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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.

freeimages.com/Elena Gorgievska

New York state’s smoking age goes from 18 to 21 on Wednesday.

The American Lung Association and other advocates hope the measure will prevent and reduce tobacco use among young people amid a national youth vaping epidemic and an outbreak of severe lung disease in patients who have used e-cigarettes.

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.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

When school board members from around New York state gathered in Rochester for a conference this week, one of the most highly attended seminars focused on vaping.

Youth use of e-cigarettes has risen more than 150% in the state in the last five years, and members of the New York State School Boards Association who crowded into a ballroom in the Rochester Riverside Hotel said they were concerned about the trend.

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.

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.  

  

The New York State Health Department has decided to put off a ban on menthol-flavored nicotine vaping products until a court case challenging an earlier ban on other flavored e-cigarettes is resolved.  

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in late September asked his health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, to convene an emergency meeting of the state’s public health council to enact the ban.  

The request came 10 days after the council voted to ban all other flavored e-cigarettes. Cuomo has said the flavored e-cigarettes are contributing to a steep rise in teen vaping.  

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.

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