Gov. Cuomo: Bronx teen is first New Yorker to die from vaping-related illness

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed Tuesday that a 17-year-old boy from the Bronx is the first New York resident to die from a vaping-related illness.

The boy was taken to Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx where he was pronounced dead.

Officials say the teen was hospitalized at Montefiore Medical Center in early September and readmitted later that month before succumbing to his illness last week.

The Bronx teen's death brings the national vaping death toll up to nearly two dozen.

Gov. Cuomo says, "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."

The New York State Department of Health says, as of Tuesday, they have received 110 reports of severe pulmonary illness among patients who were vaping. The CDC says, as of Oct. 1, more than 1,000 cases of vaping related illnesses have been reported nationwide.

The CDC also reports products containing the marijuana compound THC appear to play a role in the outbreak of vaping or electronic cigarette related illnesses. But the specific chemical exposure causing e-cigarette lung injuries remains unknown.

The CDC adds that users may not know what is in their e-cigarettes. Many of the substances can be modified by suppliers and can bought in stores or off the street.

The state Department of Health says the flavored aerosol that vape users inhale is not harmless water vapor, but actually contains toxic chemicals. The state has moved to ban the sale of flavored vapes, a case now pending in courts.

Gov. Cuomo says it is illegal for cigarette manufacturers to target young people, but because tobacco companies own many vaping companies, they are able to get around the law.

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