Information Update - Health Canada warns of potential risk of pulmonary illness associated with vaping products

Starting date:
September 4, 2019
Type of communication:
Information Update
Subcategory:
Cannabis
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Issue:
Important Safety Information, Usage
Audience:
General Public
Identification number:
RA-70919

Last updated:

OTTAWA – Health Canada is advising Canadians who use vaping products to monitor themselves for symptoms of pulmonary illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and to seek medical attention promptly if they have concerns about their health.

In the wake of the recent cases of severe pulmonary illness and a number of deaths associated with the use of vaping products in the United States, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada provided national guidance to the provinces and territories on identifying cases in Canada.

The Public Health Agency of Canada alerted provincial and territorial public health officials and asked them to report probable and confirmed cases of severe pulmonary illness in their jurisdictions based on the Canadian working case definition.

Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada now have webpage to keep Canadians informed about Canadian cases of severe pulmonary illness related to vaping. The latest numbers of confirmed or probable cases of severe vaping-related pulmonary illness in Canada will be posted and updated weekly or as required.

On August 30, the United States Food and Drug Administration and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) released a statement on their ongoing investigation into the cause of the illnesses. The US CDC continues to provide regular updates on the investigations related to these illnesses. The source of all illnesses in the U.S. remains unclear; however, the US CDC reports that chemical exposure is the likely cause. Many patients have reported vaping tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and/or nicotine-containing products. However, at this time, no consistent product, substance or additive has been identified in all cases.

The Government of Canada continues to monitor all available data sources and surveillance systems for signals to identify incidents of severe pulmonary illness in Canada that could be related to vaping and refer these to the appropriate province or territory for investigation. The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health have convened a federal, provincial and territorial task group in order to develop a uniform approach to identifying and reporting cases. The Task Group is working collaboratively to develop technical documents (for example, it created the Canadian case definition); data collection tools; and information-sharing processes. In addition, Health Canada has obtained samples of vaping products for testing purposes.

It is important for Canadians to know that vaping does have health risks and that the potential short and long-term effects of vaping remain unknown. Non-smokers, people who are pregnant and young people should not vape.

The Government of Canada also remains deeply concerned by the increase in vaping reported among Canadian youth. Health Canada has taken a number of steps to address the rise of vaping in Canada and, in particular, the risk that it poses to youth, such as consulting on additional regulatory measures targeting promotion to youth, packaging and flavours, as well as compliance and enforcement and public awareness and youth education.

Canadians are reminded that the purchase of vaping products outside the legal market are not subject to any controls or oversight and may pose additional risks to health and safety.

Health care professionals are reminded to always ask patients, as part of their general history, whether they use drugs from any source, whether legal or illegal. When patients present with respiratory symptoms, especially if the cause is unclear, health care professionals should ask about the use of vaping products, including electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products, such as devices, liquids, refill pods and/or cartridges.

What is vaping?

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling an aerosol produced by a vaping product, such as an e-cigarette. Vaping doesn’t require burning the way cigarette smoking does. The device heats a liquid into a vapour, which then turns into an aerosol. This vapour can contain substances such as nicotine and flavourings.

Vaping devices are usually battery-powered. They may come with removable parts. Vaping products have many names, including:

  • mods
  • vapes
  • sub-ohms
  • vape pens
  • e-hookahs
  • tank systems
  • electronic cigarettes / e-cigarettes
  • electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)

They may also be known by various brand names. More information about vaping is available on Health Canada’s website.

Cannabis vaping

Cannabis can be consumed in different ways, including by vaporizing and vaping (breathing in dried cannabis or liquid cannabis vapors through a vaporizer or vaping device). Illegal cannabis, including cannabis vaping devices that are sold on the illegal market, are not quality-controlled and may be contaminated. Cannabis use has risks, some of which remain unknown, and can have short- and long-term harms to your health, including dependence.

