You might have clicked on this post because you are:
- currently pregnant and vaping and want to know if this is safe
- you are planning to have a baby and want to know if it is safe to continue vaping whilst you are pregnant
- you are a smoker, planning to have a baby and want to know if making the switch to vaping is a safer option
In this article, you’ll find out everything you need to know about e-cigarette use while pregnant.
Vaping while pregnant
It’s common knowledge that smoking cigarettes whilst you are pregnant can harm your unborn child, and cause a myriad of health issues.
Many of these health issues can cause permanent damage to your baby, and have negative effects for the duration of his or her entire life.
Vaping is touted as a safer alternative to smoking, which has made many people wonder about how safe it is for mothers-to-be.
Quitting smoking is notoriously difficult, therefore many pregnant women are questioning whether switching to vaping could make this daunting task easier, or indeed, if vaping is really an acceptable alternative during pregnancy.
Is it safe to vape while pregnant?
Well, the short answer is: we don’t know yet.
Vaping simply hasn’t been around long enough for scientists to have really explored the long-term effects, particularly regarding pregnancy.
Another similar question concerns vaping at 0% nicotine whilst pregnant. As there is no nicotine, surely it can’t be that harmful to your baby? Again, the results from these studies cannot yet confirm if this is safe or not. Scientists are still unsure of the effects that e-liquid chemicals can have on unborn babies.
The Smokefree Action Coalition has a Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group, which is a partnership between the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. The group have produced a leaflet entitled ‘The Use of Electronic Cigarettes in Pregnancy‘.
This is one of the key messages in the leaflet that we felt was encouraging:
“Little research has been conducted into the safety of electronic cigarettes in pregnancy, however they are likely to be significantly less harmful to a pregnant woman and her baby than cigarettes.”
The leaflet includes a few statistics, such as a
“In England, 11% of mothers were recorded as smoking at time of delivery in 2015, 4 varying between 2% and 26% across the country.“
Vaping whilst pregnant: the lesser of two evils?
Although it would be safer to quit altogether whilst pregnant, it is widely understood how difficult that can be.
The leaflet suggests that NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) is the recommended option for women during pregnancy, however, it also states that:
‘if a pregnant woman chooses to use an electronic cigarette and if that helps her to stay smokefree, she should not be discouraged from doing so.”
The results from a study that looked at current and ex-smokers found:
“significantly lower levels of cancer causing chemicals, TSNAs and VOCs were found in samples from former smokers using e-cigarettes only or NRT only, compared with current smokers“.
There been other reports that suggest ‘E-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than tobacco‘.
Although Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is often the preferred recommendation from healthcare professionals, particularly during pregnancy, there are studies that suggest these are no more effective at helping a smoker to quit than simply going ‘cold turkey’.
If you’re finding it difficult to quit smoking, and you are struggling with NRT, vaping could be a better option for you, and is certainly the preferred option over continuing to smoke traditional cigarettes.
Can second-hand ‘vape smoke’ cause harm to pregnant women?
It is also worth noting that so-called “passive vaping” poses no known risks to bystanders.
Unlike cigarette smoke, if you are pregnant and someone around you is vaping, don’t panic. Many tests and studies have been carried out that, so far, indicate that it won’t do you or your baby any harm.
If it makes you uncomfortable, it shouldn’t be considered unreasonable to open a window or even ask the person to vape outside.
Deciding to have a baby is, for most people, a big decision, and it’s understandable that mothers-to-be to want the very best for their children, but it can also be incredibly difficult to quit smoking & tobacco products.
The purpose of this post is not to recommend vaping while pregnant, but simply to inform you of what the latest studies, and what scientists currently know so that you can make your own, informed decision.
To read about the common side effects and possible heath risks of vaping, click here.