April 21, 2019

FDA Investigates Reports of Post-Vaping Seizures

05 April 2019, 07:08 | Silvia Roy

US investigates seizure risk with electronic cigarettes A man vaping

US investigates seizure risk with electronic cigarettes	 	 	 			A man vaping

The agency stressed that it's not yet clear if the e-cigarettes caused the seizures.

Since 2010, the FDA has received 35 reports of seizures among teenagers using e-cigarettes. A report last fall from researchers at George Mason University suggested the number of these cases has been underreported. Of those reported to the FDA and to poison control centers, 35 mentioned the use of an e-cigarette within that timeframe.

The department says that these incidents were only among those reported and that there may be more instances.

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Based on the data it has, these seizures were experienced by both first-time and "experienced" e-cigarette users; in addition, some users had a history of seizures. "Seizures have been reported as occurring after a few puffs or up to one day after use".

Health officials are urging people who experience any health issues after using an e-cigarette to report the problem to a federal safety reporting portal.

Convulsions and seizures are known to be a potential side effect of nicotine poisoning, according to the FDA.

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Marcene Weatherall, the director of intervention services for the district, said they are finding them in use not just at high schools and middle schools but also intermediate schools, which include the fifth and sixth grade levels. By combining nicotine - a bitter base in its natural form - with an organic acid, vape manufacturers can mask nicotine's naturally unpleasant taste, create higher-concentration products and deliver nicotine to the brain quickly, experts say. The new FDA warning "will result in the medical community now adding e-cigarettes and what was in them, and how much was used, to that list of things we will specifically ask about when assessing someone who has had a seizure", he said. "Parents aren't aware, adults aren't aware, and so students think that this is harmless".

"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", they noted. The agency has also expanded its investigation into e-cigarette companies in an effort to uncover whether they are marketing products illegally and outside the agency's compliance policy. Most of those cases were in adolescents and young adults.

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