Vaping proved deadly for two more New Yorkers who suffered from ailments tied to this way of inhaling nicotine and other substances, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Friday, adding that so far a total of four people in the state have died from these illnesses.
The two who died most recently were both women. One was in her 20s and lived in New York City; the other, in her 50s, was from Ontario County, the governor's statement said. The statement did not say when the women died.
"These deaths are tragic — and they are also preventable. We know smoking and nicotine are dangerous, and it's becoming tragically clearer by the day that vaping is too," the statement said.
As of Tuesday, 60 deaths have been confirmed in 27 states and the District of Columbia from vaping-related illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There have been more than 2,600 hospitalizations nationwide, in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the CDC reports.
On its website, the CDC states that it and other federal, state and local health departments are investigating "a national outbreak of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury."
Cuomo added that the state Health Department and its Wadsworth Center Laboratory "are doing groundbreaking work getting to the bottom of this unacceptable situation and we will continue using every tool at our disposal until these illnesses and deaths stop."
He also recommended never vaping unless the product has been fully vetted. "In the meantime our message on vaping remains unchanged: If you don't know what you're smoking, don't smoke it."
Earlier this week, a judge stopped the state from enforcing an executive order banning flavored vaping products.
Acting state Supreme Court Justice Catherine Cholakis ruled that the state Public Health and Health Planning Council overstepped its authority last September when it issued a ban on e-cigarettes and e-liquids flavored with anything other than tobacco or menthol.