(Pexels)

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

District looking for public input on cycling plan

Survey is open to the public until May 25

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Flooding highly unlikely this year throughout Skeena watershed

Region’s snowpack among lowest in the province

Cameras and convoys: Graduation in the age of COVID-19

Schools in Terrace and Kitimat are thinking outside the box to give students a graduation ceremony

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Still a lot of work to do to fully connect regional district

Draft strategy shows dependence on on single fibre optic cable route, poor cellular service on roads

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Most Read