Health & Wellness

Somers Town Board Discusses Regulating Sales of Vaping Devices

Dr. Jackie O’Connor, a respiratory therapist at Northern Westchester Hospital, talks to the Somers Town Board about what she sees as the dangers of vaping. Credits: Brian Marschhauser

SOMERS, N.Y.-After hearing testimony from a health professional about the dangers of vaping, the Town Board last week debated possible restrictions on shops that sell what the federal government is calling Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, or ENDS.

Jackie O’Connor, a respiratory therapist at Northern Westchester Hospital, spoke at the board’s Dec. 14 meeting, just 10 days after speaking at a Somers High School forum. She reiterated many of the same concerns she has about vaping, most critically that the flavored e-cigarette oils contain potentially harmful chemicals.

“They think it’s water vapor,” O’Connor said. “If that was the case, everybody could fill them up at their sinks and be on their way. But that’s not the case. They’re chemically composed flavoring agents with addictive substances in them that you have to purchase and are made up of butane, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetic acid, acetone, iron, lead, nicotine, nickel, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, zinc.”

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Many of these “vaping” devices are manufactured to resemble cigarettes, cigars or pipes, while some look like everyday items such as pens or USB flash drives. There are also larger “tank systems” that bear little or no resemblance to cigarettes.

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