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Health departments issues vape warning

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LIBERTY, NY — As the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) looks into at least 150 reports of lung illness potentially brought on by vaping or smoking e-cigarettes, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigates 127 reports of seizures possibly linked to vaping, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) has issued a warning through county health departments.

A press release from the Sullivan County Public Health Services says, “Several cases of severe pulmonary (lung) disease have been reported in NYS among patients who reported recent use of vape products. While detailed information on the reported products used, the name and type of products used, as well as the delivery method are still being investigated, many cases reported the use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing products, as well as other products.

“Signs and symptoms for these cases have included cough, shortness of breath, fever, headache, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, weight loss and chest pain,” the statement read. “While no deaths have currently been associated with these cases, several patients have been hospitalized and placed on ventilators.”

One of the most popular vaping devices is manufactured by Juul Labs, and the CEO of that company has come out with a warning to people not already ingesting nicotine about the dangers of vaping. In an August 27 interview on “CBS This Morning” Juul CEO Kevin Burns said those who don’t already smoke shouldn’t use his product. “Don’t vape. Don’t use Juul, don’t start using nicotine if you don’t have a preexisting relationship with nicotine. Don’t use the product. You’re not our target consumer.”

Sullivan County Public Health Services has released warnings on e-cigarettes and vaping.

“Most vaping products contain nicotine at even higher levels than traditional cigarettes,” a recent statement from the department read. “Nicotine, a highly addictive drug, may rewire the developing brain of adolescents, making it easier for them to get hooked on other substances and contribute to problems with concentration, learning and impulse control. In addition, vape products contain and release a number of potentially toxic chemicals.”

People who are currently smoking or vaping and who want to quit can enroll in a program offered free of charge by Sullivan County Public Health Services. More information is available by calling 845/292-5910, ext. 0.

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