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E-cigarettes

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.

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.

New York’s ban on flavored electronic cigarettes could soon be extended to menthol e-cigarettes.  

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says his health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, is now recommending that menthol-flavored e-cigarettes be taken off the market in New York.

Cuomo says the Public Health and Health Planning Council will soon convene an emergency meeting to vote on a ban. The recommendation comes one week after the council voted to ban flavored e-cigarettes, effective Oct. 4.

Denise Young / WXXI News

Irfan Rahman’s laboratory sits at the end of a long hallway on the third floor of the University of Rochester’s School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Inside, Rahman and a team of researchers take apart e-cigarettes. They analyze the liquids that the devices turn into inhalable vapors in an effort to figure out exactly what those vapors are made of.

Karen DeWitt/WXXI News

The vaping industry is reacting to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s upcoming ban on flavored e-cigarettes, saying that it is misguided and will force many small-business owners to close their shops and lay off employees. Some are predicting legal action.

Cuomo, speaking on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show one day after announcing the planned ban, said the flavored e-cigarettes are designed to addict children to nicotine.

Governor Cuomo's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order to direct his health department to ban all flavored electronic cigarettes, in response to a vaping heath emergency that has sickened hundreds and killed six people.

The lung ailment, which has been contacted  by 64 New Yorkers, has so far been linked to black-market marijuana vaping products that also contain liquid vitamin E oil. But the governor says vaping of any substance is not a healthy practice and is addicting an alarming number of young people. Cuomo says vaping is better than smoking combustible cigarettes, but not by much.

Governor Cuomo's office

There’s new scrutiny on vaping products of all kinds, as the number of New Yorkers sickened with a disease that is so far related to some black-market marijuana vaping products has now risen to 60. Hundreds of people across the United States have been sickened, and six have died.

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