In a deckchair in front of us at the festival we took our granddaughters to on Saturday was a young woman of about 20 – 25 years of age.  For the entire time we were there she was vaping e-cigarettes one after the other.  We actually moved away so as not to breathe in any of her exhaled vapour, as luckily for me I had been able to listen to a conversation at work between three doctors at tea break, who were discussing vaping.

I heard that vaping causes a condition called ‘popcorn lung’, which is actually a disease which goes by the name of bronchiolitis obliterans.  A toxic chemical called diacetyl is in the flavours, and this is heated up to a vapour and inhaled into the lungs causing a build up of scar tissue and damage to airways which results in shortness of breath.  Doctors are now starting to see many younger patients complaining of a persistent cough and being short of breath.

Did this young woman think that she would be fine because she was not inhaling nicotine?  Flavoured e-cigarettes are just as harmful it seems, and damage can be done even after only a couple of weeks of vaping.  There are of course other factors at play here; ignorance, and the fact that most twenty somethings never think anything nasty will ever happen to them.  I certainly felt that way in my twenties, but the body has a way of biting back when you least expect it…

However, it certainly pays to work in a hospital, as conversations can be very enlightening sometimes.  I’ve worked at our local hospital since 2002, and have learned much just by listening to medics and typing their clinic letters.  I realise I’ve been able to take advantage of all their years of training without having to do any myself!