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Thailand: Hospital confirms first case of vape-linked lung infection

11 November 2022

By Apinya Wipatayotin, Bangkok Post

Thailand has found its first confirmed case of vaping-associated lung injury (Evali), according to Winai Wananukul, Chief of the Internal Medicine Division at Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University. 

He identified the patient as a male office worker on Wednesday.

“We have found many possible Evali cases but the patient is the only confirmed case [so far],” Dr Winai said. “E-cigarettes are easily found online despite being illegal. What we are concerned about the most is access by teenagers.”

Tananchai Petnak of Ramathibodi Hospital, who is handling the local Evali case, said the patient, aged 20–30 years old, was admitted to the hospital last month after he began vomiting and having difficulty breathing.

Dr Tananchai said the man vaped every day for six months. The doctor said the man quit smoking cigarettes for five years but tried e-cigarettes after he was encouraged by his colleagues.

Naparat Amornputtisathaporn, chief of the Respiratory Disease and Critical Respiratory Treatment Unit, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, said infections can happen as the lungs have to work overtime to expel oils contained in the e-cigarette liquids.

E-cigarette makers claim that unapproved additives are to blame for the infections. However, many studies show that people who consume unmixed e-liquids can also develop Evali.