Vaping illness in the US, likely caused by contaminants


As of Tuesday, there have been six deaths in the US, all connected to vaping-related respiratory illnesses.

In addition to the deaths, more than 470 people have been sickened from vaping products, across more than 30 states.

Here in Canada, Health oficials say they are monitoring the problem, but admit they haven't seen any deaths or illnesses on this side of the border.

It's still not clear what has been causing the deaths and illnesses, but could this be linked to a bad batch of vape oil?

That is definitely a possiblity, according to David Hammond, a proffessor in the school of public health at the University of Waterloo.

"The cases that we've seen and the clustering in the US, suggests there some contaminants in there." says Hammond.

He says many of the people who have been sent to hospital, were smoking THC oil, or a cannabis product, which hasn't yet been legalized and is not regulated in any way.

"This is something to do with a subset of products and contaminants in those products. That's point number one. Point two, is that it is a reminder that vaping isn't safe, you are inhaling vapours into your lungs." says Hammond.

Hammond says because of the concerns around the cannabis products, he recommends against anyone using those products while vaping.

But he admits, overall, vaping is still a better option than smoking cigarettes.

Health Units in Canada are still monitoring the situation and asks anyone showing symptoms, to get help.