Man ‘freaked out’ when he coughed up three pints of blood after vaping

Vaping: Dr Sara outlines the main side effects

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Dustin Fitzgerald, 45, smoked 60 cigarettes daily, but then he found himself hooked on flavoured vape pens. “I thought it would solve problems financially and health-wise, but I started to abuse it,” said Dustin, from Clinton, Indiana, US. “Because you can vape inside, I would vape constantly for 10 to 12 hours a day while at work.”

Continuously vaping like that for 10 months, he developed an ongoing cough.

“Once I started coughing, I just couldn’t stop – not even while I was trying to sleep,” he said.

In October 2022, Dustin visited his doctor, who diagnosed him with bronchitis.

The same night, his cough was particularly bad, causing him to wake up “every five minutes”.

“When I noticed I was coughing blood, I was freaked out, but I still didn’t make the connection it was from vaping,” Dustin added.

Rightly concerned, Dustin and his wife, Amy, 43, rushed to the emergency room.

“I was coughing up a lot, and it was blood,” Dustin said. “The doctors said I had lost three whole pints.”

He added: “They even worried I would need a blood transfusion.”

The saw filer said: “Breathing felt like someone had put 10 elephants on my chest – and that was when they told me what caused it.”

Dustin was diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia caused by moisture trapped in his lungs from excessive vaping.

He bought XL 3000-puff vape pens containing 8ml of fluid – four times the legal limit in the UK – and would finish it off within a week.

Dustin spent three nights in the hospital and returned home with a new perspective on vaping.

Beforehand, Dustin admitted he “really did like” vaping. “I liked the taste,” he said.

Since his frightening experience, however, Dustin doesn’t vape anymore.

“If you decide to vape, use it wisely, don’t abuse it like I did,” he advised.

“If you don’t smoke, it’s pointless starting to vape – so just don’t do it.

“And if you vape and you ever start having problems or you start coughing, stop.

“Put it down immediately and walk away from it, because it’s not worth the risk.

“I can’t go back in time but if I can stop others from going through what I did, that’s all I care about.”

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