A Bronx teenager was the first person to die of a vaping-related illness in New York, state officials said Tuesday.
The 17-year-old boy died Oct 4 at the Children’s Hospital at the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx after being admitted late last month with a respiratory illness, sources told The Post.
He was previously hospitalized at Montefiore in early September and then released, sources said.
Officials believe the teen was sickened by vaping cartridges containing THC, which is the key ingredient that causes the high in marijuana, sources told The Post.
The Bronxite brings the vaping death toll to nearly two dozen nationally. Massachusetts authorities reported that state’s first death Monday.
At an unrelated press conference where he announced the teen’s death, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on the federal government to take action, all while blasting Big Tobacco.
“[Tobacco companies go] into the vaping business and target young people and market to young people with a product that might actually be more dangerous than a cigarette,” Cuomo told reporters in Manhattan.
City health officials declined to provide any additional details.
“The city is investigating the case in question but no official determination has been made at this time,” said City Hall spokeswoman Avery Cohen. “We’re alarmed by the uptick of vaping-related illnesses and will continue to fight for reforms that keep dangerous e-cigarette products out of the hands of our children.”
An appellate court in Albany temporarily blocked Cuomo’s emergency order to stop the sale of flavored e-cigarettes last week. The next hearing is slated for Oct. 18.
Sen. Chuck Schumer on Tuesday unveiled a plan to ban kid-friendly e-cig flavors nationally, under his Stopping Appealing Flavors in E-Cigarettes (SAFE) Act.
The New York Democrat also called on federal health agencies to launch a coordinated campaign warning youngsters about the dangers of vaping.
At least 110 people across the Empire State have been sickened by vape products, including 21 in the Big Apple, according to the most recent statistics from the state Department of Health.
That’s roughly a tenth of the 1,000 people hospitalized nationwide with vaping-linked illnesses.
Bernadette Hogan and Tamar Lapin/New York Post