By LAUREN MAINGOT
The Food and Drug Administration announced on Wednesday that it will investigate dozens of reports of seizures after using electronic cigarettes in the last decade.
At least 35 people who actively vape, mostly teens and young adults, reported suffering seizures to the FDA since 2010. Seizures, convulsions, vomiting and brain injuries are all known side effects of nicotine poisoning, according to NBC News.
“We can’t yet say for certain that e-cigarettes are causing these seizures,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in Wednesday’s statement. “As a public health agency, it’s our job to communicate about potential safety concerns associated with the products we regulate.”
According to USA Today, federal data shows that e-cigarette use was up 78% among high school students and 48% among middle school students from 2017 to 2018. Popular vaping products can be highly addictive, many containing a significantly higher dose of nicotine than traditional cigarettes
“The FDA is committed to monitoring this issue closely and taking additional steps as necessary to protect the public, especially our nation’s youth,” said Gottlieb. “We will continue to provide updates as more is learned.”
This story received an extensive amount of coverage, as expected from a pervasive issue that affects youth in particular. As more is learned about the health effects of these products, media outlets fulfill their role in distributing the information, which can influence societal patterns.