First known respiratory illness linked to vaping in Canada reported in London, Ont. youth

A London, Ont.-area youth has been diagnosed with severe respiratory illness linked to vaping products, the Middlesex-London Health Unit said Wednesday.

Until now, Health Canada had reported no such illnesses in the country.

Just two weeks ago Health Canada issued an alert about the potential risks of vaping, warning users to watch for symptoms such as a cough, shortness of breath and chest pain.

Also on Wednesday, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott ordered all public hospitals to report vaping-related cases of severe pulmonary disease to the Chief Medical Officer of Health, citing a lack of data.

Elliott has reportedly become increasingly concerned about the possible health consequences of vaping, especially among young people.

She says the data will be critical as the government seeks solutions to the potential dangers of vaping.

A press conference is being held at the health unit’s headquarters at 2 p.m. with further details.

Wednesday’s press conference comes as health officials in the U.S. investigate hundreds of cases of serious breathing problems in those who use vaping products, with at least six deaths reported.

– With files from The Canadian Press