On Tuesday, officials reported that the first vaping-associated death in New York state was a 17-year-old resident from the Bronx.
The death was reported to the State Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday. The DOH reports that the deceased was hospitalized in September with a vaping-related respiratory illness.
He was readmitted to the hospital in late September and passed away on October 4. The New York Daily News reports that the teen died at Montefiore Hospital.
Although the teen is the first in the state to pass from vaping-associated illness, he probably will not be the last. It was reported that DOH has gotten 110 reports from New York doctors of patients suffering from “severe pulmonary illness.” The doctors reported that the patients range from 14 to 69 years old, and all admitted to using at least one vape prior to the onset of illness.
On a national scale, as of October 1, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported over 1,000 cases of vaping-associated illness, and so far, 18 deaths have been confirmed.
A new Sienna College poll reports that 78 percent of New Yorkers support Governor Andrew Cuomo’s emergency ban on the flavored e-cigarettes, although a court ruling has it on hold. Additionally, the poll revealed that 73 percent of New Yorkers believe there is a vaping epidemic among young folks.
Gov. Cuomo shared a lengthy statement about the death, which you can read below:
“The first vaping death in the State of New York. A seventeen-year-old resident of the Bronx. There have been  vaping deaths in this nation. About 1,000 cases according to the CDC. This vaping is a public health crisis. It is affecting our young people. It has been marketed to young people.
“The federal government should act. The President had talked about taking action. I don’t know how many people have to die before he takes action, but the state is already taking aggressive action. We moved to ban flavored e-vaping, et cetera. It’s now pending in the courts.
“But we had our first death and the State Department of Health is investigating the details of it. Parents have to know, young people have to know: 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. 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.
“That’s best case. Worst case is you vape and it kills you. That’s the worst case that you buy a product, you don’t know what it is, it’s not regulated, it’s not tested, you don’t know what vaping is, nobody studied the effects of steam in your lungs with these chemicals, and you drop dead. That’s the worst case.
“And all of this is illegal. All the sale to minors, this is all illegal, but it is everywhere. And these companies know exactly what they’re doing because they market to young people. When you are selling bubble gum and Scooby Doo flavor, you know exactly what you’re doing. You are targeting young people, which is illegal for cigarette manufacturers by the way, and some of these vaping companies are owned by tobacco companies.
“We went all through that with cigarettes. All those people had to die before we found the truth. And now the tobacco company goes into the vaping business and targets young people and markets to young people with a product that might actually be more dangerous than a cigarette. A cigarette didn’t kill you in year one. These vaping products — 1,000 cases.”