US regulators probe reports of e-cigarette use causing seizures

The US FDA found a total of 35 reports of seizure cases following the use of e-cigarettes between 2010 and early 2019. (AFP pic)

US regulators said Wednesday they are investigating reports that e-cigarettes – increasingly widespread in America and elsewhere – may cause seizures.

“We have reports indicating that some people who use e-cigarettes, especially youth and young adults, are experiencing seizures following their use,” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a statement.

The FDA has reviewed “voluntary adverse event reports,” finding “a total of 35 reported cases of seizures following the use of e-cigarettes between 2010 and early 2019,” it said.

“We believe these 35 cases warrant scientific investigation into whether there is, in fact, a connection.”

The use of e-cigarettes – colloquially known as vaping – began to take off among young Americans in the 2010s, and overtook cigarette smoking in 2014.

The US categorises e-cigarettes – which deliver nicotine, often as part of fruit- or sweets-flavoured vapour – as tobacco products, a definition not shared by all countries.