The New York Department of Health confirmed that a male in his 30s with a history of using vape products and e-cigarettes has died as a result of a vape-associated illness. The man, who was not identified but was confirmed to have lived in Manhattan, marks the state’s second such fatality. It was not clear when the man died.
“Based on an investigation and medical record review, DOH has determined the death to be vaping related,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “DOH is continuing its robust investigation into the cause of these illnesses, but in the meantime, our message on vaping remains unchanged; if you don’t know what you’re smoking don’t smoke it.”
The state’s first fatality was a 17-year-old teen from the Bronx, who died in October.
The news comes a day after the state followed California in filing a lawsuit against Juul Labs, claiming that the company used deceptive and misleading marketing to target teenagers and failed to warn them of the harmful health effects associated with its products. New York has also raised the age requirement to purchase tobacco or e-cigarette products to 21.
“We are taking every step possible to combat this crisis on the state level, but the federal government needs to take action now,” Cuomo continued in his statement. “President Trump has already backed down from his vow to ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes – despite widespread evidence that these flavors are used to target our teens and young adults – and put the interests of the vaping industry over the lives of Americans. This is Big Tobacco all over again. Make no mistake: this is a public health crisis and until our ‘leaders’ in Washington do something to stop it, more lives will be lost.”
Earlier this month, Trump referenced new policies regarding vaping, including raising the age requirement to purchase such products to 21, but no new legislation was passed. Last week he tweeted that he will be meeting with vaping industry representatives and medical professionals to “come up with an acceptable solution to the Vaping and E-cigarette dilemma.”
On Tuesday, the American Medical Association also called for a total ban on vaping and e-cigarette products that are not FDA approved as smoking cessation aids. Under their suggested policy, even smoking cessation aids would only be available by prescription.
As of last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed at least 42 deaths tied to the vaping illness outbreak, and over 2,000 confirmed or probable illnesses died to the products. The health agency also for the first time named vitamin E acetate, which is found in THC containing products, as the likely culprit behind the outbreak.
Fox News’ Cristina Corbin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.