ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The vast majority of the 125 pulmonary illnesses in New York are because of black market THC cartridges, not nicotine E-cigs, according to Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.
Dr. Zucker said his department is trying to get to the bottom of what exactly is causing people to get sick, and in some cases die. A 17-year-old boy from the Bronx lost his life last week due to what Governor Andrew Cuomo called a ‘vaping-related illness.’ Dr. Zucker could not provide any additional information on the cause of death.
According to the DoH website, lab tests revealed high levels of vitamin E-acetate, a thickening chemical in all of the THC samples. THC is the psychoactive chemical in marijuana which gives users the high.
One illegal THC product in particular is linked to almost every lung illness patient across the state, according to the Department of Health.
While Zucker, Center for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration say illegal THC vaping is what’s causing illnesses, Governor Cuomo is continuing his push for a ban on legal, FDA approved flavored nicotine E-cigs.
Cuomo and Zucker agree teen nicotine addiction is a health crisis. Victims of the pulmonary illness, such as Michelle Ratner wished officials focused more on warning the public of what’s really getting them sick.