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e-cigarette

Irfan Rahman / University of Rochester Medical Center

When the federal Food and Drug Administration announced it was stepping up enforcement of its rules against flavored vape products last month, the agency said the goal was to diminish the products’ appeal to young people.

The FDA specifically named fruit and mint flavors as drivers of youth use of e-cigarettes.

But many of those flavors are still available in local vape shops.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The American Lung Association has given New York state a failing grade for its funding of tobacco prevention and control programs.

The association said that grade reflects a lack of spending on efforts to prevent youths from using e-cigarettes.

New England Journal of Medicine

An Ontario County woman has died in Monroe County from injuries related to vaping.

The state health department said the woman was in her 50s, but other details are still under investigation or are not available to the public due to patient privacy concerns.

The department said investigators do not yet know exactly what the woman was vaping.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


New guidance this week from the federal Centers for Disease Control urges doctors to quickly connect patients hospitalized for vaping-related lung injuries with follow-up care after their release.

The recommendation comes after the CDC found that some people were having to be rehospitalized after their treatment for those injuries.

Nicholas Nacca, an assistant professor and medical toxicologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said when injury symptoms return, they can be fatal.


As the federal Food and Drug Administration announced an impending ban on certain types of e-cigarettes, researchers at the University of Rochester applauded the move, but they also said it should only be the start of more regulations.

“It’s a great decision,” said Irfan Rahman, who runs a lab at URMC that studies the liquids used in e-cigarettes to figure out exactly what they contain.

“It should be a gateway to banning other products,” he continued.

This year saw a surge in both youth use of e-cigarettes and a slew of not-quite-explained injuries from the products that sent dozens of people to hospitals in and around Monroe County.

Local researchers have been at the forefront of a national effort to figure out precisely how some vape products are injuring their users.

WXXI health reporter Brett Dahlberg has been following the trends this year and brings us an update on the science and the legislation around vaping.

Lancet Respiratory Health

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center published new guidance Friday for doctors looking to diagnose lung injuries caused by vaping.

The article, published in the journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine, examined a series of patients who came to URMC with “respiratory failure of unknown origin” and a “history of e-cigarette or vape use.”

They found that x-rays of all the patients’ lungs showed signs of pneumonia and inflammation, but no evidence of infection. Ruling out infection as the cause of the respiratory failure allows doctors to move toward a diagnosis of a vaping injury, the researchers found.

New England Journal of Medicine

Many of the growing number of lung injuries caused by vaping in New York state are being treated in Rochester.

In the state health department’s regional breakdown of New York state, western New York is a 17-county region that stretches from the shore of Lake Erie in the west nearly to Syracuse and Binghamton in the east.

Thirty-one cases of vaping lung injuries have been reported in that region. More than half of them have been treated at one hospital: Strong Memorial in Rochester.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

If Monroe County school districts suspended everyone who vaped, 45% of seniors would have to be kept out of class at some point, according to data on e-cigarette use from the county’s annual survey of public high school students.

In the Greece Central School District, where suspension has been the go-to punishment for the vast majority of students caught vaping, Assistant Superintendent Mike Zaffuts saw the impending problem.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

A New York state appellate court on Thursday granted a temporary restraining order to block enforcement of a planned ban on flavored e-cigarette products.

The order, first reported by the New York Law Journal, came less than 24 hours before enforcement was scheduled to begin.

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