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Vaping-related illness confirmed in B.C.

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October 16, 2019 - 3:07 PM

The province is confirming the first probable case of vaping-related illness and other investigations currently underway indicate more confirmations in the near future.

"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," Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, said in a media release. "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 Sept. 19, Henry issued a notice under the Reporting Information Affecting Public Health Regulation that requires 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.

All reports about vaping-related illness from people, health care providers, health authorities and Health Canada will be forwarded to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) on behalf of the provincial health officer and will be investigated by public health officials. Only instances that are probable or confirmed will be reported to the public and media. Age, sex and location (including community, town or health authority jurisdiction) will remain confidential in every instance as these cases are being reported at a provincial level.

Two B.C. men are seeking to open a class action against vaping giant Juul, one of whom is from Armstrong.

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