Little eJimmy, eBritany, eBobby, eJennifer –
July 13, 2021 – “The take-home message is that it’s best to abstain from e-cigarettes while you’re pregnant, if you can,” said lead researcher Annette Regan, an assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The dangers of smoking during pregnancy are well known, and include increased risks of preterm birth, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome.
The question is whether e-cigarettes can carry similar hazards. The battery-powered devices work by heating a liquid, which creates a “vapor” that is inhaled. That allows users to avoid tobacco smoke, but they are still breathing in nicotine.
“And nicotine is acknowledged as a developmental toxicant,” Regan said.
Beyond the nicotine content, e-cigarettes have a base liquid of glycerin and propylene glycol — substances widely used in consumer products, from food additives to cosmetics.
But in e-cigarettes, they are vaporized and inhaled. And that may be a problem, according to Mark Olfert, an associate professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine. He wasn’t part of the new study.
In animal research, Olfert has found that e-cigarette vapor causes the same kind of stiffened arteries that tobacco smoke does. And it appears to be an effect of the heated chemicals in the liquids.
If a pregnant woman vapes, one concern is that any such blood vessel effects could impair blood flow to the womb, Olfert said.