Illinois teen's lungs are like 'a 70-year-old's' from vaping-related illness

"It was scary to think about that, that little device did that to my lungs." 

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September 12, 2019 - 12:03 pm

(KMOX/AP) - There are hundreds of breathing illnesses being investigated, at least six deaths reported and now a teenager has received some strange news from doctors that are all being connected to the rising vaping trend in the U.S. 

An 18-year-old in Illinois says he's used e-cigarettes for more than 18 months and was told by his doctors that he has lungs similar to those of a 70-year-old, according to multiple reports.

Related: First death from vaping in Illinois has local physicians concerned

Adam Hergenreder, who lives in Gurnee about an hour north of Chicago, told CNN he received the news last month and said he is worried his lungs may never get back to 100%. 

"I was a varsity wrestler before this and I might not ever be able to wrestle because that's a very physical sport and my lungs might not be able to hold that exertion," Hergenreder told CNN. "It was scary to think about that, that little device did that to my lungs." 

The American Medical Association is urging Americans to stop vaping or using e-cigarettes of any sort until they get a better handle on the cause of the more than 450 lung illnesses related to the product. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also urged people to consider not vaping as it investigates these illnesses and deaths linked to e-cigarettes.

Related: 'Avoiding e-cigarettes is a must': Local physician advises against vaping after multiple deaths in US

The federal government will act to ban thousands of flavors used in e-cigarettes, President Donald Trump said Wednesday, responding to a recent surge in underage vaping that has alarmed parents, politicians and health authorities nationwide.

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