Most people who have taken the step of attempting to give up smoking and turning to vaping E-cigarettes instead have reaped some fantastic benefits from the transition. However, new concerns are being raised regarding a possible connection between E-cigarettes and seizures.
In a recent press release from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), consumers were warned of a possible link between the liquid inside E-cigarettes and seizures. They said that they received 35 reports from e-cigarette users, mostly those in their teens and early twenties. These 35 people reported they had experienced seizures or convulsions after vaping an E-cigarette.
FDA Commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb said, according to Healthline report: “We want to be clear that we don’t yet know if there’s a direct relationship between the use of e-cigarettes and risk of seizure. We can’t yet say for certain that e-cigarettes are causing these seizures,” he said. For now, it’s little more than a sneaking suspicion on behalf of the FDA as no other compelling evidence has shown that E-cigarettes can affect people in this way.
While this news comes at a time when other damning reports about vaping have made the headlines – mainly surrounding the ingredients in E-liquids as well as claims it may negatively affect lung cells – no substantial or conclusive evidence has been put forward. For their part, the FDA said they only released the information to the public to alert them to any potential dangers and to encourage people to report adverse effects from vaping.
No specific brands were named in the press release, and seizure reports came from both first-time vapers and seasoned vapers making any sort of pattern hard to carve out at this stage.
With that said, some health officials are worried about the ingredients inside E-cigarettes; especially their nicotine content and type of nicotine used. Andrea Spatarella, DNP, of the Northwell Health Center for Tobacco Control in New York, told reporters, “Because of irregularities in nicotine labeling on some e-cigarette/vaping devices, and due to the highly concentrated formulation of the e-liquid that is used in some of the devices, an individual may be consuming more nicotine than they realize(…)”
Medical toxicologist, Peter Chai from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston said, “I think exposure (skin contact or oral) in children, or vaping exposure in younger individuals (adolescents through which we’ve seen a large increase in e-cig use), might be accounting or the increase in these seizures,” he said according to a report in The Verge. However, according to medical toxicologist Edward W. Boyer, a colleague of Chai said, “To get enough nicotine in your body to cause seizures by smoking cigarettes is well-nigh impossible.” And that applies all-the-more-so to E-cigarettes which generally contain far less nicotine than the average cigarette.
At the end of their statement, the FDA pointed out that seizures can be caused by a host of different things, noting that they could “result from sudden, abnormal electrical activity in the brain.” While the evidence is still thin, the FDA does have legitimate cause for concern and seems to be doing the right thing by being proactive about the issue before it spirals. They are also probably right that the current count of 35 reports is an underestimate as they wait for more people to come forward.
While the jury is still very much out on this one, recent reports in the media have been a cause for concern for many vapers. With reports about the FDA releasing statements like these about seizures and the hype about bacteria in E-liquids and problematic flavorings, vapers around the world are standing by to see what the impact of these allegations may have on their favorite habit.