Members, Teachers Call on Community to Help Spread Awareness

As most New Jersey K-12 schools resume this week, Assemblywoman Lisa Swain and Assemblyman Chris Tully of New Jersey’s 38th Legislative District warn communities to be vigilant about a recent outbreak of life-threatening illness afflicting users of vaping devices.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has documented over 200 cases this summer of vaping device users contracting serious lung disease. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, and nausea. In response to this outbreak, the CDC issued a warning that “[e]-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.” The CDC has also cautioned against buying vaping ingredients on the street or modifying e-cigarette devices.

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Assembly Members Swain and Tully have issued the following statement:

“We are deeply concerned by emerging reports of vaping leading to harmful and even fatal illness. It is important that everyone looking after our young people - including parents, caretakers, teachers, and other school staff - is aware of this disease outbreak and vigilant about identifying and reporting the known symptoms.”

Bergen County Education Association (BCEA) President Sue McBride provided the following statement:

“We want all of our students to lead happy and healthy lives, and we are growing increasingly concerned about the dangers that vaping poses to the students we educate. As more research is being presented, it's becoming increasingly obvious that our students need to be made aware of the related health risks. We know it's going to take educators, parents, and policy makers, working together, to best ensure our students' safety.”

Swain and Tully co-sponsored legislation earlier this year calling for the Commissioner of Education, in coordination with the Commissioner of Health, to develop and disseminate information about the health risks of vaping to school employees.