FDA warns some e-cigarette users have reported seizures after vaping

Henrietta Brewer
April 5, 2019

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating potential links between vaping and seizures after receiving nearly three dozen reports connecting the two, mostly among young users.

The FDA said the handful of seizure reports often lack information about the brand of e-cigarette or whether users had a medical condition that might have contributed.

So far, the agency has not been able to establish a clear pattern among the reported cases. It said it was sharing the warning in an attempt to alert the public to the investigation and to the potential safety risks of vaping, and to encourage e-cigarette users to report any adverse side effects they experience.

"We want to be clear that we don't yet know if there's a direct relationship between the use of e-cigarettes and a risk of seizure".

The cases go back to 2010, with a noticeable uptick in reports beginning mid-2018.

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

US health officials are investigating whether electronic cigarettes may trigger seizures in some people who use the nicotine-vaping devices. Some seizures were reported after just a few puffs of the device, others after a day of use.

The agency is asking e-cigarette users to report any "unexpected health or product issues" to the agency through its Safety Reporting Portal website. But the FDA said it's also possible that other factors were behind the seizures.

One tobacco expert said the link is worth investigating.

The agency on Wednesday said that it was also looking into any additional consequences to nicotine use as some e-cigarettes deliver high concentrations of nicotine. "We know that initiation to, and addiction to nicotine by never-smokers - predominantly youth and young adults - raises public health concerns". The FDA revealed in November that vaping had increased almost 80% among high schoolers and 50% among middle schoolers since the year before. In most instances, the victims were teens and young adults.

Under the new rules, most forms of flavoured e-cigarettes would only be sold in stores that verify a customer's age when he or she enters the store, or the store should have a special age-restricted area set aside for vaping products.

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