A Utah man is on life support after vaping gave him lipoid pneumonia, his family said.
Sean Bills, 31, of West Valley City, was admitted to the hospital on Aug. 17 and was recently placed on a medically-induced coma, according to KTLA sister station KSTU in Salt Lake City.
His wife, Tiffani Bills, told the station that doctors at Jordan Valley Hospital believe vaping is to blame.
The Utah Department of Health recently began investigating a cluster of severe lung disease cases possibly linked to vaping.
Health officials say they are investigating 21 cases of a severe lung disease in the state linked to vaping.
The department announced the new number Monday, a jump from the five cases in teenagers and young adults reported last week.
“It hit out of nowhere, that’s for sure,” Bills told the station last week. “They’ve had four other cases — my husband is the fifth at the hospital right now in critical condition because of vaping.”
Sean and Tiffani vaped daily for two years. About 10 days ago, the otherwise healthy father of three knew something was wrong.
“It’s starting with shortness of breath and pain and not being able to breathe. That’s why he’s in a coma right now is because he can’t breathe on his own,” Bills said.
According to Bills, her husband has lipoid pneumonia, likely caused by inhaling fat particles.
“These are the juices possibly that are causing the issue,” Bills said holding up four juice bottles.
The department says the cases stem from the use of a mix of nicotine and marijuana electronic cigarette products.
The symptoms of the disease include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.
The department advises that people who vape experience any of the symptoms that they should visit doctors.
Nationwide, more than 120 people have developed similar problems. The cluster has become so troubling, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating.
Bills quit vaping when her husband was admitted to the hospital. She hopes others do the same.
“Stop,” she said. “Stop right now before it gets worse. I mean, it’s not worth your life.”
A GoFundMe account to help with mounting medical costs has been set up and can be found here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.