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First death attributed to e-cigarette in Belgium

16:58 14/11/2019

Doctors have attributed a death in Belgium to an e-cigarette for the first time. An 18-year-old Brussels man died in hospital this week following a serious lung infection.

The young man, Raphaël Pauwaert, received a vape from a friend for his birthday earlier this year. He tried it for a couple of weeks then set it aside. He recently began vaping a CBD e-liquid, however, which his mother was using to treat her sleep problems. CBD is a non-psychoactive element of cannabis and is widely available for e-cigarettes.

After a few weeks of vaping the product, Raphaël developed a lung infection and was hospitalised. He was in a coma for 26 days at Saint-Luc Hospital, until he died from the infection.

His attending physicians ruled out all other causes and came to the conclusion that it was the CBD vapor. “There is not an absolute certainty about the link because there is no test that can confirm it,” Dr Luc-Marie Jacuet told Het Nieuwsblad. “But we do know that many people who get lung infections of this kind have smoked cannabis mixtures with e-cigarettes.”

This morning, Belgian pulmonary specialist Ingel Demedts took to Radio 1 to say that the European Respiratory Society has already called for a ban on e-cigarettes and vaping products in Europe. “There are so many different sorts of e-cigarettes with different substances,” he said, “and sometimes people add their own substances to them. It’s such a big mix that it’s extremely difficult to research. We also have no idea what the consequences of long-term use are.”

Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/BELGA

Written by Lisa Bradshaw


Frank Lee

There's no way to tell for sure vaping actually caused the infection, but vaping should be banned anyway? We're pretty sure of the damages caused by cigarettes or alcohol, and those substances aren't banned, so why ban vaping products? If people decide to behave in a way that might cause themselves harm, I believe it's a wonderful way to continue evolution...

Nov 15, 2019 23:50

I feel for this family - my daughter and her friends knew this lad and attended the funeral. There are far too many open questions, as there is often in these circumstances. I have tried a CBD product and guess what? I am allergic to it or at least highly sensitive. My children also have to stay away from such products because they too have crazy sensitivities and allergies. These days it is commonplace to have many allergic issues coming up. Five years ago, I became allergic to alcohol, broccoli, and bananas. We just all have to be careful about what we put into our system - one never knows. And, if you're not sure about something, just be careful. My thoughts are with the family of the young man. I cannot imagine their pain.

Nov 17, 2019 14:42