Cuomo: "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."
Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo made comments on the first vaping-associated death in New York. The death, involving a 17-year-old male from the Bronx, was reported to the State Department of Health today. According to DOH, the deceased was previously hospitalized in early September with a vaping-associated respiratory illness. He was re-admitted in late September and passed away on October 4. As of October 8, DOH has received 110 reports from New York physicians of severe pulmonary illness among patients ranging from 14 to 69 years of age who were using at least one vape product prior to becoming ill. Nationally, as of October 1, 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported more than 1,000 cases of vaping-associated illnesses, with 18 confirmed fatalities.
AUDIO of the Governor's comments is available here.
A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:
The first vaping death in the State of New York. A seventeen-year-old resident of the Bronx. There have been about now 19 vaping deaths in this nation. About 1,000 cases according 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 life long 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.