New York reports two more deaths from vaping; CDC says 60 have died nationwide

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FILE – In this April 11, 2018, file photo, a high school student uses a vaping device near a school campus in Cambridge, Mass. The Trump administration announced Thursday that it will prohibit fruit, candy, mint and dessert flavors from small, cartridge-based e-cigarettes that are popular with high school students. But menthol and tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes will be allowed to remain on the market. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Health officials in New York have confirmed two more people have died from vaping-related illness, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday, bringing the total number of deaths in the state linked to the products to four.

Cuomo said the state Department of Health has determined that a New York City woman in her 20s and a woman in her 50s from Ontario County died of the lung illness. As of Jan. 14, the Centers for Disease Control says 60 people have died after using vaporizers or e-cigarettes, and nearly 2,700 have been hospitalized.

The CDC says most people who have died or been stricken reported using products containing THC that were obtained from “informal sources.” An additive in those products, Vitamin E acetate, has been “strongly linked” to the outbreak.

“These deaths are tragic — and they are also preventable,” Cuomo said. “We know smoking and nicotine are dangerous, and it’s becoming tragically clearer by the day that vaping is too.

The governor said health officials at the department’s Wadsworth Center Laboratory “will continue using every tool at our disposal until these illnesses and deaths stop.

“In the meantime our message on vaping remains unchanged: if you don’t know what you’re smoking, don’t smoke it,” he said.

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