Vaping is not a ‘safer option’ for pregnant women

20 November 2020

According to the first known study into the effects of prenatal nicotine exposure on babies, e-cigarettes might not be a safer alternative to smoking during pregnancy.

Researchers found that babies of mothers who vaped during pregnancy showed similar abnormal reflexes – such as a baby not being startled if the hand supporting their head is suddenly removed – to infants whose mothers smoked traditional cigarettes.

The study, published in E Clinical Medicine, concludes the findings have implications for policy guidelines.

Lead author Suzanne Froggatt said: ‘Although e-cigarettes might expose the mother to fewer toxins than cigarettes, given the uncontrolled amount of nicotine in e-cigarette consumption and the effects on the fetus which can be seen postnatally, we don’t believe that mothers should be encouraged to use e-cigarettes during pregnancy.’

The researchers said ‘more investigation is needed’ so health professionals can provide women with a 
better informed choice about harm reduction while they are pregnant.