(File photo)

First case of ‘probable’ vaping-related illness in B.C. ‘not surprising’: UBC prof

Health officials warn this could be the first of many

The province has found a “probable” case of vaping-related illness in B.C., health officials said Wednesday.

The news comes after a Sept. 19 notice that required doctors to report cases that meet the “national case definition” of vaping disease.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said although this is the first case of probably vaping disease in the province, they “fully expect there will be more as this is quickly emerging as a significant public health issue.”

The province said there are other investigations into suspected vaping disease underway.

“Vaping is turning back the clock on decades of effective anti-smoking efforts and creating a new generation of young people addicted to nicotine,” Henry said.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said current regulations were “insufficient,” and that a plan would be issued in the coming weeks.

B.C.’s first case of vaping-related illness comes as more than 1,000 people in the U.S., and some in Canada, have development lung issues seemingly linked to vaping.

READ MORE: New vaping regulations on the way, B.C.’s health minister says

In September, Ontario health official identified multiple cases of vaping-related illness in the province and Health Canada issued a warning to people using vaping products to watch for symptoms of pulmonary illness.

A University of B.C. professor said it’s “not surprising” that vaping-related illness is on the rise.

“It’s been growing very rapidly among school kids but it’s also also growing very rapidly among the 19-25 age group,” said Okanagan campus psychology professor Marvin Krank.

“It’s been an absolutely unregulated and absolutely misleading advertising campaign,” Krank noted.

He said marketing of vaping products has focused on them being a safe way to get nicotine and “pretending they were going to get people to quit and then marketing to youth.”

Krank said data shows vaping is the preferred way for teens to get their nicotine.

“They really believe this is safe and they believe they can do in anywhere,” he said.

Krank is concerned that the longterm effects of vaping have yet to be studied. He points to cigarettes, where it took decades for them to be seen as harmful.

“Just because we haven’t monitored vaping for 10 years doesn’t mean it’s going to be safe in 10 years,” Krank said.

He also points to how vaping is often done inside, or near others, where cigarette smokers are pushed away from people over worries of second-hand smoke.

“There is second-hand smoke involved… but it hasn’t been studied,” Krank said.

In B.C., two men are seeking to open a class-action lawsuit against e-cigarette giant Juul and Krank said it’s likely the first of many against e-cigarette manufacturers.

“I think it certainly will happen because the template is already there,” he said, citing lawsuits against major tobacco manufacturers.

The province has not provided information as to what e-cigarette, or vape, the B.C. patient with vaping-related illness was using.

READ MORE: Vaping-related illness confirmed in Ontario believed to be first in Canada

READ MORE: B.C. men seek to open class action against e-cigarette giant Juul


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

All Carlton Cards stores closing in the coming weeks

Schurman Retail Group stores across North America will close, including 79 in Canada

WL Fire Department responds to smoldering at Mackenzie Ave. business late Wednesday afternoon

As of 4:30 p.m. RCMP were on site directing traffic toward Second Avenue

LETTER: Heartfelt thanks for everyone who helped when my wife suffered a heart attack in Walmart

After spending 63 days in the hospital Fern could finally go home for a weekend

Williams Lake eyes bylaw to enforce safe rental standards

A maintance bylaw would focus on making buildings safe, said City’s building inspector

Your chance to send mail by dog team coming up this week

The 28th Annual Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run from Quesnel to Barkerville takes place Jan. 23-26

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

Manitoba RCMP spent less than $800K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

B.C.’s first ride-hailing app to launch in Tofino, Whistler in February

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

Most Read