Message from the Minister of Health – National Poison Prevention Week 2019 - March 17-23, 2019


During National Poison Prevention Week, I would like to encourage Canadians to be mindful of the poisons they are exposed to in their everyday lives. When we think of common products that are poisonous, our minds turn first to substances like pesticides or cleaning products.

In reality, any substance can be a poison if it is improperly used, consumed, stored, or disposed of. For example, though vaping products are a less harmful alternative to cigarettes for smokers, some vaping liquids have enough nicotine to be poisonous, even in small amounts. This is especially true if the liquid is swallowed.

I’d also like to encourage Canadians to take precautions against accidental cannabis ingestion. Symptoms of cannabis poisoning may include a rapid heartbeat, vomiting, severe anxiety or panic attacks, and respiratory depression.

If you use vaping products, always store vaping liquids in securely sealed containers. Cannabis products should be kept in locked containers. Both vaping liquids and cannabis products should be kept out of sight and reach of children, youth and pets in a cool, dry place where they cannot be confused for food, drinks, or medicine.

If you suspect that you or someone around you may have been poisoned, call a Poison Control Centre or 9-1-1 right away. You can find phone numbers for the Poison Control Centre nearest to you by searching Poison Control Centre + (your province or territory) on the Internet.

I encourage Canadians to talk to their family and friends about the potential dangers posed by the improper use of products such as vaping liquids and cannabis, which we don’t commonly think of as poisons. Using and storing these products properly is essential to protect your health and the health of your loved ones.

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, P.C., M.P.

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