Governor, Department of Health urge people to temporarily stop using vaping products

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 September 2019 at 5:43 pm

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Department of Health today urged people to temporarily stop using vaping products after hundreds of people were recently diagnosed with a severe and puzzling lung  disease linked to electronic cigarettes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday said the number of vaping-related illnesses is up to at least 450 cases in 33 states.

The CDC recommended that people avoid vaping devices while investigators try to find out what is causing the illnesses.

“There is an investigation ongoing,” Cuomo said today. “Nobody knows exactly what it is. Our health guidance is no one should be using vaping products period until we know what it is.”

Dr. Howard Zucker, commissioner of the state Department of Health, issued this statement about vaping-associated illnesses:

“Heeding the warnings from CDC and at the direction of Governor Cuomo, today I am urging New Yorkers to stop using vape products while the investigation into the definitive cause of reported vaping-associated illnesses nationwide can be better determined. The Wadsworth Center, New York State’s public health laboratory, is diligently testing both cannabis and nicotine-containing vape products received from people experiencing serious lung-related illnesses.

“Rigorous testing also continues on all vape products currently authorized in the state’s highly regulated Medical Marijuana Program. There have been no adverse events related to vaping among certified patients in this program since this investigation began. However, out of an abundance of caution, we are also urging patients in the medical marijuana program to consult with their health care providers on potential alternatives to vaping products while the investigation continues. For additional information, patients can also contact the state’s Medical Marijuana Program at 844-863-9312.”

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