Cuomo: New York urges you to stop vaping, echoing US warnings

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is asking New Yorkers to put the e-cigs down as health officials dig into mysterious illnesses and deaths across the country tied to vaping.

“Common sense says if you don’t know what you’re smoking, don’t smoke it,” said Cuomo. “Our advice, our guidance is quite simple: don’t do it, don’t do it because we don’t know that it is safe.”

New York state will also now require all stores selling vape devices and cartridges to post warning signs which read,“Vaping can expose you to toxic chemicals and kill you!”

New York’s Health Department issued subpoenas to three companies that sell a vaping liquid additive called ‘Vitamin E acetate’. It’s used to thicken the vaping liquid, and what officials believe are getting people sick. The cartridges are illegal in New York but can, and have been, purchased in other states.

The three companies subpoenaed are Honey Cut Labs (California), Floraplex Terpenes (Michigan), and Mass Terpenes (Massachusetts)

U.S. health officials on Friday said people should stop vaping until more is known about why some are coming down with serious breathing illnesses.

Officials have identified about 450 possible cases, including as many as five deaths, in 33 states.

No single vaping device, liquid or ingredient has been tied to all the illnesses. Many of the sickened were people who said they had been vaping THC, the chemical that gives marijuana its high. Many are teens.

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration accused JUUL of violating the law by claiming its products are safer than cigarettes. The FDA also says a company representative told New York high school students that vaping is “totally safe.”

Cuomo is calling on lawmakers to consider a ban on flavored vaping products. “It’s attracting thousands of young people to an activity and again, we don’t know exactly what they’re smoking and what the consequences are,” said Cuomo.

With the Associated Press