The US Food and Drug Administration has been juxtaposed with the issue eCigarettes (or vaping) poses on children as well as the adult population. While vaping has increased in popularity as a means to quit smoking cigarettes, there has been a rise in popularity amongst youth and underage children.
Vaping is still a new phenomenon and studies are inconclusive about the long-term health consequences. All the while, eCigarettes are becoming more popular with younger people. They are marketed by users and manufacturers as a “safer” alternative to cigarettes and cigars, with thousands of flavors and delivery systems.
On April 3, 2019, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy released a statement outlining their concerns with seizures amongst the vaping population. “While we believe that currently addicted adult smokers who completely switch off of combustible tobacco and onto eCigarettes have the potential to improve their health, eCigarettes still pose health risks.”
The agency is concerned some chemicals are released at higher levels than typical cigarettes. The FDA took the opportunity to notify the public about the concern for seizures following eCigarette use. “Seizures or convulsions are known potential side effects of nicotine poisoning and have been reported in scientific literature in relation to intentional or accidental swallowing of nicotine-containing e-liquids,” the statement said.
Seizures Linked to eCigarettes
Seizures have been reported in first-time users as well as experienced users; some after a few puffs and other after one day of use.
The FDA reviewed voluntary adverse events for eCigarette use that were submitted to the agency. It found that a total of 35 cases of seizures were reported between 2010 and 2019 from eCigarettes. Those are the only reported cases and there could still be more that are unaccounted for.
“While 35 cases may not seem like much compared to the total number of people using eCigarettes, we are nonetheless concerned by these reported cases.”
Though the reports don’t outline specific details, like the brand or sub-brand of the eCigarette or what ‘juice’ the person was using, some of the cases included association with other substances such as marijuana or amphetamines. Moreso, some of the cases may have also triggered underlying medical conditions.
The FDA said it is particularly concerned about the negative impact on the airways, as well as the potential for the use of eCigarettes as a precursor to cancer.
The point the FDA wants to make is that eCigarette use may involve more risks and complications than what the general public and vaping community are aware of, as the devices haven’t been around long enough to conduct well-documented studies.
Increase in Teen Vaping
Marketing campaigns by the manufacturers of flavored ‘juice’ have been accused of targeting their products to appeal to children with fruit and candy flavors. The newfound attention towards vaping has raised many eyebrows across the healthcare industry.
In 2018, Monitoring the Future conducted a survey of middle school and high school students to track their exposure and familiarity with vaping. There was a dramatic spike in eCigarette use compared to the year before. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a similar correlation of data as well. Shortly around the same time, the FDA declared vaping has become an ‘epidemic’ for young children due to these major concerns.
Furthermore, devices used for vaping have been subjected to scrutiny over explosions that have resulted in burns and significant personal injury. As the result of using poorly manufactured Lithium Ion batteries, as well as overcharging the technology, eCigarettes have caused hundreds of injuries.
The risk of injury is so prevalent, the FDA even has a webpage dedicated to ways to prevent eCigarette explosion. Many people have filed eCigarette lawsuits or vaping lawsuits to hold manufacturers accountable.
Public Awareness of the Dangers of Vaping
The FDA is asking that healthcare professionals, consumers, parents, teachers and others be fully aware of the potential health hazards and report to the agency immediately if they are witness to seizures associated with eCigarettes. This will help the agency track certain health patterns and trends in users. Reports can be filed with the Safety Reporting Portal.
“The FDA is committed to monitoring this issue closely and taking additional steps as necessary to protect the public, especially our nation’s youth, from the dangers of eCigarettes and other tobacco products. We will continue to provide updates as more is learned.”
Contact an eCigarette Fire & Explosion Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered a seizure from vaping, you are not alone. To learn how we can help you and your family, please contact us for a Free Case Evaluation. We would be honored to speak with you and will respond promptly to every inquiry we receive.