The Ministry of Health announced this week that BC has its first probable case of vaping-related illness. Patient information, such as age, sex and location, will remain confidential. The exact cause of the illness still under investigation.



“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,” Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, said. “Vaping is turning back the clock on decades of effective anti-smoking efforts and creating a new generation of young people addicted to nicotine.”

Vaping facts

  • Vaping products may contain dozens of chemicals.

  • Most vaping substances available for sale are flavoured and contain nicotine.

  • Vaping nicotine can alter brain development for people under 25 years of age.

  • The long-term consequences of vaping are not known.

  • There is no burning during vaping, instead, the liquid is heated. This process can cause reactions and create new chemicals, such as formaldehyde. Some contaminants, such as metals, might also get into the vaping products and then into the aerosol.


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Reducing risk

People should not use vaping products obtained illegally, including any vaping products that contain cannabis, as they are not regulated.

Youth, persons who are pregnant, and those who do not currently vape should not vape.

If someone vapes, or has vaped in the past, & has developed symptoms of the following, they should visit a health care provider:

  • a cough or shortness of breath​

  • chest pain

  • or are generally feeling unwell.

Please share this information with your clients/patients.

More information

For the latest news about the vaping illness visit the Government of Canada website. The physician update sent to community gp’s is on the St. Martin Hospital website.


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