E-Cigarette Reviews and Rankings

The FDA Is Investigating Reports of Seizures Possibly Linked to Vaping

Just before Scott Gottlieb quit his position as Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, the agency issued a bizarre announcement warning the public about a potential link between vaping and a number of reports of seizures.

“Today, we’re notifying the public of another potential emerging safety issue of which the FDA has recently become aware. We have reports indicating that some people who use e-cigarettes, especially youth and young adults, are experiencing seizures following their use,” the FDA statement reads. “An FDA review of voluntary adverse event reports for these products submitted to the agency and to poison control centers has identified a total of 35 reported cases of seizures following use of e-cigarettes between 2010 and early 2019. 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. 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.

That’s right, apart from pushing children to smoking tobacco, and being really bad for your respiratory system and heart, electronic cigarettes may also cause seizures, at least according to a few reports currently being investigated by the FDA. Well, I guess that’s it then, time to go back to smoking…

Only things aren’t exactly what the mainstream media is trying to make them up to be. First of all, the FDA mentions 35 self-reported cases in a span of almost nine years, which isn’t what most experts would call scientific evidence. Furthermore, the statement mentions that a few of the reported cases indicate that the seizures occurred in association with the use of other substances such as marijuana or amphetamines. The reports also don’t provide enough details to establish a clear cause or pattern, and the agency actually admits they’ve found nothing linking e-cigarettes to the seizures. They’re definitely still looking, though.

“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. We can’t yet say for certain that e-cigarettes are causing these seizures,” Gottlieb wrote in the statement. “We’re sharing this early information with the public because as a public health agency, it’s our job to communicate about potential safety concerns associated with the products we regulate that are under scientific investigation by the agency.”

Oh, I couldn’t agree more. Warning the general public about a “potential” adverse effect of vaping for which there is absolutely no proof is completely justified…

Just to be clear, nicotine poisoning can cause seizures, but even the FDA admits that it is virtually impossible to get enough nicotine into the bloodstream for this to occur by vaping or smoking. A person would have to ingest or inject themselves with dangerously high doses of nicotine to experience such extreme symptoms. And even if this were possible, it seems strange that smoking has never been linked to seizures before considering the tobacco cigarette is a much more efficient nicotine delivery system. If the FDA truly is so committed to informing the public about potential hazards, surely they would have investigated such reports…

But of course, the FDA thinks some e-cigarettes may allow users to inhale more nicotine than cigarettes, which they suggest may cause the seizures.

“There are many factors that may lead to seizures. For example, e-liquids have varying levels of nicotine concentrations, and some e-cigarette design features may allow a user to obtain high levels of nicotine quickly,” the official statement reads. “E-cigarette use behaviors also vary and users may deliberately or inadvertently inhale more nicotine than would typically occur.”

I’m no expert, but I sadly have experienced mild nicotine poisoning. I suddenly started feeling nauseous, I started to sweat, felt lightheaded, so I stopped vaping. I then noticed that I was vaping 12mg/ml e-liquid in a sub-ohm tank, which was apparently too much for my body to handle. The point is you know something is wrong before you experience extreme symptoms like seizures. As I said, inhaling enough nicotine to experience something like that is extremely hard to do, maybe even impossible.

As some people have pointed out on social media, the smoking cessation drugs like Chantix were linked to hundreds of seizure reports, but the FDA didn’t issue a public warning about that until completing its investigation. Then, a simple label change, warning users about this “rare” side-effect, solved that problem. But a few self-reported cases in nine years, which the agency admits may not even be related to vaping, are apparently cause for concern.

“We are actively seeking additional reporting. We’re encouraging health care professionals, consumers, parents, teachers and other concerned adults, as well as youth and young adult users to be aware of this potential health issue and report any past or future incidents of seizures following e-cigarette use to the FDA,” the agency said. “Additional reports or information about these incidents may help us determine if there’s a connection and help identify common risk factors and if any e-cigarette product attributes, such as nicotine content or formulation, may contribute to seizures.”

The campaign against e-cigarettes is definitely revving into high gear. We’ve come to the point where the agency that should be providing scientific evidence to ensure public health is resorting to baseless scaremongering to push people away from an alternative nicotine delivery system that could save their lives. Meanwhile, tobacco smoking is killing millions of people around the world every year. At least they don’t suffer from seizures, I guess…

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