Doctors: Popcorn lung raises new concerns about vaping

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Doctors are raising another new concern about vaping.

Amid an outbreak of vaping-related illnesses, doctors in Canada say a teen nearly died after suffering a severe vaping-related illness called popcorn lung.

"Popcorn lung or bronchiolitis obliterans is a condition that's not reversible,” says pulmonologist Dr. Sameer Khanijo, of Northwell Health. “So people will not recover their lung function. The damage that's done is not going to get better."

Dr. Khanijo says symptoms include coughing, fever and trouble breathing. Popcorn lung often requires hospitalization.

He says, however, that there hasn't been a case of vaping causing popcorn lung in the United States just yet.

The condition gets it name from years ago when factory workers manufacturing microwave popcorn inhaled the ingredient diacetyl in the butter that causes the condition, and they got sick.

Doctors say the ingredient is no longer used in making popcorn, but it is found in certain vaping products.

Supporters of vaping say it's a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, but many think the flavored vapor products target children.

"We cannot let kids be vaping. Going into the hospital at ages, 16, 17, 18. Something's wrong,” says Gunjan Kathuria, of Melville.

According to the CDC, there have been more than 2,200 cases of people getting sick from using vaping products, and there have been 47 vaping-related deaths in the U.S. -- two of them in New York.

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