Due to the recent increase in vaping-associated illness, the Onondaga County Health Commissioner has joined the Governor and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) in encouraging residents to stop using e-cigarettes. Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta states, “I am urging residents of Onondaga County to stop using all vape products until the investigation by the CDC and New York State Department of Health into the definitive cause of reported vape-associated illness is concluded”.
To date, 74 cases of vaping-associated illness have been identified in New York State, including 7 in Central New York as reported by the NYSDOH. Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath or chest pain, fever, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, and weight loss. Anyone who uses vape products and experiences symptoms should contact their health care provider immediately.
The Health Commissioner reminds the public:
- Women who are pregnant should not use e-cigarette products.
- Adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using e-cigarette products.
- If you do use e-cigarette products, you should not buy these products off the street (for example, e-cigarette products with THC or other cannabinoids).
- You should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
- Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA approved medications. If you need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, contact your health care provider or call the NYS Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487).
In addition, healthcare providers are encouraged to screen teens and adults for e-cigarette use and provide the patient with cessation guidance and support. Healthcare providers should report possible cases of vaping-associated illness to the local poison control center (1-800-222-1222), which can also help determine the need for product testing and provide instructions on where to send samples to assist in the investigation. The Onondaga County Health Department is working closely with the Upstate New York Poison Center to monitor the local impact of vaping-associated illness.
As of September 12, 2019, any business that offers e-cigarette or e-liquids for sale must post signage from the NYSDOH to educate the public on the potential risks of these products. Retailers are encouraged to contact the NYSDOH for more information on this regulation by emailing email@example.com.
Protect your health by stopping the use of e-cigarette products and encouraging friends and family to do the same. For more information, please visit www.health.ny.gov/prevention/tobacco_control/campaign/e-cigarettes/.