NEW YORK (AP) - New York's health commissioner is urging people to stop vaping, echoing recent warnings about the habit from the federal government.
Dr. Howard Zucker said in a statement Saturday that people should abstain from vaping while "the definitive cause of reported vaping-associated illnesses" can be better determined.
Zucker says no illnesses have been found in the state's medical marijuana program, but he said patients should find alternatives to vaping while the investigation continues.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters Saturday that, "people should not be using vaping products, period."
U.S. health officials have identified about 450 possible illness cases in 33 states, including as many as five deaths.
No single device, liquid or ingredient has been tied to all the illnesses. Many of those who were sickened said they'd been vaping THC.
With new cases arising of illness and death possibly related to vaping, the Food and Drug Administration is reprimanding Juul Labs for misrepresenting their product.
Federal health authorities say vaping giant Juul Labs illegally pitched its electronic cigarettes as a safer alternative to smoking, including in a presentation at schools.
The FDA issued a stern warning letter to the company Monday, flagging various claims by Juul, including that its products are "much safer than cigarettes." The FDA has been investigating Juul for months but had not previously warned the company.
The FDA letter highlights an incident recounted by two New York high school students during a congressional hearing in July. The students said a representative of Juul was invited to address the school on addiction issues. During the presentation, the representative told students the company's product was "totally safe."
Juul says it discontinued its school programs last September.
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