The provincial health officer has just confirmed the first probable case of vaping-related illness in B.C.
According to Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Ministry of Health expects that several similar investigations will soon lead to them declaring more probable or confirmed cases of vaping-related illness in the province.
“These are the first cases of vaping-related illness in B.C., but we fully expect there will be more as this is quickly emerging as a significant public health issue,” Henry said.
“Vaping is turning back the clock on decades of effective anti-smoking efforts and creating a new generation of young people addicted to nicotine.”
On September 19th, after the US Centre for Disease Control stated that there were 530 probably or confirmed cases of the illness in the states, Dr. Henry issued a notice requiring BC physicians physicians to report incidences of patients exhibiting symptoms that meet the national case definition.
This includes patients:
- who report vaping using e-cigarette devices, related products or other means of inhaling a variety of products in the 90 days before symptom onset,
- who have pulmonary infiltrates on X-ray imaging,
- whose illnesses are not attributed to other causes.
Information about vaping-related illness cases will then be forward to the BC Centre for Disease Control. For confidentiality reasons, the age, sex, and location (health authority jurisdiction) of the patients will not be released.
As of October 11th, there have been 1,299 lung injury cases associated with the use of e-cigarette, or vaping in the United States, including 26 deaths.
Last month, Health Canada issued an advisory warning the public of the potential risk of pulmonary illness associated with the use of vaping products.
A report released by the Canadian Cancer Society in June 2019 showed that between August 2017 and August 2018, vaping among Canadians under 19-years old increased a whopping 74%, up from 8.4% to 14.6% in just one year.