NEW YORK CITY (WTEN) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced several actions to address vaping illnesses on Monday.
The governor’s office says it will direct the Department of Health (DOH) to subpoena manufacturers of thickening agents used in vaping products, direct the DOH to issue emergency regulations requiring vape shops to post a warning sign about the products, and propose legislation banning flavored e-cigarettes.
The New York State Vapor Association is cautioning regulators and lawmakers about making laws regarding e-cigarettes.
“Confusing e-cigarettes with unregulated street drugs will likely cause hundreds of thousands of New York vapers many of whom have never used illicit THC products to return to smoking cigarettes after being smoke-free for years,” Cuomo said.
The DOH is urging New Yorkers to stop using vape products while the investigation into the definitive cause of reported vaping-associated illnesses nationwide can be better determined.
The DOH says the Wadswoth, New York’s public health laboratory, is testing both cannabis and nicotine-containing vape products received from people experiencing serious lung-related illnesses.
Anyone experiencing symptoms who uses vape products should contact their healthcare provider immediately. Healthcare providers should report possible cases to the local poison control center (1-800-222-1222). Patients using vape products reported a variety of symptoms, developing over a period of days to weeks, including:
- Pulmonary symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, chest pain)
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
- Weight loss