E-cigarettes and vaping, was supposed to be a safer alternative to tobacco smoking, and even help wean people off tobacco.
In fact, cigarette smoking among youth appears to be on the rise, and vaping has increased dramatically according to public health researcher, David Hammond at the University of Waterloo who says youth vaping has increased as much as 74 per cent between 2017 and 2018.
Now in the U.S., there are recent reports of five deaths and hundreds of cases of lung illness connected to vaping. Investigators so far have found in some cases this involves vaping THC, the active chemical in cannabis.
Health officials in the U.S. are also investigating a possible connection to vitamin E acetate in one product which initial investigation indicates it may be connected to several vaping illness cases.
So far there have been no incidents in Canada, but the government agency Health Canada has issued a warning to people who vape in this country to monitor themselves for symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, and chest pain.
The government and health officials are looking to tighten restrictions on vaping sales and marketing especially adverts which appear to target youth. There is a patchwork of regulations across Canada now concerning sales and marketing of e-cigarette products. Hammond says this contributes to confusion over the health effects.
Several American cities have restricted or banned e-cigarettes, but Hammond says a ban in Canada would likely only push people into a black market.
- Canadian Press: (via PostMedia): A. Jones: Sep 8/19: Health Canada warning after vaping illnesses, deaths in U.S.
- CBC: D McCue: Sep 8/19: E-cigarette ban would create black market- expert
- CTV: E. Stober: Sep 8/19: Health Canada warns vaping carries risks
- CTV: Jones/Favaro: Sep 5/19: Canadian vapers asked to be on alert for symptoms
- CBC: A. Zafar: Sep 6/19: More vaping-linked deaths in U.S.
- CBC: Aug 37/19: More vaping restrictions needed