Health Canada is advising Canadians who vape to seek medical care if signs of pulmonary illness develop.
This caution comes in the wake of recent cases of acute pulmonary illnesses and three deaths reportedly linked to the use of vaping products in the United States. A fourth death is under investigation for potential links to vaping.
While many patients reported vaping THC and/or nicotine-containing products, no specific product, substance or device has been linked to all cases.
To date, the Government of Canada has not seen any evidence of pulmonary illnesses among Canadians who vape.
The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to engage with provincial and territorial public health officials and has asked them to report any local incidents of pulmonary illness associated with vaping.
What is vaping?
Vaping is the inhaling of a vapor created by a battery-powered vaping device. Vaping devices, like e-cigarettes have cartridges filled with a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and chemicals.
Many Canadian cannabis users consume their weed through a vaping device. Health Canada warns that illegal cannabis and black-market vaping products are not quality-controlled and may be contaminated.
What you should do
- If you are concerned about the health risks related to vaping, consider not using vaping products.
- If you use vaping products, or have used vaping products in the past, monitor yourself for symptoms of pulmonary illness (cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health. Be sure to indicate to your health care professional that you currently vape, or have in the past, and what you were vaping.
- If you use vaping products, avoid any products from illegal or unregulated sources. Products obtained from the illegal market are not subject to any controls or oversight with respect to safety or quality.
- Do not modify vaping products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
- Report any adverse reactions or complaints related to vaping products to Health Canada.
- Stay connected with Health Canada and receive the latest advisories and product recalls.
Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada are in close contact with the United States Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Canadians will be kept up to date as more details become available.