E-cigarette May Induce Epilepsy

On April 3, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that e-cigarettes may be at risk of causing epilepsy.


The agency said that since June last year, reports of seizures have increased slightly, and 35 cases of seizures after e-cigarettes were discovered between 2010 and early 2019. Seizures occur primarily in young people, with seizures occurring several times after smoking or one day after use.

According to the FDA’s statement, epilepsy or convulsions are known side effects of nicotine poisoning, and they have been reported to be associated with intentional or accidental swallowing of electronic fluids containing nicotine. The FDA suspects that 35 cases of epilepsy actually underestimate the actual situation, because these reports are submitted voluntarily.

However, the agency said it is not certain that e-cigarettes have caused these seizures. Some people have epilepsy when they smoke e-cigar for the first time. Some people have used epilepsy before, and some people have taken other substances such as marijuana or amphetamine. Therefore, these cases need to be investigated to determine if there is a real connection between the two. Since some e-cigarettes contain high concentrations of nicotine, the FDA will also study any additional consequences of nicotine use.


Used aerosols produced by e-cigarette heating solutions include particulate matter, 1,2-propanediol, certain volatile organic compounds, certain heavy metals, and nicotine. Some of the metal content it produces, such as nickel and chromium, is even higher than the second-hand smoke produced by traditional cigarettes.