OTTAWA, ONTARIO - Canada reported its first hospitalization for severe respiratory illness linked to vaping Wednesday, following an outbreak in the U.S. that has killed seven people and sickened hundreds.
The Middlesex-London Health Unit said in a statement that "a youth has been diagnosed with severe respiratory illness that has been linked to the individual's use of vaping products."
Medic Christopher Mackie told a news conference that the London, Ontario, high school student, who vaped daily, was admitted to a local hospital intensive care unit but has since recovered.
"As far as we're aware, this is the first case of vaping-related illness that's been reported in Canada," he said.
E-cigarettes have been available in the U.S. and Canada since 2006 and are sometimes used to aid in quitting smoking traditional tobacco products such as cigarettes.
Despite a ban in Canada on selling vaping products to youths, adolescents’ use of them has skyrocketed in recent years.
More restrictions weighed
Health Minister Ginette Petitpas-Taylor said the Canadian government was looking at further banning of vaping advertising and certain flavors that may be appealing to young people.
"At the end of the day, my number one priority is protecting our youth," she said. "We want to make sure that the regulations in place will be protecting our youth and making sure these products are not appealing to youth in any way."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said recently that there were more than 450 possible cases of pulmonary illness associated with vaping in the U.S.
The CDC and Health Canada have cautioned against vaping as officials investigate the precise cause of the deaths. No single substance has been found to be present in all the laboratory samples being examined.