First case of severe vaping-related lung illness reported in Alberta

Jan 2 2020, 11:33 am

The first case of severe vaping-associated lung illness in Alberta was confirmed by the Province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health in a statement Thursday.

According to health officials, the patient has received treatment and is recovering at home.

“We are actively monitoring the situation in Alberta and working with health officials across Canada to share information and better understand this illness,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

“I want to remind all Albertans that vaping has health risks, and the only way to completely avoid these risks is by not vaping”

Earlier this year, Health Canada released a statement advising Canadians who use vaping products to monitor themselves for symptoms of pulmonary illness, following a number of deaths in the US related to vaping.

The Public Health Agency of Canada also alerted provincial health officials, asking them to report any probable and confirmed cases as part of a national investigation.

In September, Dr. Hinshaw named the severe vaping-associated lung illness a notifiable condition under the Public Health Act, requiring Alberta physicians to report potential cases to public health officials.

Last fall, the Alberta government launched a review of Alberta’s Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act, and based on its findings, Minister of Health Tyler Shandro says the government expects to table new vaping-related legislation this spring.

The case in Alberta case marks the 15th vaping-associated lung illness reported in the country, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

In November, a poll found that three-in-four Canadians were in favour of a ban on vaping products.

“Public health officials continue to advise Albertans that vaping is not without risk and the long-term health impacts remain unknown. Anytime you breathe unknown substances into your lungs, it can have health impacts,” said a release from Alberta Health.