New York health chiefs urge people to make it their New Year’s resolution to quit ‘highly addictive and dangerous’ e-cigarettes… one day after opening state’s first marijuana dispensary
- NY State Department of Health issued call for New Yorkers to ditch vapes today
- Claimed devices cause ‘long-term damage’ to users and second-hand smokers
- Called for young New Yorkers to drop habit in particular – amid teen ‘vapedemic’
New Yorkers are being urged by the state’s health department to make it their New Year’s resolution to quit vaping.
The NY State Department of Health issued the plea today, saying e-cigarettes are ‘highly addictive and dangerous’ to users and people exposed to second-hand vapor.
It has called for young New Yorkers to drop the habit as figures show that as many as one in five teens are using the devices, which can cause lung and heart damage similar to regular cigarettes.
But there will be questions about the timing of the announcement, given that just yesterday New York City opened its first legal marijuana dispensary in Manhattan.
Cannabis is being increasingly linked to lung disease and other physical and mental health problems as its recreational use becomes widespread across the US.
New Yorkers are being urged by the state’s health department to make it their New Year’s resolution to quit vaping. Pictured: A man uses a vape as he walks on Broadway in New York City in September 2019
NY State Health Commissioner Dr Mary Bassett said: ‘According to research, both e-cigarette users and those who are exposed to secondhand emissions may experience long-term health issues.
‘I encourage New Yorkers who use e-cigarettes to ring in the New Year by making a resolution to quit using e-cigarettes and other vaping devices, which contain highly addictive nicotine, in order to prevent long-term harm to people’s health.’
Figures show that around one in 25 New Yorkers (4.1 percent) use vape products, compared to one in 10 (10.6 percent) who use regular cigarettes.
But official figures show that at least 10 percent of New Yorkers under the age of 24 are regular vapers.
Separate national data indicate that as many as one in five teenagers across the US use e-cigarettes.
Health officials fear that because vape devices are flavorless or innocuous smelling, they are harder to detect than traditional cigarettes, allowing teens to get quietly hooked on nicotine.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is urging parents to look out for behavioral changes and physical symptoms instead.
While they were initially thought of as a safe cessation tool for smokers, studies increasingly show e-cigarettes cause ‘worrisome changes’ to people’s blood pressure, heart rate and fitness levels.
Two federally-funded studies in October indicated these changes happen even quicker in e-cigarette users than traditional tobacco smokers, in a worrying sign.
Vaping and smoking cause people’s heart rates to spike after use and put the body in ‘fight or flight’ mode. Users of both products also see their arteries constrict.
The dispensary is the first to open since New York legalized weed in 2021
Housing Works Cannabis Co. opened in lower Manhattan on Thursday. Kenneth Woodin (above) was the first customer to buy marijuana from the store when it opened at 4.20pm
High blood pressure and constricted arteries can deprive the heart of oxygen-rich blood and, over time, increase the risk of heart disease.
Vapes are not allowed to be purchased by Americans under the age of 21, the same age restriction placed on cigarettes and alcohol.
Many children still manage to get their hands on the devices, whether through fake IDs, lax policies at smoke shops or online.
The plea for New Yorkers to ditch vaping comes just a day after New York City opened its first legal dispensary in the city.
Housing Works Cannabis Co. in lower Manhattan opened its doors at 4.20pm Thursday, selling sold the first order of legal cannabis in the state.
Legal marijuana sales throughout the state are estimated to result in $1.3 billion, and the state is offering the first 150 licenses for the legal sale to people – and their relatives – who have been previously convicted of dealing the drug.
Mayor Eric Adams claimed it is a ‘promising step.’