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Vaping habit nearly kills young man when he develops pneumonia

A Salt Lake City man says his daily vaping habit almost killed him. Alex Mitchell is back home but not 100 percent. “I am at 25% diminished lung capacity now,” explains Mitchell. It’s been a rough few weeks for his family.

Last month, he started feeling sick. “I bought a new bottle of juice and the next day is when everything started going downhill,” says Mitchell. Doctors were stumped until one made the connection. Mitchell had lipoid pneumonia from vaping and need to be on life support.

“Basically wondering am I going to have to bury this child,” questioned his dad Daniel.

Dr. Sean Callahan says says cases like these are becoming more common. “We are understanding more and more that this is a pretty dangerous activity,” remarks Dr. Callahan. He believes more regulations are needed.

“I’m really concerned that this is being marketed to young people especially with the flavorings,” says Dr. Callahan. That’s how the Mitchells’ feel too. They believe vaping is promoted as a safer alternative when in reality it’s not.

There are warnings on the boxes that vape juices come in about nicotine. But Alex Mitchell says he was not aware of any respiratory issues vaping could potentially cause.

A new vaping law went into effect August 1st. The State of Alabama will begin oversight and regulations for retailers. Vape shops must now have a tobacco license and vaping and nicotine products cannot be sold to anyone under the age of 19. Also vaping products cannot be advertised near schools.

Cynthia Gould/ABC