NEW YORK — A Manhattan man is the second person to die of a vaping-related illness in New York state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.
According to Cuomo, the Department of Health confirmed that a man in his 30s with a reported history of using e-cigarettes and vape products is the second death in the state due to a vaping-associated illness.
The man’s identity is not currently known.
The DOH came to the conclusion after an investigation and reviewing medical records, the governor said in a statement.
“DOH is continuing its robust investigation into the cause of these illnesses, but in the meantime our message on vaping remains unchanged: if you don’t know what you’re smoking, don’t smoke it,” Cuomo’s statement read.
The news comes less than two months after Cuomo announced in October that a 17-year-old boy from the Bronx became the first person in the state to die of a vaping-related illness.
Earlier this week, NY Attorney General Letitia James announced that the state is hitting e-cigarette company JUUL with a new lawsuit, alleging the company played a role in the “ongoing youth vaping epidemic in New York,” according to a statement.
The lawsuit accuses JUUL of “deceptive and misleading marketing of its e-cigarettes.”
Cuomo assured Wednesday, “We are taking every step possible to combat this crisis on the state level,” and urged the federal government to “take action now.”
“President Trump has already backed down from his vow to ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes – despite widespread evidence that these flavors are used to target our teens and young adults – and put the interests of the vaping industry over the lives of Americans,” Cuomo said. “This is Big Tobacco all over again,” he added.
More than 2,000 Americans who vape have gotten sick since March, many of them teenagers and young adults, and at least 40 people have died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Earlier in November the CDC announced a breakthrough into the cause of a vaping illness outbreak, identifying the chemical compound vitamin E acetate as a “very strong culprit” after finding it in fluid taken from the lungs of 29 patients. Vitamin E acetate previously was found in liquid from electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices used by many who got sick and only recently has been used as a vaping fluid thickener.
Many who got sick said they had vaped liquids that contain THC, the high-inducing part of marijuana, with many saying they received them from friends or bought them on the black market.
E-cigarettes and other vaping devices heat a liquid into an inhalable vapor. Most products contained nicotine, but THC vaping has been growing more common.