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Vaping While Pregnant is on the Rise- Will it Replace Cigarettes?

by | May 3, 2019

Note: This article is NOT endorsing the use of electronic (or any other) cigarettes when expecting.

Substance use during pregnancy (alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs) can lead to dire consequences for your unborn child. More specifically, smoking cigarettes during this time may result in problems including “preterm birth, low birth weight, and birth defects of the mouth and lip. Smoking during and after pregnancy also increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).” (CDC.Gov) The biggest craze over these past years, vaping, is no exception to this but pregnant women are still turning to it.

smoking while pregnant
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Vaping While Pregnant is on the Rise- Will it Replace Cigarettes?

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Vaping While Pregnant is on the Rise- Will it Replace Cigarettes?

Vaping, the usage of electronic cigarettes that functions by heating liquid into vapor of which is inhaled by the user, gained momentum back in 2004 with the modern electronic cigarette that we know today being developed by Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist. The idea of the e-cigarette dates back to 1927, but wasn’t realized until 1963. Today, vaping is used pretty much everywhere in the developed world by teens and adults alike as a recreational activity and form of stress management.

According to a recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics on April 29, it has been found that 3.6% of pregnant women use electronic cigarettes. The weird thing about this statistic? The percentage of pregnant women vaping is higher than the percentage of non-pregnant women who vape which is 3.3%.

Within this 3.6% of pregnant women who vape, there is, of course, a higher percentage of those who are also smokers of normal cigarettes, which lies at 39% of pregnant women. Overall, the use of traditional cigarettes among pregnant women is thankfully lower than the percentage of non-pregnant women, with numbers at 8% and 14% respectively.

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According to Patricia Folan of the Center for Tobacco Control in Northwell Health located in New York, vaping while pregnant isn’t as safe of a traditional cigarette alternative as many young women may think.

The substances in e-cigarettes can have a damaging effect on the brain and lungs of the unborn baby. Some studies have shown that the flavorings in e-cigarettes can also harm the developing child.

Patricia Folan

Folan also notes that despite how electronic cigarettes have been advertised, there is no actual study yet that proves that vaping while pregnant as a way to discontinue smoking is safe for the unborn child. However, according to an article from Pediatrics in Review, it is evident that there is both a lack of information and a lot of misinformation out there concerning the use of e-cigarettes while pregnant. The general consensus does seem to be that it may be best to simply not smoke cigarettes at all while pregnant, electronic or not.

What do you think about the rise of vaping during pregnancy? Do you think it will eventually replace all traditional cigarettes? Do you think that vaping while pregnant is an effective way of cutting out traditional cigarettes? Let me know in the comments below.

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