The 5 biggest e-cigarette complaints

What e-cig users have reported to the FDA

Published: March 21, 2014 06:00 AM

The Food and Drug Administration received more than 70 complaints about e-cigarettes between the end of 2006 and November 2013, ranging from respiratory problems to hospitalizations to exploding cigarettes, according to information we acquired through the Freedom of Information Act. The reports are voluntarily submitted by consumers and health care providers, and probably represent only a small fraction of the actual number of complaints consumers have had with the devices. 

The reports don't prove that e-cigs caused the problem, and it's unknown if the people who made the complaints were using the devices as directed or had an underlying health problem that contributed to the problem. Still, the reports highlight at least some of the areas of possible concern related to e-cigarettes. Here are the most common complaints in the reports we received.

  • 32 respiratory problems, some related to secondhand exposure.
  • 12 hospitalizations involving blood-pressure abnormalities, disorientation, pneumonia, seizures, and other health problems, and two reported deaths.
  • 10 heart problems, including heart-rhythm abnormalities and congestive heart failure.
  • 10 allergic reactions, including some with rashes or related to nicotine toxicity.
  • 4 exploding e-cigarettes, three reportedly involving burns.

—Doug Podolsky

Share your experience

If you've experienced an adverse event, you can report it to the FDA. Or share your e-cig experiences with us.

Editor's Note:

This article also appeared in the April 2014 issue of Consumer Reports on Health.

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Health News


Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

See your savings


Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more