What you should do

  • If you are concerned about the health risks related to vaping, consider not using vaping products.
  • If you use vaping products, avoid any products from illegal or unregulated sources. Products obtained from the illegal market are not subject to any controls or oversight and may pose additional risks to your health and safety.
  • If you use vaping products, or have used vaping products in the past, monitor yourself for symptoms of pulmonary illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health. Be sure to indicate to your health care professional that you currently vape, or have in the past, and what you were vaping.
  • Do not modify vaping products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
  • For those who have developed a dependence on nicotine, quitting can be difficult. Effective therapies are available to Canadians who smoke, including medication or approved nicotine replacement therapies such as gums, patches and lozenges.
  • Health Canada has information on how to quit smoking and encourages those trying to quit to call 1-866-366-3667 toll-free to speak with a quit coach.
  • Report any adverse reactions or incidents related to vaping products to Health Canada.
  • Stay connected with Health Canada and receive the latest advisories and product recalls.

History

» October 11, 2019: Information Update - Health Canada warns of potential risk of pulmonary illness associated with vaping products

OTTAWA – Health Canada is advising Canadians who use vaping products to monitor themselves for symptoms of pulmonary illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and to seek medical attention promptly if they have concerns about their health.

In the wake of the recent cases of severe pulmonary illness and a number of deaths being associated with the use of vaping products in the United States, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada provided national guidance to the provinces and territories on identifying cases in Canada.

The Public Health Agency of Canada alerted provincial and territorial public health officials and asked them to report probable and confirmed cases of severe pulmonary illness in their jurisdictions based on the Canadian working case definition.

Following the first confirmed case in Quebec (In French only) in September, the Province of New Brunswick has now notified the Public Health Agency of Canada of two probable cases of severe pulmonary illness related to the use of vaping products. Canada now has one confirmed and two probable cases of severe vaping-related pulmonary illness. The incident report out of the Middlesex-London Health Unit in Ontario remains classified as an “incident under investigation” until the investigation is complete and officially reported to the national level by the Province of Ontario.

Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada today launched a new webpage to keep Canadians informed about Canadian cases of severe pulmonary illness related to vaping. The latest numbers of confirmed or probable cases of severe vaping-related pulmonary illness in Canada will be posted and updated weekly or as required.

On August 30, the United States Food and Drug Administration and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) released a statement on their ongoing investigation into the cause of the illnesses. The US CDC continues to provide regular updates on the investigations related to these illnesses. The source of all illnesses in the U.S. remains unclear; however, the US CDC reports that chemical exposure is the likely cause. Many patients have reported vaping tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and/or nicotine-containing products. However, at this time, no consistent product, substance or additive has been identified in all cases.

The Government of Canada continues to monitor all available data sources and surveillance systems for signals to identify incidents of severe pulmonary illness in Canada that could be related to vaping and refer these to the appropriate province or territory for investigation. The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health have convened a federal, provincial and territorial task group in order to develop a uniform approach to identifying and reporting cases. The Task Group is working collaboratively to develop technical documents (for example, it created the Canadian case definition); data collection tools; and information-sharing processes. In addition, Health Canada has obtained samples of vaping products for testing purposes.

It is important for Canadians to know that vaping does have health risks and that the potential short and long-term effects of vaping remain unknown. Non-smokers, people who are pregnant and young people should not vape.

The Government of Canada also remains deeply concerned by the increase in vaping reported among Canadian youth. Health Canada has taken a number of steps to address the rise of vaping in Canada and, in particular, the risk that it poses to youth, such as consulting on additional regulatory measures targeting promotion to youth, packaging and flavours, as well as compliance and enforcement and public awareness and youth education.

Canadians are reminded that the purchase of vaping products outside the legal market are not subject to any controls or oversight and may pose additional risks to health and safety.

Health care professionals are reminded to always ask patients, as part of their general history, whether they use drugs from any source, whether legal or illegal. When patients present with respiratory symptoms, especially if the cause is unclear, health care professionals should ask about the use of vaping products, including electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products, such as devices, liquids, refill pods and/or cartridges.

What is vaping?

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling an aerosol produced by a vaping product, such as an e-cigarette. Vaping doesn’t require burning the way cigarette smoking does. The device heats a liquid into a vapour, which then turns into an aerosol. This vapour can contain substances such as nicotine and flavourings.

Vaping devices are usually battery-powered. They may come with removable parts. Vaping products have many names, including:

  • mods
  • vapes
  • sub-ohms
  • vape pens
  • e-hookahs
  • tank systems
  • electronic cigarettes / e-cigarettes
  • electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)

They may also be known by various brand names. More information about vaping is available on Health Canada’s website.

