Vaping During Pregnancy – Is It Safe? 13th November 2015 – Posted in: News – Tags: pregnancy, vaping
Vaping during pregnancy is one of the more controversial issues we have covered on the ViperCig blog, but one we felt we should talk about. In previous issues we have talked about how vaping is a good move away from traditional cigarettes, and will often result in a healthier way to indulge in your habit. And for consenting adults who are already heavy or moderate smokers, this is entirely true. But the game changes when a woman who smokes or vapes discovers she is pregnant. Pregnancy presents all sorts of problems for women, and there seems to be an endless list of things to avoid or stop doing/eating/drinking. But how should a pregnant woman deal with a nicotine addiction?
What Traditional Smoking Will Do During Pregnancy
Before we charge into vaping and pregnancy, let’s first look at the effects of smoking. We all understand the big dangers of smoking – they are all over cigarette cartons everywhere. Disfigured faces and organs, various cancers and serious medical problems requiring drastic measures like open-heart surgery or amputation. While smoking does cause all these things, there are also more subtle long-term effects, like the constriction of blood vessels that can last years after you quit. But in pregnancy, the results can be worse. Infants born to smokers can be born at very low weight and have learning disabilities, and smoking during pregnancy can even risk miscarriage, preterm labour, premature detachment from the placenta and even still birth.
This is because the nicotine and other toxins within tobacco cigarettes directly affect the blood vessels – including the small ones in the placenta. The placenta transfers oxygen and nutrients from mother to baby during pregnancy, keeping it alive and developing properly. Nicotine and other toxins attack and damage this tissue, causing lingering and permanent damage.
How Is Vaping Different?
While the majority of e-cigarettes still contain nicotine, they do not contain the variety of harsh and toxic chemicals that tobacco cigarettes do. The main components of e-cigarettes are water, propylene glycol, nicotine and some other hidden toxins. This means that the damage to your baby is largely limited to the effects of nicotine. There are also nicotine free e-cigarettes, which can help pregnant women who smoke wean themselves off smoking without still taking in nicotine and potentially doing damage to the baby. This is often the more popular choice with smokers who become pregnant, as some of the issues that occur when quitting and minimises complications in the pregnancy. While it’s still not an ideal situation, e-cigarettes are the less harmful alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes during pregnancy.
But That Doesn’t Mean It’s Safe
While an e-cigarette might not contain all of the toxins that cause a large amount of prenatal damage, they are by no means safe for your baby. That’s because e-cigarettes still expose your baby to nicotine. Not only is this highly addictive, but it is also one of the main toxins implicated in placental damage during pregnancy. E-cigarettes are also not regulated as strictly as tobacco cigarettes, so while you might be tempted to go down the ‘0% nicotine’ route, you can never be certain that the toxin isn’t there. With certain suppliers, there is also no guarantee regarding other ingredients, leaving you unsure about what you are taking in and passing on to the baby. The best advice we can give is to use this time to give up smoking – even if it’s just temporary. 9 months will fly by, and soon you will be able to vape again without risking your baby’s health.