click to enlarge Henry Ford Health System Doctors at Henry Ford Hospital performed a double-lung transplant on a Michigan teen after he sustained injuries from vaping, but won’t say what he was vaping.
Doctors at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit delivered a strong but confusing message to the public on Tuesday after performing a rare double-lung transplant on a Michigan teenager: Vaping is “evil.”
The physicians said a 17-year-old patient nearly died from severe injuries caused by vaping.
“Vaping-related injuries are all too common these days. Our adolescents are faced with a crisis,” Lisa Allenspach, M.D., the medical director of Henry Ford’s Lung Transplant Program, told the media. “These vaping products should not be used in any fashion.”
But there’s one significant problem: The doctors refused to say what exactly the patient had been vaping. So how does the public know what to avoid?
There are two very different kinds of vaping – nicotine and cannabis, or marijuana. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has targeted flavored nicotine vaping products, and became one of the first governors to call for their ban, citing a rise of teen vaping. But cannabis vaping has been linked to a spate of deadly injuries that have killed 40 people and sickened more than 2,000 others. On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified vitamin E acetate — a popular additive in black market cannabis vape cartridges — as a “very strong culprit” behind the lung injuries.
There has been no evidence that nicotine vaping is related to the outbreak.
No one is saying nicotine vaping is safe. But most health experts agree that it is far safer than cigarettes, which kill one of every two longterm smokers. Vaping has become a popular and effective way for people to quit smoking cigarettes.
“By failing to disclose the product that is responsible, the Henry Ford Medical Center is not contributing in any meaningful way to the prevention of this outbreak,” Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor of community health services at Boston University, tells Metro Times. “If anything, they are making it worse by confusing the public into believing that e-cigarette use is causing respiratory failure, as opposed to THC vape carts, and I believe that is irresponsible.”
Henry Ford officials declined to respond to Metro Times’ questions on Wednesday.
During the press conference, Dr. Hassan Nemeh, who led the surgical team, called vaping “evil.”
“This is an evil I haven’t faced before,” Nemeh told