In September 2017, Tommy told his local television station that vaping had caused “a serious lung condition”. He told them he, “developed a condition called ‘popcorn lung’ after starting to vape for a short period of time in order to help quit cigarettes. Now, most likely as a result of the chemicals found in those e-cigarettes, he has to use an oxygen machine to function. And, his lungs are in worse condition than people who suffer from some of the most severe lung diseases.”
This was quite an incredible claim given that absolutely nobody has received a diagnosis of popcorn lung from a doctor. Fortunately, Tommy’s doctors were on the ball – in fact, he was treated “by some of the best lung doctors in the world.”
So, he has a confirmed diagnosis then?
Despite bronchiolitis obliterans (the official name for popcorn lung) being recognised in eight microwave-popcorn factory workers in 2000, not a single case has been attributed to vaping.
Tommy told the news reporter: “I can't exhale air out of my lungs at all. I have about a 20-percent lung function. For most Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients, say, they have far better lung function than me.
“I think many young people are still going to choose to do it, but I would pray that they would heed the warning that my life should be an example of what not to do. The bottom line is we just don't know what were putting into our bodies, and if you are going to take the risk, this could be the result.”
Tommy spent the intervening years giving lectures to students about his claimed dangers of vaping. He was interviewed by Fox 44 last year [link]. “As far as right now, you can still produce these liquids that are being sold and marketed in the vape pen, and there’s very little regulation,” he told them. “We’re only now starting to move, and for many that’s too late.”
Despite COVID being prevalent then, he didn’t appear to have any concerns about touring the country to speak to politicians about his undocumented and undiagnosed case.
Prior to his nationwide tour, he’d told Fox he was “in the best shape of his life” before vaping.
Last week he popped back up, this time on KVEO-TV. The truth started to dribble out. Now he admits he spent 20 years smoking prior to switching to vaping. Most people spend 20 years smoking in order to get into “the best shape” of their lives.
Then, “for ten months all I did was vape”. No breathing near anything dangerous, just vaping.
He claims he only bought juice for his basic vape pen from a local store.
“It’s hard to say with 100 percent certainty but they do feel very strongly it was something I inhaled and the only thing that I had been inhaling was the vaping liquid,” says the man who has apparently kept the device but for some reason decanted juice into a smaller bottle for prosperity and hand-labelled it.
The American Vaping Association’s Gregory Conley commented: “Nothing like timing your ‘We have no evidence this ex-smoker's lung condition was caused by vaping, but you should be concerned’ story for New Years when smokers are contemplating trying to quit. Next up, a local mom warns about vaccines causing autism!”
The NHS has highlighted: “Smokers who switch to vaping could soon 'have healthier hearts’” [link].
New Scientist noted, “Long-term smokers who start vaping see health benefits within a month” [link].
The New Nicotine Alliance charity has produced videos in conjunction with the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training about the benefit of switching from smoking to vaping [link].