WXXI AM News

New York reports first vaping illness death

Oct 8, 2019

Credit PICTURE ALLIANCE / GETTY IMAGES

New York has now reported the first death related to an epidemic of vaping-related illnesses, with the state health department saying the male victim is a 17-year-old from the Bronx.  

According to state officials, the teen was previously hospitalized in early September with a vaping-associated respiratory illness. He was readmitted to the hospital in late September and died on Oct. 4.  

Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned young people, who under law are not allowed to buy vaping products, to stay away from vaping.  

“You are playing with your life when you play with this stuff. And it's not just best-case scenario for vaping. You get addicted to nicotine. And that is a lifelong struggle,” Cuomo said. “I can tell you as a person who was young and stupid and smoked, it is an addiction you will fight for your entire life.” 

The number of New Yorkers sickened by vaping-related illness is now at 110.  

Meanwhile, the New York State Vapor Association, which represents 700 vape shops in the state, has joined in a lawsuit against Cuomo’s ban on flavored nicotine vaping products, saying it’s an overreach. They say evidence so far shows the vaping illness is associated with black-market marijuana products.