(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.

Just Posted

Snowfall warning for Kootenay and Paulson passes

Up to 30 cm expected in mountain passes Saturday and Sunday.

Community Futures launches cannabis consultation program

The Cannabis Business Transition Initiative helps businesses move into the legal economy

Moose tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in northwest Montana

This is the first time the disease has been detected in the species in Montana

Kootenay Patricks assemble to take on Montreal Canadiens alumni

The charity game takes place Jan. 23 in Nelson

Castlegar woman to appear on Dragons’ Den

Happy Gut sells water kefir beverages and kits to make water kefir at home.

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pressed to clarify his stance abortion over several weeks

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Dallas Smith, Terri Clark to perform on CP Holiday Train’s B.C. stops

Annual festive food bank fundraiser rolling across province from Dec. 11 to 17

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Most Read