The FDA has become aware that several people using e-cigarettes have experienced migraines, with the majority of reports coming from students or young adult users. Convulsions or seizures are known as possible health impacts of nicotine toxicity and have been listed in the scientific research about intended or involuntary swallowing of e-liquid.
But a current uptick in the voluntary statements of unfavorable experiences with tobacco products which mentioned seizures occurring with e-cigarette usage (e.g. vaping) indicates a potential emerging health issue.
The FDA continues to collect all unfavorable experiences reported to the agency about using e-cigarettes and encourages people to report cases of those using e-cigarettes and have had a seizure through the internet online Safety Reporting Portal, as more will be explained below.
What Is A Seizure?
Seizures result from unexpected, unusual electrical activity in the brain. Though often associated with convulsions where a person’s full body shakes uncontrollably, not all of the seizures reveal full-body shaking.
Other potential signs of seizures include a lapse in consciousness or awareness, which might look like an individual is staring blankly into space for a couple of seconds or abruptly stops moving. The individual may or may not fall down.
Most seizures finish in a few minutes or seconds, and the individual might appear fine, sleepy, confused, or have a headache later. They may not recall what they were doing or what happened right before the seizure.
What Should You Do For A Seizure
While seizures typically do not cause permanent harm, they intimate the necessity for immediate medical care to search for a cause and also to prevent future seizures, if at all possible. If you believe a person is having a seizure, call 911, and seek immediate medical assistance.
For exposures with less severe visible results or if you have inquiries, contact poison control on 800-222-1222.
How To Report Bad Experiences
The FDA has been getting spontaneous adverse experience reports about tobacco products since 1988, including accepting online reports because of 2014 through the Security Reporting Portal (SRP).
Consumers also have reported unfavorable experience information right to poison control centers. Since June 2018, the FDA noted a slight but noticeable increase in reports of seizures.
After analyzing poison control centers’ reports between 2010 and early 2019, the FDA decided that, between the poison control centers and the FDA, there were a total of 35 reported incidents of seizures discussing the use of e-cigarettes within that interval.
Because of the voluntary nature of the case reports, there might be many more cases of seizure in e-cigarette users that have never been reported to either FDA or Poison Control.
Vaping Liquid With Added Drugs
Seizures have been recorded among first-time e-cigarette users and expert users. In a few circumstances, e-cigarette users reported a previous history of seizures.
A few reported cases intimated seizures in association with the use of other substances like marijuana or amphetamines. Seizures have been reported as happening after a couple of puffs or up to a day later.
Public Awareness Campaign
The majority of the self-reported data that the FDA has received doesn’t contain any particular brand or sub-brand information regarding the e-cigarette. While specific information is currently being researched, the FDA is alerting the public to the critical and potentially significant health problems.
Doctors should be aware that seizures may be related to e-cigarette usage –redacted reports of previous incidents are available on the FDA site and might help medical evaluations of seizures.
Consumers Of E-Cigs
People should recognize the broad assortment of symptoms that could be related to e-cigarette use and the value of reporting new or unexpected seizures to their physician or clinic.
Teachers, Parents, and other Concerned People
Adults around young people should remember that lots of youth are adopting e-cigarettes that closely show a USB flash drive have elevated levels of nicotine and emissions that are difficult to see.
Under Age Users
Children and young adult users should also bear in mind that some e-cigarettes (also called vape pens) can contain elevated levels of nicotine, as much nicotine as a package of natural tobaccos. Teens who vape may wind up hooked on nicotine faster than teenagers who smoke regular natural tobacco cigarettes.
Vaping might be done more frequently since the vape pens are easier to hide and might introduce users to more nicotine. There are no safe tobacco products.
Reporting Is Key For Research To Continue
The FDA is looking for more information about seizures after e-cigarette use to identify common risk factors and understand whether any e-cigarette product characteristics such as nicotine content or formula may lead to seizures. In the case you or someone you know experiences any unanticipated health or safety concerns with any tobacco product, please report it via the Safety Reporting Portal (SRP). SRP users can upload related medical documents in assistance of or rather than a complete SRP report.
When reporting a negative experience, please make sure to include:
- The title of the company
- The model, brand name, and serial number of the apparatus or e-liquid, if applicable
- Where the device or e-liquid was bought
- Whether the device or e-liquid was altered in any way or if there was a device failure
- Whether other tobacco stocks, drugs, additions or other substances were practiced
- Whether there were any other symptoms (i.e., nausea, vomiting) or caution right before the adverse experience, such as the change from the user’s behavior, alertness, eyesight or hearing
- Details regarding product usage preceding the event (length, intensity and amount of e-cigarette usage )
- Details concerning health effects, such as some regions of the body affected, how symptoms grew, how long they remained, the length of their recovery, and the clinical testing or maintenance and conclusions rendered
Think E-Cigs Can’t Harm Teens’ Health?
The science says they could. The nicotine in e-cigarettes can alter the young brain and get children hooked.