Cannabis vaping

Cannabis can be consumed in different ways, including by vaporizing and vaping (breathing in dried cannabis or liquid cannabis vapors through a vaporizer or vaping device). Illegal cannabis, including cannabis vaping devices that are sold on the illegal market, are not quality-controlled and may be contaminated. Cannabis use has risks, some of which remain unknown, and can have short- and long-term harms to your health, including dependence.

What you should do

  • If you are concerned about the health risks related to vaping, consider not using vaping products.
  • If you use vaping products, avoid any products from illegal or unregulated sources. Products obtained from the illegal market are not subject to any controls or oversight and may pose additional risks to your health and safety.
  • If you use vaping products, or have used vaping products in the past, monitor yourself for symptoms of pulmonary illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health. Be sure to indicate to your health care professional that you currently vape, or have in the past, and what you were vaping.
  • Do not modify vaping products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
  • For those who have developed a dependence on nicotine, quitting can be difficult. Effective therapies are available to Canadians who smoke, including medication or approved nicotine replacement therapies such as gums, patches and lozenges.
  • Health Canada has information on how to quit smoking and encourages those trying to quit to call 1-866-366-3667 toll-free to speak with a quit coach.
  • Report any adverse reactions or incidents related to vaping products to Health Canada.
  • Stay connected with Health Canada and receive the latest advisories and product recalls.
» September 28, 2019: Information Update - Health Canada warns of potential risk of pulmonary illness associated with vaping products

OTTAWA – Health Canada is advising Canadians who use vaping products to monitor themselves for symptoms of pulmonary illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and to seek medical attention promptly if they have concerns about their health.

In the wake of the recent cases of severe pulmonary illnesses and a number of deaths reportedly linked to the use of vaping products in the United States, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada provided national guidance to the provinces and territories on identifying cases of severe pulmonary illness related to vaping or e-cigarette use in Canada.

The Public Health Agency of Canada alerted provincial and territorial public health officials and asked them to report probable and confirmed cases in their jurisdictions.

The Province of Quebec has notified the Public Health Agency of Canada of a confirmed case of severe pulmonary illness related to vaping products. This is the first confirmed case in Canada. This follows the report out of the Middlesex-London Health Unit in Ontario of another possible case. At this time, the Middlesex-London incident is not considered confirmed as it is still under investigation and has not been officially reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada by the Province of Ontario.

Provincial and territorial health authorities are responsible for investigating possible cases. Confirmed or probable cases will be determined based on the national case definition, which was adapted for the Canadian context from the criteria set out by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC).

On August 30, the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) and the US CDC released a statement on their ongoing investigation into the cause of the illnesses. The US CDC continues to provide regular updates on the investigations related to these illnesses. The source of all illnesses in the U.S. remains unclear; however, the US CDC reports that chemical exposure is the likely cause. Many patients have reported vaping tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and/or nicotine-containing products. However, at this time, no consistent product, substance or additive has been identified in all cases.

The Government of Canada continues to monitor all available data sources and surveillance systems for signals in Canada and will take action, as appropriate. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health have convened a federal, provincial and territorial task group on severe pulmonary illness related to vaping to develop a uniform approach to identifying and reporting cases. The Task Group is working collaboratively to develop technical documents such as a Canadian case definition; data collection tools; and information sharing processes. In addition, Health Canada has obtained samples of vaping products for testing purposes.

It is important for Canadians to know that vaping does have risks and the potential long-term effects of vaping remain unknown. Non-smokers, people who are pregnant and young people should not vape.

While no clear link has been made between any specific type or brand of vaping product and the cases of severe pulmonary illness, the Government of Canada remains deeply concerned by the increase in vaping reported among Canadian youth. Health Canada has taken a number of steps in recent months to address the rise of vaping in Canada and, in particular, the risk that it poses to youth, such as consulting on additional regulatory measures targeting promotion to youth, packaging and flavours, as well as compliance and enforcement and public awareness and youth education.

Canadians are reminded that the purchase of vaping products outside the legal market may create additional risk as these products are unregulated and potentially unsafe, and thereby pose a risk to health and safety.

