E-Cig Use While Pregnant Believed by Some to be Safer Than Cigarettes: Study

Many pregnant women fail to understand the risks associated with use of e-cigarettes during pregnancy, with fewer than 60% of those surveyed in a new study understanding that e-cigs contain nicotine and less than two thirds recognizing that they can be addictive.  

At the annual meeting of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in San Francisco, data was presented on a survey of 316 pregnant women visiting a University of Maryland-based outpatient obstetrics and gynecology clinic in Baltimore.

A research team led by Dr. Katrina Schafer Mark warned that exposing a fetus to nicotine during gestation can cause the baby to have a low birth weight and preterm birth. Nicotine can pass from the mother through the placenta to the fetus causing serious side effects.

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Their survey’s findings have not yet been published, but suggest that more than 40% of pregnant women think e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco cigarettes, saying that vaping is safer than smoking traditional cigarettes.

A study published last month revealed the risks associated with nicotine found in tobacco cigarettes are still present when vaping e-cigarettes, problems such as addiction and secondhand exposure.

Among pregnant women surveyed in the new study, only 13% had ever tried e-cigarettes, and most of those believed they were less harmful than tobacco cigarettes. Most of the women also said that e-cigarettes could help them quit smoking tobacco cigarettes.

That belief is held by a large number of people who vape or smoke. A study published last year revealed a growing number of smokers, nearly 6%, use e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking tobacco cigarettes. In comparison, 39% use a drug and 30% choose gums and patches.

Vaping During Pregnancy Puts Unborn At Risk

“Misconceptions about electronic cigarettes are common among pregnant women, posing risks for both maternal and neonatal health,” researchers determined.

The researcher team cites evidence from animal experiments that reveal nicotine alters brain development. A study published last month showed pregnant women who vape may damage the developing brain of the fetus.

The Surgeon General warns pregnant women against using nicotine in any form. Even the American Vaping Association warns that pregnant women shouldn’t use e-cigarettes.

“All nicotine use during pregnancy should be avoided, whether the source be cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or nicotine replacement therapy products like nicotine gum and patches,” said Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association.

The vapor from many e-cigarettes contain chemicals and heavy metals, such as tin, chromium and nickel, all substances which can harm the fetus.

A Japanese study published last year concluded some brands of e-cigarette devices release ten times the amount of some cancer-causing agents than tobacco cigarettes, including formaldehyde, acetaldehyde acrolein.

Overall, researchers say pregnant women need to be educated about e-cigarettes and warn that companies that manufacture the products are not interested in providing that information, so other sources of education should be established. They call on screening and education of e-cigarettes to be included in prenatal care.

1 Comments

  • SteveMay 11, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Nice article Big Tobacco. Every one of your points have been proven false. As an example, the Japanese study that you mentioned...People should know that the studys own scientist has backed away from the flawed testing and its results. They used a device that does not even go to that high of wattage and pushed it passed its setting any sane person would use. Its like putting a steak in the oven fo[Show More]Nice article Big Tobacco. Every one of your points have been proven false. As an example, the Japanese study that you mentioned...People should know that the studys own scientist has backed away from the flawed testing and its results. They used a device that does not even go to that high of wattage and pushed it passed its setting any sane person would use. Its like putting a steak in the oven for 8 hrs at 450 degrees -IT TOO would produce toxic chemicals...but the point is mute as NO ONE WOULD EVER EAT IT THAT WAY! Same with the ecig.

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