Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has confirmed the province’s first case of severe vaping-associated lung illness.
This fall, the Public Health Agency of Canada alerted provincial health officials and asked them to report any probable and confirmed cases as part of the national investigation underway.
“We are actively monitoring the situation in Alberta and working with health officials across Canada to share information and better understand this illness. I want to remind all Albertans that vaping has health risks, and the only way to completely avoid these risks is by not vaping.”Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health
In September, Dr. Hinshaw named the severe vaping-associated lung illness a notifiable condition under the Public Health Act, requiring Alberta physicians to report potential cases to public health officials. All adverse events have since been investigated using the case definition being used across Canada.
The Alberta case marks the 15th vaping-associated lung illness reported in the country, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. The patient has received treatment and is recovering at home. To protect patient confidentiality, additional details will not be publicly released.
Public health officials continue to advise Albertans that vaping is not without risk and the long-term health impacts remain unknown. Anytime you breathe unknown substances into your lungs, it can have health impacts.
Last fall, the Alberta government launched a review of Alberta’s Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act exploring ways to better protect Albertans from the harms of tobacco, vaping, and tobacco-like products, including addressing the alarming rise in teen vaping. A final report is expected to be provided to the Minister of Health in the coming weeks.