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High School Student Has Illness Tied to Vaping, Canada's First

Health official had warned it was a matter of time
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 18, 2019 4:20 PM CDT
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Flavored vaping solutions are shown in a window display this week at a vape and smoke shop in New York.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews File)

(Newser) – A high school student in Canada has been diagnosed with a severe respiratory illness related to vaping, officials said Wednesday, in what's believed to be the first case in the country. Dr. Christopher Mackie of the Middlesex-London Health Unit in London, Ontario, said the youth was on life support at one point but has since recovered and is at home, the AP reports. "The only issue that was identified was that the individual vaped e-cigarettes," Mackie said. "As far as we are aware this is first case of vaping-related illness that's been reported in Canada." Mackie said the student had been using electronic cigarettes daily. He said officials know the brand and whether cannabis was used, but he declined to release those details. He added that no particular brand has been implicated in cases elsewhere.

US health officials are investigating a surge of severe breathing illnesses linked to vaping. They have identified 380 confirmed and probable cases, including at least six deaths. Health Canada recently urged people who vape to watch for a cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain. British Columbia's top health official, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said last week it was a matter of time before cases are reported in Canada. "It's important that people understand that vaping does create health risks here in Canada as well," Mackie said. Sales of vaping products to those under 18 is not permitted in Canada, but the health agency wants to take steps to keep ads for the products out of the sight of young people, per the CBC.

(Read more vaping stories.)

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