E-cigarette users, particularly youth and young adults, have been reporting seizures to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to an FDA statement released April 3, 2019. The FDA said it was investigating the potential association between e-cigarettes and seizures, and the agency called for additional voluntary reporting of e-cigarette adverse events.
The FDA statement, authored by Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy, opens by discussing the agency’s position that “no child should be using any tobacco product.” Additional investigation into the health risks of nicotine and e-cigarettes is necessary for both children and adults, the FDA said, including investigation into the potential safety risk of seizures.
Between 2010 and early 2019, the FDA has received more than 30 reports of seizures following use of e-cigarettes, the agency said. The majority of the reports, of which the FDA identified 35 in total, involved children and young adults. Seizures are a known complication from nicotine poisoning and swallowing nicotine liquids, the FDA said, and investigation into the possibility of seizures from nicotine vaping is necessary.
“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 and Abernethy said in the statement. “We also recognize that not all of the cases may be reported. We believe these 35 cases warrant scientific investigation into whether there is in fact a connection.”
Gottlieb and Abernethy went on to say in the statement that currently, there is no evidence of a direct relationship between seizures and e-cigarettes. The agency is encouraging consumers, doctors, family members, and educators to be aware of the potential issue and to report adverse events to the FDA.
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