Canadian youth diagnosed with country's first known vaping-related illness

Sep 18 2019, 11:13 am

What’s believed to be Canada’s first vaping-related illness has been reported in London, Ontario.

According to the Middlesex-London Health Unit, a youth was diagnosed with a severe respiratory illness that has been linked to the individual’s use of vaping products.

In a press conference held this afternoon, Dr. Christopher Mackie with the health unit said the individual was a “high school-aged youth” who had “no other health issues whatsoever.”

“We were able this week … to confirm that the case is meeting the national working case definition of severe pulmonary illness associated with vaping,” said Mackie.

“They had quite a severe illness course, including ICU, life support. The individual recovered and is now at home.”

This case comes two weeks after Health Canada issued an alert about the potential risk of pulmonary illnesses associated with vaping, which are currently being investigated in the US.

According to the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) there have been 380 confirmed and probable cases of lung disease linked to e-cigarette product use or vaping reported by 36 states and the US Virgin Islands, since September 11.

There have also been six vaping-related deaths confirmed by the CDC in California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, and Oregon.

On September 16, a seventh death was confirmed by California state health officials but the CDC hasn’t updated its official count to include this incident.

The Trump administration has also announced its plans to implement a ban on flavoured e-cigarettes.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it will be finalizing a policy “that would prioritize the agency’s enforcement of the premarket authorization requirements for non-tobacco-flavoured e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol, clearing the market of unauthorized, non-tobacco-flavoured e-cigarette product,” in the coming weeks.

Health Canada says it’s in close contact with the US FDA and the US CDC to better understand their investigation into the cause of the illnesses.

“Vaping is not without risk, and the potential long-term effects of vaping remain unknown. Non-smokers, people who are pregnant and young people should not vape,” warns the agency.