Health care professionals are reminded to always ask patients, as part of their general history, whether they use drugs from any source, whether legal or illegal. When patients present with respiratory symptoms, especially if the cause is unclear, health care professionals should ask about the use of vaping products, including electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products,—such as devices, liquids, refill pods and/or cartridges.

What is vaping?

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling an aerosol produced by a vaping product, such as an ecigarette. Vaping doesn’t require burning the way cigarette smoking does. The device heats a liquid into a vapour, which then turns into an aerosol. This vapour can contain substances such as nicotine and flavourings.

Vaping devices are usually battery-powered. They may come with removable parts. Vaping products have many names, including:

  • mods
  • vapes
  • sub-ohms
  • vape pens
  • e-hookahs
  • tank systems
  • electronic cigarettes / e-cigarettes
  • electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)

They may also be known by various brand names. More information about vaping is available on Health Canada’s website.

Cannabis vaping

Cannabis can be consumed in different ways, including by vaporizing and vaping (breathing in dried cannabis or liquid cannabis vapors through a vaporizer or vaping device). Illegal cannabis, including cannabis vaping products that are sold on the illegal market, are not quality-controlled and may be contaminated.

What you should do

  • If you are concerned about the health risks related to vaping, consider not using vaping products.
  • If you use vaping products, or have used vaping products in the past, monitor yourself for symptoms of pulmonary illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health. Be sure to indicate to your health care professional that you currently vape, or have in the past, and what you were vaping. 
  • If you use vaping products, avoid any products from illegal or unregulated sources. Products obtained from the illegal market are not subject to any controls or oversight with respect to safety or quality.
  • Do not modify vaping products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
  • Report any adverse reactions or incidents related to vaping products to Health Canada.
  • Stay connected with Health Canada and receive the latest advisories and product recalls.
» September 20, 2019: Update on the potential risk of pulmonary illness associated with vaping products

OTTAWA – Health Canada is advising Canadians who use vaping products to monitor themselves for symptoms of pulmonary illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and to seek medical attention promptly if they have concerns about their health.

This caution comes in the wake of the recent cases of severe pulmonary illnesses and several deaths reportedly linked to the use of vaping products in the United States. The United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) released a statement August 30 on their ongoing investigation into the cause of the illnesses. The same day, the US CDC issued an official health advisory. On September 6, the US CDC released publications to provide an update on the status of the investigation. The source of the illnesses remains unclear; however, the US CDC reports that chemical exposure is the likely cause. Many patients have reported vaping tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and/or nicotine-containing products. However, at this time, no specific product, substance or device has been linked to all cases of pulmonary illness in the U.S.

Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada are aware of the report out of the Middlesex-London Health Unit in Ontario of a possible case of severe pulmonary illness related to vaping. Since the early reports of severe pulmonary illness and deaths associated with vaping in the United States, we have been working closely with our American counterparts, including the US CDC and the US FDA, as well as with the provinces and territories. Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada have provided national guidance to the provinces and territories on identifying possible cases of severe pulmonary illness related to vaping or e-cigarette use in Canada. The Public Health Agency of Canada has alerted provincial and territorial public health officials and asked them to report probable and confirmed cases in their jurisdictions.

Provincial and territorial health authorities are responsible for investigating possible cases. Confirmed or probable cases will be determined based on the national working case definition, which was adapted for the Canadian context from the criteria set out by the US CDC.

The Government of Canada will continue to monitor all available data sources and surveillance systems for signals in Canada and will take action, as appropriate.

Vaping is not without risk, and the potential long-term effects of vaping remain unknown. Non-smokers, people who are pregnant and young people should not vape.

While no clear link has been made between any specific type or brand of vaping product and the cases of severe pulmonary illness, the Government of Canada remains deeply concerned by the increase in vaping reported among Canadian youth. Health Canada has taken a number of steps in recent months to address the rise of vaping in Canada and, in particular, the risk that it poses to youth.

Canadians are reminded that the purchase of vaping products outside the legal market may create additional risk as these products are unregulated and potentially unsafe, and thereby pose a risk to health and safety.

