U of M Doctor’s TikTok Warning on Vaping Goes Viral
A video shared to social media platform TikTok comparing healthy lungs to the lungs of someone who vapes has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
Dr. Rose Marie Leslie is a second-year medical resident at the U of M and -- with over 200k followers -- something of a medical celebrity on short-video social media platform TikTok.
"I found that it was a way for me to use visual tools and comedy in health education," she told MPR of using TikTok.
About two weeks ago, Dr. Leslie decided to show contrasting X-rays of healthy lungs versus lungs of someone who vapes.
There was an image shared to the media that was spread around of somebody who has this new disease associated with vaping and e-cigarettes. I looked at it and I thought, you know somebody with an untrained medical eye could easily appreciate the difference between this X-ray and a normal X-ray. And I thought that image was just so striking that I wanted to make sure that I shared it with everyone on TikTok.
In the 1-minute video, Dr. Leslie shows an X-ray of a healthy person, pointing out what the lungs, trachea, ribs and heart look like. She then shares an X-ray of someone who vapes.
"Again, normal lung tissue should be dark...The rest of the lungs are completely whited out on both sides. You can barely even see the border of the heart here."
The clouding of the lungs in the X-ray, Dr. Leslie says, can be due to inflammation, fluid in the lungs, infection, bleeding or a combination.
Over the span of just a couple weeks, the video has been viewed over 555k times and amassed over 6k comments.
"I've had people reach out to me and say, 'I’ve decided to quit because I've seen your videos,'" she told MPR. "Of course, anytime you give health information and explain the risks about a habit that's perceived as cool, especially to adolescents, they can become harsh critics. But the risks still do exist. And as long as the risks exist, I'm going to keep delivering this information."
Watch Dr. Leslie's video to TikTok below: