N.M. attorney general warns about vaping as illnesses rise

By John Miller
jmiller@taosnews.com
Posted 10/4/19

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a statement Tuesday (Oct. 1) warning New Mexicans against using vaping products as cases of related illnesses in the state have risen to …

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N.M. attorney general warns about vaping as illnesses rise

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New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a statement Tuesday (Oct. 1) warning New Mexicans against using vaping products as cases of related illnesses in the state have risen to 14.

“I am warning all New Mexicans of the health and safety risks associated with the use of e-cigarettes of any kind,” said Balderas. “My office will hold any bad actor civilly and criminally accountable that risks the lives of New Mexican children by falsely marketing these devices as safe.”

Balderas’ announcement follows another from last week that the Federal Food and Drug Enforcement Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration are now investigating criminal activity related to the marketing and sale of electronic cigarettes.

On Thursday (Sept. 26), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that there were 805 lung injury cases in 46 states across the United States related to using electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes or “vape pens.”

While none of the 14 cases in New Mexico have proven fatal, 12 people in other states have died after they were exposed to chemicals contained in vaping products, which have also become the subject of another investigation by the CDC. Preliminary research indicates that the outbreak of lung injury cases appears to be linked to e-cigarette cartridges containing THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis.

A Sept. 5 Taos News article reported that Taos County recorded the highest rate of teen vaping in the state, but David Morgan, a spokesperson for the New Mexico Department of Health, said this week that no vaping-related illnesses had been reported in Taos County as of Tuesday (Oct. 1).

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