After vaping-related illness, teen has lungs like ’70-year-old’s’

Adam Hergenreder’s vaping habit almost killed him.

Late last month, the 18-year-old student athlete in Gurnee, Illinois, was hospitalized after using e-cigarettes for more than a year and a half. Now his lungs are similar to those of a 70-year-old adult, doctors told him.

“It was scary to think about that — that little device did that to my lungs,” Adam said, remembering the news from his doctors about his lung health.

Adam is among the hundreds of e-cigarette users in the United States who have been sickened with mysterious vaping-related lung illnesses, many of them young people. Investigators haven’t yet identified the cause of the illnesses.

Amid calls for more regulation, the Trump administration now plans to remove flavored e-cigarettes — except tobacco flavor — from the marketplace.

“Why is that important? We are seeing an absolute surge in high school and middle school kids using these flavored products,” US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a video statement on Wednesday. “Mint, menthol, fruit flavor, alcohol flavor, bubble gum.”

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