Health care professionals are reminded to always ask patients, as part of their general history, whether they use drugs from any source, whether legal or illegal. When patients present with respiratory symptoms, especially if the cause is unclear, health care professionals should ask about the use of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products—such as devices, liquids, refill pods and/or cartridges—for vaping.

What is vaping?

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling an aerosol produced by a vaping product, such as an e‑cigarette. Vaping doesn't require burning the way cigarette smoking does. The device heats a liquid into a vapour, which then turns into an aerosol. This vapour can contain substances such as nicotine and flavourings.
Vaping devices are usually battery-powered. They may come with removable parts. Vaping products have many names, including:

  • mods
  • vapes
  • sub-ohms
  • vape pens
  • e-hookahs
  • tank systems
  • electronic cigarettes / e-cigarettes
  • electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)

They may also be known by various brand names. More information about vaping is available on Health Canada's website.

Cannabis vaping

Cannabis can be consumed in different ways, including by vaporizing and vaping (breathing in dried cannabis or liquid cannabis vapours through a vaporizer or vaping device). Illegal cannabis, including cannabis vaping products that are sold on the illegal market, are not quality-controlled and may be contaminated.

What you should do

  • If you are concerned about the health risks related to vaping, consider not using vaping products.
  • If you use vaping products, or have used vaping products in the past, monitor yourself for symptoms of pulmonary illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health. Be sure to indicate to your health care professional that you currently vape, or have in the past, and what you were vaping. 
  • If you use vaping products, avoid any products from illegal or unregulated sources. Products obtained from the illegal market are not subject to any controls or oversight with respect to safety or quality.
  • Do not modify vaping products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
  • Report any adverse reactions or incidents related to vaping products to Health Canada.
  • Stay connected with Health Canada and receive the latest advisories and product recalls.
» September 6, 2019: Update on the potential risk of pulmonary illness associated with vaping products

For Immediate Release

OTTAWA - Health Canada is advising Canadians who use vaping products to monitor themselves for symptoms of pulmonary illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and to seek medical attention promptly if they have concerns about their health.

This caution comes in the wake of the recent cases of acute pulmonary illnesses and several deaths reportedly linked to the use of vaping products in the United States. The United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) released a statement August 30 on their ongoing investigation into the cause of the illnesses. The same day, the US CDC issued an official health advisory. On September 6, the US CDC released publications to provide an update on the status of the investigation. The source of the illnesses remains unclear at this time; however, the US CDC reports that chemical exposure is the likely cause. Many patients have reported vaping tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and/or nicotine-containing products. However, at this time no specific product, substance or device has been linked to all cases of vaping illness in the U.S.

To date, the Government of Canada has not seen any evidence of similar pulmonary illnesses occurring in Canada. Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada are actively monitoring the situation in the U.S. and are in close contact with the US FDA and the US CDC to better understand their investigation into the cause of the illnesses.

The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to engage with provincial and territorial public health officials and has asked them to report possible incidents of pulmonary illness associated with vaping in their jurisdictions. The Government of Canada is monitoring all available data sources for indications of similar issues in Canada, and will take action, as appropriate, to protect the health and safety of Canadians. Canadians will be informed as more details become available.

Vaping is not without risk, and the potential long-term effects of vaping remain unknown. Non-smokers, people who are pregnant and young people should not vape.

Canadians are reminded that the purchase of vaping products outside the legal market may create additional risk as these products are unregulated and potentially unsafe, and thereby pose a risk to health and safety.

Health care professionals are reminded to always ask patients, as part of their general history, whether they use drugs from any source, whether legal or illegal. When patients present with respiratory symptoms, especially if the cause is unclear, health care professionals should ask about the use of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products-such as devices, liquids, refill pods and/or cartridges-for vaping.

What is vaping?

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling an aerosol produced by a vaping product, such as an e-cigarette. Vaping doesn't require burning the way cigarette smoking does. The device heats a liquid into a vapour, which then turns into an aerosol. This vapour can contain substances such as nicotine and flavourings.

Vaping devices are usually battery-powered. They may come with removable parts. Vaping products have many names, including:

  • mods
  • vapes
  • sub-ohms
  • vape pens
  • e-hookahs
  • tank systems
  • electronic cigarettes / e-cigarettes
  • electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)

They may also be known by various brand names. More information about vaping is available on Health Canada's website.

