UNB student faces scary consequences of vaping

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A UNB student has been coughing up blood resulting from her use of e-cigarettes and wants everyone to be aware of the dangers.

The dangers of vaping and stories of mysterious illnesses have been brought closer to home this month. UNB Student Caroline Asimakos took to social media to share her story.

For the past few weeks, Caroline has noticed something wrong, describing it as a terrifying experience in which she had difficulty breathing and intense coughing. Trips to the emergency room found no cause.

On September 19, Caroline was in class when she started coughing up large amounts of blood and posted a picture of the incident to her Instagram.

Coughing up blood

“When I start coughing, I literally have to run out of my class because I start coughing up blood and my nose gushes too. They keep telling me I’m fine but I’m not. I get three hours of sleep a night. I’ve been [using Juul] for three years now and I have never regretted something more.” Caroline shared on Instagram.

Juul is a type of e-cigarette that has a high concentration of nicotine and comes in prefilled pods. According to the National Center for Health Research, one Juul pod has the same amount of nicotine as one pack of 20 cigarettes.

These exposures to such high levels of nicotine have many long-term health consequences but are largely unknown because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed e-cigarette manufacturers to postpone their submissions for FDA approval until August of 2022.

Juul pods also have a higher amount of benzoic acid. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with constant exposure to benzoic acid, it can cause intense coughing, abdominal pains, sore throat, nausea and vomiting.

Black-market cartridges not the only issue

Many are saying that the risk only lies in buying black-market pods infused with THC because it has been identified as a cause. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t other health issues resulting from legal vaping.

In an interview, Caroline addressed this saying “I just used Juul pods, mint only. I have never refilled a pod or bought anything else other than the real Juul pods.”

Now, Caroline is sharing her story in hopes it will stop people from making the same mistake. “It’s impacted me and everyone around me. I just regret ever starting and even continuing when I heard about the cases in the states. I’ve done permanent damage to my body and I will never be the same because of it.” Caroline said in an interview.

Trying to quit?

If you or somebody you know would like to quit smoking, or vaping, the health clinic on campus offers services to help. Appointments can be made by contacting them at behealthy@unb.ca or by phone at 506-648-5656.

Emily is in her fourth year of Political Science. She loves studying and academics which follows into her research work. She's a stern black coffee drinker and is a proud Acadienne. When she's not working or doing school work, you can find Emily listening to 70s music on vinyl and watching Parks and Recreation. If you ask her about parliamentary institutions, she won't stop talking.