B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has confirmed the first probable case of vaping-related illness in the province and says there may be more.
Several other investigations are underway into possible cases, according to a news release.
“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,” Henry said in the statement.
“Vaping is turning back the clock on decades of effective anti-smoking efforts and creating a new generation of young people addicted to nicotine.”
As of Sept. 19, all physicians in the province are required to report observations of patients who may be affected. That includes people who report using e-cigarettes and other vaping devices whose illnesses have not been attributed to another cause and whose X-rays show pulmonary infiltrates — substances like pus or blood lingering in the lung tissue.
Some of the symptoms include cough, shortness of breath and chest pain.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control says it is investigating all possible cases of vaping-related illness.
Last month, after a series of severe pulmonary illnesses and a number of deaths were reported in the U.S. in connection with vaping products, Health Canada issued a public warning and asked provincial health officials to report possible cases.
The first confirmed instance was reported in Quebec at the end of September, and New Brunswick has seen two probable cases.