New York City hosts vaping summit, Juul halts sales of fruit, dessert flavors

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Lawmakers from several states are in New York City Thursday for a summit addressing the vaping crisis.

The summit is being co-hosted by the governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.

They're looking to discuss policy when it comes to cannabis and vaping, while discussing ways to work together as a region to tackle the crisis that has killed more than two dozen people.

An opening session is being followed by several policy sessions continuing throughout the day.

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.

There are 1,479 reported cases and 33 deaths, according to new data released by the CDC Thursday. The age range of publicly reported deaths is between 17 and 71.

On Thursday, Juul Labs announced it would stop selling fruit and dessert flavors, acknowledging the public's "lack of trust" in the vaping industry.

The flavors affected by Thursday's announcement - mango, crme, fruit and cucumber - account for 10 percent of Juul's sales. It will continue selling its most popular flavors, mint and menthol, for now. A spokesman said the company is reviewing its products and practices and has not made "any final decisions."

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.

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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