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First death attributed to e-cigarette in Belgium
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