We are concerned about the recent reports of lung illnesses linked to vaping, as reported by the CDC in the US. As of Wednesday, August 21, we understand there have been more than 150 cases reported. We cannot comment on the specific cases nor can we speculate on the exact diseases. What we can say is that we have been and remain concerned about e-cigarettes and vaping. Anything – other than clean air – that is inhaled can be damaging to the lungs. E-cigarettes and other vaping devices are no exception and they should not and cannot be seen as harmless.
While long-term lung health effects are still unknown, we know that immediate effects include cough, wheezing and worsening of asthma symptoms.
We have been and continue to advocate for more research into the lung health effects of vaping. We need a robust mix of education and policy measures to ensure that Canadians who choose to vape are well-informed about the potential health effects. We also need to protect Canadian youth from vaping altogether.
The re-normalization of smoking behaviour among youth through the introduction of e-cigarettes is an example of inadequate measures that have allowed the vaping industry to succeed in the Canadian market. Inadequate advertising restrictions, inviting flavours and attractive marketing techniques have effectively placed e-cigarettes right into the hands of young Canadians. This relatively easy access has contributed to the potential to damage their lungs.
Urgent action is needed to curb youth vaping. This includes a ban on advertisement and promotion and we need to act now.
We remain advocates for the lung health of all Canadians. We will continue to monitor the situation.
President and CEO, The Canadian Lung Association
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