FDA probes whether e-cigs cause seizures

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating whether e-cigarette use can lead to seizures, the agency said on Wednesday.

The FDA has identified 35 cases of seizures after e-cig usage from 2010 to 2019, a relatively small sample size but enough to warrant a federal probe.

“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,” outgoing Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a 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," he added.

The FDA does not have enough information to link the seizures to one specific brand or sub-brand, and admits they could be caused by other underlying health issues.

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“At the same time, due to the voluntary nature of these case reports, we must also recognize that there may be more instances of seizure in e-cigarette users than have been reported,” the agency said.

Gottlieb has led a siege on the e-cig industry, moving forward with stricter regulations in an attempt to curb rising youth usage of Juul and other products.


The agency, for example, advanced a rule last month to bar convenience stores and other retail from selling e-cigs unless minors are blocked from entering the store or a separate, age-restricted section is established.