SL County Board of Health advising vapers to stop while investigation proceeds
Friday, September 20, 2019 - 1:27 pm

CANTON -- St. Lawrence County Board of Health is urging St. Lawrence County residents to stop using vape products while the investigation into the definitive cause of vaping-associated illnesses nationwide is in progress.

In light of advisories issued by New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker and warnings from the CDC, the Board of Health believes people who use vaping products should suspend or quit their use until more is known.

As of Sept. 17, the New York State Department of Health has received 74 reports from physicians in the state of severe pulmonary illness among patients ranging from 15 to 69 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.

“Due to the emergence of severe pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette products, we urge county residents to stop using vape/e-cigarette products,” said St. Lawrence County Director of Public Health Dana McGuire. “In addition to this emergence 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. Until more information is available locally, we will continue to monitor findings issued by Wadsworth, the New York State’s public health laboratory, and further advisories issued by the NYS Department of Health and the CDC.”

Regardless of the ongoing investigation, the St. Lawrence County Board of 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.

Anyone using vape products and experiencing symptoms including shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, fever, nausea or vomiting should contact their health care provider immediately, the statement from the Board of Health. Those concerned at all with their vaping device or products or just want more information may call the NYSDOH's Vaping Hotline at 1-888-364-3046.