Local public health advisory issued on vaping, E-cigarettes

Health News

UPDATE: 09/10/2019

MONROE COUNTY. N.Y. (WROC) — New York State health officials are investigating 34 reports of severe pulmonary illnesses all potentially related to vaping. Monroe County, like the CDC and New York State, are asking for people to stop vaping.  

“I’m a fruity kind of person. I like mango, watermelon,” said Nick Gmitter. Originally a smoker, he now vapes. “I think e-cigarettes are the better, healthier option.” 

Monroe County’s health commissioner Michael Mendoza says it is important to use science to figure out what impacts e-cigarettes and vaping have before making a decision on health. “When it comes to an unknown territory,” said Mendoza, “Our approach as medical professionals is to be cautious.” 

The science has not quite caught up to the technology, just like many new creations. More research is required to figure out what is bad or good 

Mendoza says nicotine is in nearly all vape products and his big fear is the youth, with 35% of high schoolers polled in Monroe County having said they have vaped. “Kids who use e-cigarettes experience both direct and long term effects.” 

The main concern being addiction to something that we still do not know a lot about. Vitamin E acetate is another big concern. E-cigarettes are still largely unregulated by the FDA. 

The Monroe County Public Health office suggests that those attempting to quit cigarettes should use evidence-based treatments like counseling and f-d-a approved medications. 

09/09/2019 -ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health has issued an advisory on vaping and E-cigarettes.

This local advisory follows a similar issue by New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, as well as warnings from the CDC.

Dr. Michael Mendoza, Monroe County Public Health Commissioner, urges all residents to stop using all vape products until an investigation into the definitive cause of reported vaping-associated illnesses nationwide is concluded.

“Due to the nationwide trend of severe pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette products, I am urging county residents to stop using vape/E-cigarette products,” said Mendoza in a press release. “In addition to this emerging trend of pulmonary disease, we know that these products represent a real health risk to young people as the nicotine within these products is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development.”

According to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), as of September 5, 2019, NYSDOH has received 34 reports from New York State physicians of severe pulmonary illness among patients ranging from 15 to 46 years of age who were using at least one cannabis-containing vape product before they became ill. However, all patients reported recent use of various vape products.

According to NYSDOH, laboratory test results showed very high levels of vitamin E acetate in nearly all cannabis-containing samples analyzed by the Wadsworth Center as part of this investigation. At least one vitamin E acetate containing vape product has been linked to each patient who submitted a product for testing. Vitamin E acetate is not an approved additive for New York State Medical Marijuana Program-authorized vape products and was not seen in the nicotine-based products that were tested.

As a result, vitamin E acetate is now a key focus of the NYSDOH investigation of potential causes of vaping-associated pulmonary illnesses.

The Monroe County Department of Public Health recommends the following guidance per the CDC:

  • Youth and young adults should not use e-cigarette products.
  • 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 doctor or other medical provider

If you are concerned about your health after using an e-cigarette product, you can also call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

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