FDA Investigates Reports Of Seizures After Vaping

Alicia Farmer
April 5, 2019

So far there is no clear cause of the seizures.

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports of people suffering seizures after using e-cigarettes, or vaping.

The FDA has not established a pattern among reported cases: Seizures have been reported among first-time e-cigarette users and experienced users, and they have been reported as occurring immediately after inhalation and as much as a day after use.

"We know that nicotine isn't a harmless substance, especially in the developing brains of our youth", FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb and Principal Deputy Commissioner Dr. Amy Abernethy said in the statement.

Cases go back to 2010 and were reported to the FDA or poison control centers around the country.

"We can't yet say for certain that e-cigarettes are causing these seizures", the FDA said.

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US health officials are investigating whether electronic cigarettes may trigger seizures in some people who use the nicotine-vaping devices.

"We're sharing this early information with the public because as a public health agency, it's our job to communicate about potential safety concerns associated with the products we regulate that are under scientific investigation by the agency". It urged people to report any issues through its Safety Reporting Portal with information such as the brand they were using, where it was purchased, whether it was altered in any way, whether it was used in combination with other drugs, what symptoms people had and when. Certain brands of e-cigarettes contain much higher nicotine levels than a typical combustible cigarette, and the vapor isn't as harsh to inhale as smoke - both of which may make it easier for an individual to overdose.

One tobacco expert said the link is worth investigating.

Some e-cigarettes such as Juul are created to deliver nicotine quickly, so that users, especially teens, may be getting more of the addictive drug than they realize. Indeed, a few of the patients reported use of other substances in addition to e-cigarettes, such as marijuana or amphetamines.

Vaping devices confiscated from students at a school in MA.

The use of e-cigarettes - colloquially known as vaping - began to take off among young Americans in the 2010s, and overtook cigarette smoking in 2014. In most instances, the victims were teens and young adults.

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