LIBERTY – The New York State Department of Health has issued a health advisory to inform the public of an emerging health threat related to the use of vape products.
Several cases of severe pulmonary (lung) disease have been reported in New York 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 tetranydrocannabinol (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. While no deaths have currently been associated with these cases, several patients have been hospitalized and placed on ventilators.
Similar cases of severe lung disease associated with vape product use have also been reported in several other states, and New York is working with the federal CDC as part of the investigation.
Sullivan County Public Health Services reminds the public that vape products are not considered a safe alternative to smoking for teens and young adults whose brains and lungs are still developing. As vaping is a relatively new phenomenon, studies looking at the long-term impact of vaping on teen and young adult health are not available.
Most vaping products contain nicotine at even higher levels than traditional cigarettes. 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.
Sullivan County Public Health Services urges all residents to use caution when using any vape products. It is important to be informed of the substances contained in vape products, and to understand the potential negative health effects of vaping, particularly in adolescents and young adults. For more information on vaping, visit www.health.ny.gov/prevention/tobacco_control/campaign/e-cigarettes/ or www.drugfree.org.
If you currently are using any tobacco or vaping products and wish to quit, Sullivan County Public Health Services offers the American Lung Association’s “Freedom from Smoking” classes free of charge. For more information, please call Sullivan County Public Health Services at 845-292-5910, Ext. 0.