Vaping was introduced as potentially being a "healthier" alternative to smoking, but more health risks are being associated with it. The dangers of vaping have been receiving more attention lately, especially after numerous deaths related to vaping were reported in the United States. Now, Canada's first case of vaping illness has been reported in an Ontario teen.
On Sept. 18, the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) released a statement regarding the patient and announced that it will hold a press conference to address the issue "as part of its involvement in the case of a youth who has been diagnosed with severe respiratory illness that has been linked to the individual’s use of vaping products."
The MLHU also said that it would not disclose any specific information about the patient's age, gender, or hometown due to confidentiality, according to CBC News. This incident comes in the wake of Health Canada releasing its own statement on the potential hazards of vaping.
The statement also indicated that the agency would be working with health providers to identify other cases of pulmonary illness caused by vaping. Christine Elliott, Ontario's Minister of Health, has asked hospitals in the province to do the same.
"It has become abundantly clear that we do not have access to sufficient data and information to understand the potential scope of this issue," Elliott said in a statement. "I am issuing a Minister's Order under section 77.7.1 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, which will require public hospitals in Ontario to provide the Chief Medical Officer of Health with statistical, non-identifying information related to incidences of vaping-related severe pulmonary disease."
People who vape have been urged by Health Canada to monitor themselves for any symptoms of pulmonary illness, including coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pain. It also cautioned against modifying any vaping products or using products from illegal or unregulated sources.
Disclaimer: Cover photo used for illustrative purposes only.