Raphaël Pauwaert received an electronic cigarette as an 18th birthday gift, which doctors believe to be the cause of his contracting pneumonia. Pauwaert initially struggled with a cough, which then worsened to a shortness of breath, before being admitted to hospital with severe respiratory problems. His oxygen levels dropped so low that doctors were forced to place him into a medical coma, but after 26 days, the decision was made to turn off his ventilator.
Pauwaerts father, Thierry Pauwaert, told the Het Nieuwsblad newspaper “To find the cause of the pneumonia that cost Raphaël the life, the doctors examined all possible causes. The only hypothesis that remains is the e-cigarette or its filling.”
According to the report, Pauwaert had used a legal e—cigarette filling containing CBD, the non-psychoactive part of cannabis. Dr Luc-Marie Jacquet, from the Saint-Luc University Hospital in Brussels also stated, “We suspect that inhalation from the e-cigarette is responsible for the pulmonary affliction and the subsequent death of Raphaël.”
Currently, there are estimated to be around two million smokers and 300,000 e-cigarette users across Belgium.