Call for nationwide vaping ban after 17-year-old Bronx boy dies

NEW YORK (WABC) -- There are increasing calls for a vaping ban following the death of a 17-year old boy from the Bronx - the first such death in New York state and what could be the youngest fatality connected to vaping in the United States.

"Parents have to know, young people have to know, you are playing with your life when you are playing with this stuff," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference on Tuesday.

The teen, not even old enough to buy e-cigarettes legally, was from the Bronx. Officials say he'd been hospitalized twice since September with vaping-related illnesses.

At least 26 people in 21 states have died from vaping-related illenesses, according state public health records reviewed by ABC News. Other cases are under investigation.

The age range of publicly reported deaths is between 17 and 71.

The CDC's latest count from last week was 1080 confirmed or probable cases of lung injury related to vaping with 18 deaths. Those numbers will be updated on Thursday.

Health officials haven't linked any specific substance or products to the illnesses, and no single product has been associated with all of the cases.

Following the recent death of a woman in Fresno, California, health officials released examples of vaping packaging that appears to be marketed towards kids.

Initial symptoms including shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, nausea, fever and vomiting.

The CDC is looking into products containing THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana as one possible factor, but patients have reported using a variety of different brands, some with only nicotine.
Health officials are urging people to stop vaping as the CDC works to investigate the link to severe lung illnesses.

Lawmakers say they want the candy-flavored e-cigarettes banned nationwide.

"New York state took the lead and said we're going to ban the flavors, and a court just said, no you can't," Senator Charles Schumer said. "So the need for a federal law is more important than ever, ever before."

The Cuomo administration said it has received 110 reports from New York physicians of severe pulmonary illness among patients between the ages of 14 to 69 years who were using at least one vape product prior to becoming ill.

A recent survey showed that one in four high school seniors vape at least once a month and more teens are getting addicted.

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