Women who smoke and who are pregnant are advised to give up their tobacco habits. Some may be inclined to replace smoking with vaping, the practice that uses vaporizer pens to simulate the smoking experience without the cigarettes. In fact, many have touted vaping as the safe alternative to smoking. But isn't it? But the World Health Organization (WHO) says, "no."
First Things First…
"Smoking" e-cigarettes is less harmful than smoking tobacco. Tobacco smoking carries with it exposure not only to nicotine, but to nearly 4,000 additional toxins. E-cigarettes and the electronic liquids used to fill them are shown to contain some nicotine as well as other hidden toxins. Some of these toxins have been show to cause cancer. Some of the toxins in e-cigarettes include formaldehyde and nitrosamines. And some types of e-cigarettes, despite being labeled as nicotine free, do have small amounts of nicotine. In other words, replacing cigarettes with vaporizer pens isn't necessarily a good trade.
Nicotine is both harmful the mother and the baby. It affects every aspect of growth and development of a baby. It does this by how it affects the mother's system. Nicotine is shown to narrow the blood vessels, restricting the blood-oxygen levels for both the mother and the baby.
And just because the electronic liquids are labeled as lower in nicotine doesn't make it so. The study “Consistency of Labeled Nicotine Content in Electronic Cigarettes: Regulatory Challenges” demonstrated that the concentration of nicotine in e-cigarettes can be higher than what is shown on the label.
Obesity Later in Life...
Additionally, some studies have shown that children exposed to nicotine in the womb experience other side effects. These babies tend to be born smaller than their counterparts, and their brains exhibit structural changes. According to a report on the Healthy Day website, smoking during pregnancy can increase a child's risk of being obese during the teen years. It is the structural changes to the brain that make them more inclined toward fatty foods.
The Take Away
The truth of the matter is, vaping is new. No real studies have been conducted that determine for sure what vapors a pregnant mother might be breathing in, which in turn could be passed on to her baby. If a mother still feels inclined to smoke during pregnancy, vaping may provide a safer alternative, though how safe it is still remains to be seen.
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