Cannabis vaping

Cannabis can be consumed in different ways, including by vaporizing and vaping (breathing in dried cannabis or liquid cannabis vapours through a vaporizer or vaping device). Illegal cannabis, including cannabis vaping products that are sold on the illegal market, are not quality-controlled and may be contaminated.

What you should do

  • If you are concerned about the health risks related to vaping, consider not using vaping products.
  • If you use vaping products, or have used vaping products in the past, monitor yourself for symptoms of pulmonary illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health. Be sure to indicate to your health care professional that you currently vape, or have in the past, and what you were vaping.
  • If you use vaping products, avoid any products from illegal or unregulated sources. Products obtained from the illegal market are not subject to any controls or oversight with respect to safety or quality.
  • Do not modify vaping products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
  • Report any adverse reactions or complaints related to vaping products to Health Canada.
  • Stay connected with Health Canada and receive the latest advisories and product recalls.
» September 4, 2019: Health Canada warns of potential risk of pulmonary illness associated with vaping products

OTTAWA - Health Canada is advising Canadians who use vaping products to monitor themselves for symptoms of pulmonary illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and to seek medical attention promptly if they have concerns about their health.

This caution comes in the wake of the recent cases of acute pulmonary illnesses and one death reportedly linked to the use of vaping products in the United States. A second death is under investigation for potential links to vaping. The United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) released a statement August 30 on their ongoing investigation into the cause of the illnesses. The same day, the US CDC issued an official health advisory. The source of the illnesses is unclear at this time. Many patients have reported vaping tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and/or nicotine-containing products.

To date, the Government of Canada has not seen any evidence of similar pulmonary illnesses occurring in Canada. Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada are in close contact with the US FDA and the US CDC to better understand their investigation into the cause of the illnesses.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has alerted provincial and territorial public health officials and asked them to report possible incidents of pulmonary illness associated with vaping in their jurisdictions. The Government of Canada is monitoring all available data sources for indications of similar issues in Canada, and will take action, as appropriate, to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

Vaping is not without risk, and the potential long-term effects of vaping remain unknown. Non-smokers, people who are pregnant and young people should not vape.

Canadians are reminded that the purchase of vaping products outside the legal market may create additional risk as these products are unregulated and potentially unsafe, and thereby pose a risk to health and safety.

Health care professionals are reminded to always ask patients, as part of their general history, whether they use drugs from any source, whether legal or illegal. When patients present with respiratory symptoms, especially if the cause is unclear, health care professionals should ask about the use of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products-such as devices, liquids, refill pods and/or cartridges-for vaping.

What is vaping?

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling an aerosol produced by a vaping product, such as an e-cigarette. Vaping doesn't require burning the way cigarette smoking does. The device heats a liquid into a vapour, which then turns into an aerosol. This vapour can contain substances such as nicotine and flavourings.

Vaping devices are usually battery-powered. They may come with removable parts. Vaping products have many names, including:

  • mods
  • vapes
  • sub-ohms
  • vape pens
  • e-hookahs
  • tank systems
  • electronic cigarettes / e-cigarettes
  • electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)

They may also be known by various brand names. More information about vaping is available on Health Canada's website.

Cannabis vaping

Cannabis can be consumed in different ways, including by vaporizing and vaping (breathing in dried cannabis or liquid cannabis vapours through a vaporizer or vaping device). Illegal cannabis, including cannabis vaping products that are sold on the illegal market, are not quality-controlled and may be contaminated.

What you should do

  • If you are concerned about the health risks related to vaping, consider not using vaping products.
  • If you use vaping products, or have used vaping products in the past, monitor yourself for symptoms of pulmonary illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health. Be sure to indicate to your health care professional that you currently vape, or have in the past, and what you were vaping.
  • If you use vaping products, avoid any products from illegal or unregulated sources. Products obtained from the illegal market are not subject to any controls or oversight with respect to safety or quality.
  • Do not modify vaping products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
  • Report any adverse reactions or complaints related to vaping products to Health Canada.
  • Stay connected with Health Canada and receive the latest advisories and product recalls.

Media Inquiries: 

(613) 957-2983
hc.media.sc@canada.ca

Public Inquiries:

1-866 225-0709