Health Canada ‘actively monitoring’ U.S. vaping illness breakthrough

More than 2,000 Americans who vape have gotten sick since March

Canadian health officials say they are closely monitoring an apparent U.S. breakthrough into the cause of a mysterious vaping illness.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they have a “very strong culprit” in a chemical compound known as vitamin E acetate.

The compound was found in fluid taken from the lungs of 29 patients across the United States, as well as liquid from electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices used by many who fell ill.

Health Canada spokesman Eric Morrissette says vitamin E acetate is not allowed in Canadian cannabis vaping products.

Still, he says Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada are “actively monitoring the vaping illness situation.”

ALSO READ: Talk to your kids about vaping, B.C.’s top doctor says

That includes maintaining close contact with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to better understand their investigation.

“Health Canada will continue to monitor all available data sources and surveillance systems and will take additional action, if warranted and as appropriate, to protect the health and safety of Canadians,” Morrissette said Friday in an emailed statement.

There have been seven confirmed or probable cases of severe lung illness related to vaping in Canada.

That includes two confirmed cases in Quebec, two probable cases in New Brunswick and three probable cases in British Columbia.

U.S. officials said Friday this is the first time they’ve found a common suspect in the damaged lungs of patients.

But they cautioned they cannot rule out all other toxic substances, and it may take animal studies to clearly show vitamin E acetate causes the lung damage that’s been seen.

More than 2,000 Americans who vape have gotten sick since March, many of them teens and young adults, and at least 40 people have died.

The first Canadian was diagnosed in Quebec in September and Health Canada has urged people who vape to watch for symptoms, such as a cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting and chest pain.

The Canadian Press

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

Langford sets sights on cultural development

Museum, conference centre and performing arts theatre proposed for McCallum Road property

Life complicated when water not secure

Water issues have real-life impacts in Sooke Region

Sooke school superintendent says student safety a paramount concern

“We always want to make sure our students and staff feel safe,”… Continue reading

Battling bullying covers a lot of ground, says Safe Schools manager for Sooke School District

Jamie Adair’s background is tailor-made for the work he does with the… Continue reading

UPDATE: Two killed in fiery collision on Highway 1 near Revelstoke

The Trans Canada Highway was closed for four hours

Father, two children killed after car goes over embankment on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

Comox Valley cat rescue organization hit by camera theft

“Someone is taking from an organization trying to help cats who are surviving in the wild.”

Trout ‘doing quite well’ at Kootenay hatchery after otters, who ate 150 fish, relocated

River otters had been pillaging a moat outside the facility for months, gobbling up about 150 trout

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

Trudeau revisits blackface embarrassment during Black History Month

Photos and a video of Trudeau wearing makeup to darken his skin surfaced during last fall’s election campaign

Most Read