Vaping May Be Linked To Seizures & The FDA Is Investigating To Learn More

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Some e-cigarette users are having seizures after use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says. The federal agency is investigating 127 reports of seizures linked to e-cigarettes (also called vapes), Forbes writes. The FDA first issued a statement in April 2019 that some people, mostly young adults and teenagers, are experiencing convulsions and seizures after vaping, according to a statement. Seizures are a known potential symptom of nicotine toxicity, the FDA says, and can result from either intentionally or accidentally swallowing e-cigarette liquids.

While there were 35 reports of vaping-induced seizures last April, CNN says, 92 new cases have occurred since then in both first-time and ongoing users. “Seizures have been reported as occurring after a few puffs or up to one day after use,” the FDA said in the April press release.

“The FDA is continuing its scientific investigation to determine if there's a direct relationship between the use of e-cigarettes and a risk of seizure or other neurological symptoms,” Dr. Ned Sharpless, the acting FDA commissioner, told CNN. Dr. Sharpless said that the FDA is still working to determine if the reported seizures are directly linked to smoking e-cigarettes. Other reported symptoms include fainting and tremors, CNN writes.

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The FDA said that, in some cases, users had also used other drugs along with vaping before their seizures happened. Some vapers also reported a pre-existing seizure diagnosis, according to Forbes. While investigators are still trying to identify a pattern among the seizure reports, it’s knows that e-cigarette liquid can contain high amounts of nicotine, Forbes says. "It is imperative that health care professionals, consumers, parents, teachers and other concerned adults, as well as youth and young adult users, report detailed information about any past or future incidents of seizures following e-cigarette use to the FDA," Dr. Sharpless told CNN.

“We’re committed to monitoring this issue closely, and taking additional steps as necessary to protect the public, especially our nation’s youth, from the dangers of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products,” Dr. Sharpless said.

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While e-cigarettes are considered a safer alternative to cigarettes for people trying to quit smoking, they still carry some potential health risks. Vaping is not recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for non-smokers, Forbes writes. According to the statement from last April, the FDA urges consumers to understand the possible risks involved with vaping, and the importance of reporting any adverse reactions. “Consumers should recognize the wide range of symptoms that may be associated with e-cigarette use, and the importance of reporting new or unexpected seizures to their doctor or clinic,” The FDA said in the statement.

If you or someone you know experiences any negative side effects from using a vaping product, the FDA asks that, in addition to getting medical attention, consumers should submit a report via the online safety reporting portal. You’ll be asked to provide the name of the manufacturer, the brand name, model, and serial number of your device, and any symptoms, along with other relevant details listed in the portal. Tracking this information is crucial, the FDA says, so that investigators can better understand the links between vaping products and their potential negative side effects.