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Health Canada is warning Canadians who vape to monitorthemselves for signs of pulmonary illnesses and seek attention immediately ifthey experience these symptoms.

The federal health agency issued the warning after recentcases of acute pulmonary illnesses and two recent deaths currently beinginvestigated for links to vaping in the US.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA)and the US Centers for Disease Control (US CDC), there were 215 cases ofpulmonary illness reported in 25 states that are currently under investigation, as ofAugust 27.

One patient in Illinois who had a historyof recent e-cigarette use was hospitalized with severe pulmonary disease andsubsequently died. On September 3, the Oregon Health Authority announced itwas investigating the death of an individual who experienced severe respiratoryissues after using an e-cigarette. In at least one of the deaths, investigatorssay the vape pen was modified and contained cannabis from a dispensary.

“Whilesome cases in each of the states are similar and appeared to be linked toe-cigarette product use, more information is needed to determine what iscausing the respiratory illnesses,” said the agencies, in a statement.

TheOHA said the cluster of illnesses was mostly affecting teenagers and youngadults.

Patients have beenexperiencing similar respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, chestpain) and some have also experienced gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea,vomiting, or diarrhea).

Currently,the CDC and FDA are investigating the brands and types of e-cigarette productsand whether and if any of them should be regulated by the FDA.

HealthCanada says to date, it has not seen any “evidence of similar pulmonaryillnesses occurring in Canada.”

“HealthCanada and the Public Health Agency of Canada are in close contact with the USFDA and the US CDC to better understand their investigation into the cause ofthe illnesses.”

TheGovernment of Canada is also monitoring data sources for any indications ofsimilar issues that are currently being experienced in the US.

“Vapingis not without risk, and the potential long-term effects of vaping remainunknown. Non-smokers, people who are pregnant and young people should notvape,” says the agency.

September 6, 2019

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