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“Breathing is precious”: the daughter of a woman who died of vaping speaks

This essay was originally published on Pepperdine University Graphic.

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At first, the doctors said it was pneumonia.

On the way back from the hospital two days before her death, my mother groaned between coughs, “I’m never smoking again; I’m throwing out all of my e-cigarettes and weed pens.”

This was a groundbreaking statement from my mother, who,like many, had embraced vaping as an alternative to smoking with swift, open arms. Despite recent protests from loved ones, she was adamant for years that it was far healthier than her cigarette habit. Having always believed marijuana was not a dangerous drug to consume, Mom began to vape THC products in late 2018 — not long afterCalifornia legalized the drug for recreational use.

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