Did Vaping Really Burn a Hole in This Guy’s Lung?

"Just burned a hole in my lung quick take a picture!" - Said no one ever.
“Just burned a hole in my lung quick take a picture!” – Said no one ever.

In a clearly bullshit story, the Sun (British tabloid) claims that some dude burned a hole in his lung while vaping with a Kanger Subtank and an eLeaf iStick 30W. Incredibly, despite undergoing such a severe medical crisis he found it in him to be brave enough to contact a prestigious newspaper like the Sun so a story could be written about him. Sounds totally legit.

The story is full of sensational nonsense and is, of course, lacking in any kind of specific details about how this could have happened. It also has no specific details about his supposed hospital visit. But the story has gained so much traction that even Snopes has decided to weigh in on this. So far, Snopes rates this story as “inconclusive”, but their article implies that it is complete horseshit.

From Snopes:

Missing from the newspaper’s reporting were details such as the date of Courtney’s first hospital admission, the specific condition for which he was purportedly hospitalized, and any information about how such an injury was diagnosed (other than that the nurse placed his vape device in an “oxygen tube” and determined it was “spitting out liquid”). Also absent from the report was any clarification from parties other than Courtney regarding the nature of the purported injury. For instance, no doctors chimed in to explain whether it was possible to burn a hole in one’s lung (and if so, whether it was possible for that injury to occur from using an e-cigarette).

It appeared readers were meant to infer that very hot e-liquid shot out of the vaporizer’s tank into the injured man’s mouth (without causing damage), then traveled down his throat (similarly not leaving any burns) before landing inside his lung and “burning a hole” in it. We were unable to find any reports of lung injuries that even remotely matched the Sun‘s claim, but presumably such an adverse reaction would have previously befallen marijuana smokers, regular smokers, chefs, firemen, and others regularly exposed to inhalation of fumes or steam at a high temperature. Moreover, Courtney’s device (while very common) was on the low end of wattage among vaping “mods,” a number of which are capable of wattages nearly ten times the amount reported.

So while there certainly have been incidents of mechanical mod explosions due to user error (i.e. people choosing to remain uneducated about battery safety), it’s safe to assume that you’ll never burn a hole in your lung while vaping under any circumstances.

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