FDA Investigates Reports Of Seizures After Vaping

Grant Boone
April 5, 2019

"While 35 cases may not seem like much compared to the total number of people using e-cigarettes, we are nonetheless concerned by these reported cases", Gottlieb added.

The FDA has identified 35 such cases of seizures - particularly among younger users - between 2010 and early 2019, it said in a statement Wednesday.

The Food and Drug Administration has issued an advisory that warns it has received some reports of seizures from e-cigarette users. The agency stressed that it has not determined a definitive link between vaping and seizures, but there may be additional cases that could help it investigate. "Additionally, some of the reported incidents may not be directly related to e-cigarette use - the seizures may have been triggered by an underlying medical condition, use of other substances, or other factors", Gottlieb and Abernethy noted. "We can't yet say for certain that e-cigarettes are causing these seizures", he said.

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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Seizures are a known potential side effect of nicotine toxicity; they have previously been noted in some cases of nicotine liquid consumption. Indeed, a few of the patients reported use of other substances in addition to e-cigarettes, such as marijuana or amphetamines. Most of these reports involved teenagers or young adults. The agency has also seen a "slight but noticeable increase in reports of seizures" since June.

"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 FDA said numerous reports it had received lacked enough information to identify a specific brand or sub-brand of e-cigarettes. The FDA is seeking reports from other nicotine vape users who experienced seizures possibly caused by the nicotine use. It is asking the public to report any unexpected health problems associated with c-cigarettes through the agency's online safety reporting portal.

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