FDA announces new probe into possible link between seizures to vaping

With just days to go before departing his post as FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb announced yesterday the beginnings of yet another probe into the vaping industry.  The focal point around this latest anti-vaping venture are allegations that e-cigarette use could possibly lead to seizures. 

Gottlieb has spent much of his two-year tenure attacking the vapor industry on multiple fronts.  He’s chastised their advertising methods, admonished the name selections of their e-liquids, and accused them of preying on youngsters for sales.  He regularly claims that vaping is a gateway to tobacco use, even though the scientific data proves the contrary.  And he’s recently implemented new regulations that prohibit convenience stores from selling flavored products while still actively considering banning them altogether nationwide.

If Gottlieb’s plan is to kill vaping through death by a thousand cuts, then this “vaping causes seizures” conspiracy only adds to his long list of villainously diabolical slashes. 

The FDA press release: What were they vaping?

Issued on April 3, the FDA press release claims that between the years of 2010 and 2019, almost 10-years, 35 cases were reported of people experiencing seizures shortly after using e-cigarettes. And even though the FDA also states that the agency is not confirming a connection between vaping and seizures, the agency nonetheless believes that the public should be notified immediately of the possibility. 

“Today, we’re notifying the public of another potential emerging safety issue of which the FDA has recently become aware. We have reports indicating that some people who use e-cigarettes, especially youth and young adults, are experiencing seizures following their use….”
“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. 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. This also helps encourage the public to voluntarily report additional adverse events that can better inform our work.”

That last line is truly noteworthy.  It’s almost as if Gottlieb is issuing a blaring call-to-action requesting that every Tom, Dick, and Harry crawl out of from under their proverbial rocks and start making false accusations to the FDA about vaping-induced seizures.  Look for this story to have legs far into the future. 

According to CNBC News, some of the 35-cases involve people who had only vaped once. Others involved daily vapers.  Some of the seizures occurred after only a few puffs, and some of the victims even had prior histories of seizures. And perhaps even more startling, some of the people were not even vaping e-liquids.  They were vaping marijuana, amphetamines, or other substances instead.

But Gottlieb would never dream of blaming the marijuana industry, and attacking Big Pharma is a definite no-no.  So, once again, vaping is probably going to take the hit.   

Related Article:  In case you missed it: New poll shows 45% of USA wrongly believes e-cigs are as ‘harmful’ as smoking

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