Public Perception of Vaping as the FDA Investigates Seizures

Most vaping customers have recognized for awhile now that the media doesn’t necessarily spotlight the industry in a positive light. As if the press among new vaping laws hasn’t gotten the general public concerned of it’s benefits the most recent developments about seizures most certainly will. The US Food and Drug Administration is alerting the public to a potential new risk of having a seizure and asking the public to report any instances to the agency.

To date from 2010 to early 2019 the FDA has identified 35 cases of seizures, particularly among younger customers. The agency also mentioned that they have seen a slight increase of reported causes since the middle of last year. It’s always interesting to understand their foregone conclusion that there has been a slight increase when over the last 9 years there have only been 35 reported cases.

Furthermore, the FDA mentioned that it has not been able to determine a definitive link between vaping and seizures but are still asking the general public to bring forth additional information to help them investigate.

Seizures are known to be a possible side effect of nicotine poisoning, the FDA said. "We know that nicotine isn't a harmless substance, especially in the developing brains of our youth," FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb and Principal Deputy Commissioner Dr. Amy Abernethy said in the statement. "But we've also been clear that, even for adults, e-cigarettes are not risk free."

There is no clear pattern to the seizures: Some who had seizures were vaping for the first time, and some had been using these products for a while. The timing of seizures also ranged from after a few puffs on an e-cigarette to a full day later. Several people had previously received a seizure diagnosis, and a few had also been using other drugs, like marijuana or amphetamines, before the seizures occurred.

The FDA is looking into additional possible health risks when it comes to vaping, including whether they may cause cancer in the airways down the line, according to the statement.

The announcement comes as use of the products is skyrocketing among youth. The FDA revealed in November that vaping has increased nearly 80% among high schoolers and 50% among middle schoolers since the year before. Experts worry that e-cigarettes could put kids' developing brains at risk, get them hooked on nicotine early in life and be a gateway to smoking and other drugs.

The agency has made a number of other moves in recent months to counter vaping among kids, including warning and fining retailers for illegally selling e-cig products to kids. 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.

In January, the agency held a public hearing to consider the role of drug therapies to get kids to quit vapes and other nicotine products, with medical organizations and vaping groups weighing in on how to address rising levels of e-cigarette use among youth.

Even though most smokers will say vaping has been a blessing in their lives the media will continue to focus on its adverse effects. We’ll continue to hear more from the FDA within the United States as they provide additional guidance to manufacturers and retailers on the usage of e-cigarettes.