Can vaping e-cigarettes cause seizures? The FDA thinks it’s possible. Vaping flavored nicotine is a relatively new phenomenon without case studies or long-term research into the effects. One thing we know is that nicotine is an addictive substance that can cause a lot of changes in the user, especially once they are addicted.
Proponents in the vaping industry argue that vaping is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, but the evidence doesn’t bend either way. The vaping industry is no longer in its infancy, but research showing the adverse effects is scarce. Data collection has only begun to take e-cigarette use into account when screening for health problems.
One new trend has made the FDA take notice: dozens of young people who have nothing in common but vaping e-cigarettes have reported they suspect that vaping caused them to have seizures.
The data, collected from the FDA Safety Reporting Portal for Tobacco Products and poison control centers. In all, the FDA counted 35 reports of seizures between 2010 and early 2019 that may be related to vaping. Most of those involved “youth or young adult users.”
Few tobacco users are aware of these online tools, which means the number of people who experienced seizures during or after vaping could be higher.
Seizures are known to be a possible side effect of nicotine poisoning, according to the FDA. “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 write. “But we’ve also been clear that, even for adults, e-cigarettes are not risk-free.”
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who will be leaving his post soon, has repeatedly called for some regulation in the vaping industry, which seems to be targeting teenagers and is often addictive for young people. Under his leadership, hundreds of businesses were issued warnings for marketing to young people or otherwise violating the law.
The FDA has described e-cigarette use as “an epidemic” among teens and young people, many who don’t realize the harmful effects of nicotine use or don’t understand that e-cigarettes do contain nicotine.
Last November, the FDA also published research that showed e-cigarette use among high schoolers had increased an astonishing 80% during just one year. In that same year, usage among tweens rose 50% as well. Health experts say that they’re worried about the effects on the adolescent brain. A recent study also showed that teens who vape are more likely to smoke or use other addictive drugs.