NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Vaping-related lung illness has struck 41 people across New York state — including 10 in New York City and 11 in the metropolitan area outside the city — the state’s Department of Health announced Monday, amid increased national scrutiny over the use of e-cigarettes.
The New York State Department of Health has received “numerous reports from New York State physicians of severe pulmonary (lung-related) illness among patients ranging from 15 to 46 years of age who were using at least one cannabis-containing vape product prior to becoming ill,” the agency said.
Laboratory test results show very high levels of vitamin E acetate in nearly all cannabis-containing samples analyzed by New York State’s Wadsworth Laboratory as part of this investigation. At least one vitamin E acetate containing vape product has been linked to each patient that submitted a product for testing.
Aside from the 10 cases in NYC and 11 cases in the metro area outside the city, there were 14 cases in western New York, 1 in central New York, 4 in the Capital Region and 1 in northern New York.
The figures came out the same day Gov. Andrew Cuomo came out strongly against vaping.
“NY is taking strong action in response to the rise in vaping-related illnesses: – Mandatory warning signs in all vape/smoke shops in NYS – Advancing new legislation to ban flavored e-cigs – Cracking down on companies selling “thickening agents” used in black market vaping products,” tweeted.
Over the weekend, New York’s health commissioner urged people to stop vaping, echoing recent warnings about the habit from the federal government.Dr. Howard Zucker said in a statement Saturday that people should abstain from vaping while “the definitive cause of reported vaping-associated illnesses” can be better determined.
Cuomo told reporters Saturday that, “people should not be using vaping products, period.”U.S. health officials have identified about 450 possible illness cases in 33 states, including as many as five deaths.No single device, liquid or ingredient has been tied to all the illnesses. Many of those who were sickened said they’d been vaping THC.