Are you aware that the nicotine in tobacco products like e-cigarettes can rewire the adolescent brain to crave more of this substance and generate a nicotine addiction? The kinds of brain changes that could occur may have long-term effects on learning, attention, and memory. Additionally, nicotine addiction may result in regular use of tobacco products, leading to long-term exposure to toxic chemicals.
Because cigarettes are not the only tobacco product, which may result in dependence, FDA is doing what is required to keep e-cigarettes and the other tobacco products from minors’ hands. Here is why…
By around age 11 for girls and 14 for boys, the mind is roughly as big as it is going to get. But size aside, this organ at the middle of sensation and wisdom will continue to grow for years then –right into an individual’s mid the to late 20s.
As an adolescent person’s still-developing brain quickly develops “synapses” that serve as bridges among brain cells, learning to play the piano or studying a new technology can become more readily than in adulthood. Unluckily, so can alcoholism.
Why Addiction Is Dangerous?
Young people are more willing to take risks with their health, including the possibility of using products that contain nicotine. And teens are especially prone to addiction to nicotine, whether the material comes from a cigarette, e-cigarette, or other tobacco product.
Some e-cigarettes popular among children, such as JUUL, deliver particularly significant levels of nicotine. Addiction to nicotine issues because using nicotine as a teenager may have enduring impacts on focus, learning, and memory and dependence keep people using dangerous tobacco products.
But research shows that many youths underestimate how addictive smoking is and have reduced risk perceptions of things like e-cigarettes.
While studies are underway to explain further the risks associated with different tobacco products, science has taught us some things about e-cigarettes–even the ones that are nicotine-free or promoted that way.
For Example, Did You Know…?
E-cigarette Aerosols can comprise:
- The chemicals acrolein, formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde–also observed in cigarette smoke–that may cause irreversible lung injury.
- Toxic metal particles like nickel, lead, and chromium, which are inhaled into the lungs.
- Additional toxic chemicals like acrylonitrile, propylene oxide, and crotonaldehyde.
E-Cig Upsurge and FDA’s Assurance
For the fifth year running, e-cigarettes are the most widely used tobacco product amongst U.S. middle and high school kids, according to the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS). And from 2017 to 2018, a problematic upsurge was seen in childhood usage of e-cigarettes, with a 78% increase among high school students, and 48 percent among middle school students.
The entire amount of middle and high school pupils presently using e-cigarettes increased to 3.6 million in 2018, which is 1.5 million more than in the last year. The National Youth Tobacco Survey also found that youth using e-cigarettes are using them and flavored products–more often than they did the prior year.
Not only does e-cigarette use come with dangers of its own, but research has also demonstrated that youth who vape are more inclined to begin smoking combustible smokes, despite their renowned and often-deadly health effects like lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.
“We will take whatever action is necessary to stop youth e-cigarette use from continuing to build and to ensure young e-cigarette users don’t become future smokers,”
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said concerning the bureau’s imperative to confront the childhood e-cigarette epidemic.
FDA’s Steps to Stem the Epidemic
FDA is taking forceful steps to prevent children from starting to use tobacco products. The agency established its Comprehensive Plan for Tobacco and Nicotine Regulation in 2017, putting nicotine and the dilemma of addiction front-and-center due to the essential role they play in contributing to disease and death from tobacco use.
Part of the tobacco regulatory strategy, the Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan, focuses primarily on preventing youth access to tobacco products; controlling the marketing of tobacco products proposed for youth; and educating teens about the risks of consuming any tobacco product, in addition to educating retailers about their crucial role in protecting childhood.
No children should be consuming any tobacco product, and federal law bans tobacco sales to people under 18. The agency has ramped up enforcement efforts associated with e-cigarette advertising and sales, and on November 2018, the concerning findings in the 2018 NYTS childhood e-cigarette use data prompted FDA to outline a policy framework focused on addressing youth appeal of, and access to, flavored tobacco products, that appear to be in the center of the youth tobacco usage issue.
FDA also held a public hearing lately that included discussion of the possible role of drug therapies to encourage youth e-cigarette cessation and problems associated with the development of these therapies.
Meanwhile, the FDA spends massively in research to proceed to build the science base related to tobacco products, also in science-based operations to teach youth about their threats. In September 2018, FDA developed “The Real Cost” education effort to concentrate on childhood e-cigarette prevention.
“The Real Cost” education practice to focus on youth e-cigarette restriction. “The campaign aims to challenge teens’ cost-free mentality, with messages about the risks of using e-cigarettes, including nicotine’s impact on the developing brain and potential exposure to harmful chemicals,” FDA Center for Tobacco Products director Mitchell Zeller, J.D., wrote in a new American Journal of Preventive Medicine issue dedicated to “The Real Cost.”
Play Part Along with FDA
CTP is committed to protecting Americans–and especially our Nation’s youth–from the hazards of smoking and tobacco. And the public can help the FDA apply the law by reporting potential violations, like the sale of tobacco products to children or the sale of cigarettes in packs of less than 20.
While FDA implements its regulatory authority toward preventing current and future generations of children from starting down a path of lifelong dependence, teens should keep in mind that the choice made in childhood to use any tobacco product can train the brain to yearn for more nicotine, placing the stage for potentially devastating health consequences later on.