(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

UVic students return from Hong Kong amidst growing tension

All eight University of Victoria exchange students have returned to Canada

ICBC, province urge residents to plan ahead for winter weather

Greater Victoria should gear up and have a plan in place

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

Tillicum Centre evacuated after false alarm in Save-On-Foods

A fire alarm was mistakenly activated by falling food

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

Nanaimo man caught with more than 200,000 child porn images to be sentenced

Crown says Aaron Macrae recorded video of children on buses and at his workplace

Vancouver Island hunters may have harvested deer in area known for chronic wasting disease

Conservation officers make urgent request to public for any information

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Most Read