The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just circulated a special report about a new health risk that they feel might be linked to e-cigarettes: seizures.
Since June 2018, the agency collected what it called “a recent upward trend” in reports where users stated to have seizures that may be affixed with their e-cigarette use. The FDA gathers information about vape safety risks through their Safety Reporting Portal, where people who use e-cigarettes can share their experiences.
Between reports via that portal and from poison control centres, the FDA computed 35 reports of seizures between 2010 and early 2019 that may be associated to vaping. Most of those stated consisted of “youth or young adult users.”
Cases of nicotine-related seizures have been associated with eating. It is tenable that e-cigarettes might be able to deliver enough amount of nicotine to have the same effect.
It is a known fact that nicotine poisoning can cause seizures, such as when people swallow vape juice. However, the FDA doesn’t know yet what the relationship is there between seizures and vaping. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in a statement stated that some of the seizures might be disconnected, or some might be caused by inhaling massive amounts nicotine. However, it’s less feasible.
There are also various types of seizures which, the FDA states are a result of sudden, abnormal electrical activity in the brain. It can lead to convulsions but also can make people freeze and stare. Even though they don’t cause long-term damage; however, public health experts still need to figure out why and, in case they find that the seizures are related to vaping, how to prevent them.
Till now, there don’t seem to be clear trends in the reports. The FDA said that there were people who reported a seizure after vaping for the first time and people who experienced seizures after vaping for a while.
Some people had been diagnosed with seizures before, and others suggested that they’d been using other substances, too, like cannabis or amphetamines. The FDA thinks that the case count of 35 is underrated, given that people submit these reports voluntarily.