exact cause of the illnesses with e-cigarettes, which is part of the reason federal authorities are looking into them.