Vaping-Related Fatalities Rise To 23 With Death Of Bronx Teen

By Victoria Kim 10/10/19

The 17-year-old New Yorker is the youngest person in the country to fall victim to a vaping-related illness.

Image: 
man vaping in the Bronx
ID 94007433 © Volodymyr Melnyk | Dreamstime.com

A Bronx teenager has become the youngest victim to die of a vaping-related illness. The 17-year-old boy’s death marked the 23rd vaping-related death in the country, and the first in New York state.

The boy died on Friday after being hospitalized twice in September for the illness, the New York Times reported.

No End In Sight

Across the U.S., about 1,100 vaping-related lung injuries have been reported, with the outbreak “continuing at a brisk pace,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC.

New York’s health department has received 110 reports of severe lung illness in patients aged 14-69 who had used at least one vape product before falling ill as of Tuesday (Oct. 8). 

Governor Andrew Cuomo warned families to be wary of the products. “Parents have to know; young people have to know. You are playing with your life when you play with this stuff.”

New Jersey's First Vaping-Related Death

Last week, New Jersey also reported the state’s first vaping-related death, an adult woman from north Jersey.

The FDA recently urged the public to stop using vape products that contain THC or any vape product obtained illegally. So far, investigators say that black market vape products that contain THC appear to be a common denominator in the outbreak.

They may be on to something. A recent lab analysis commissioned by NBC News revealed that legal THC vape cartridges were found to contain no heavy metals, pesticides or solvents like vitamin E. But the majority of black market THC vape cartridges did contain vitamin E and myclobutanil, a fungicide that becomes hydrogen cyanide when burned.

Recent busts have shed light on the lucrative business of producing and selling counterfeit THC vape products.

A Wisconsin woman was arrested in late September for allegedly helping run her sons’ THC vape cartridge operation, which involved purchasing empty vape cartridges and colorful packaging on the internet and filling the cartridges with THC oil using syringes.

Authorities seized nearly 130,000 cartridges that were either empty or contained THC oil between the family’s home in Paddock Lake, Wisconsin and a condominium in nearby Bristol.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr

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