Can You Vape While Pregnant?

06/20/2024
LOOKAH

Can you Vape When Pregnant

Smoking cigarettes while you are pregnant can harm your unborn child, and increase the risk of a miscarriage, stillbirth and more.

What about vaping? As vaping becomes increasingly popular, the questions regarding vaping continue to stack up.

Many women begin vaping to replace their habit of cigarette smoking in hopes that it will be a better alternative, or help them “kick” their nicotine habit while they are pregnant, keeping their baby safe.

Is this true? Is it really safe? Are there any potential risks associated with vaping while pregnant.

Don't worry! In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about vaping during pregnancy.

What are E-cigarettes?

E-cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes are battery operated devices that heat a liquid solution into an aerosol (a fine spray) that is inhaled. Using e-cigarettes is usually referred to as “vaping.”

E-cigarettes are known by many different names, such as “e-cigs,” “e-hookahs,” “mods,” “vape pens,” “vapes,” “tank systems,” and “electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).”

E-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Devices (ENDS) are similar to traditional cigarettes in that both are vessels for delivering nicotine to their users through the inhalation route of exposure.

Electronic cigarettes are often look like a cigarette or cigar, but can also look like pens, pocket flashlights, USB memory sticks, or other common objects.

Is it safe to vape while pregnant?

Is it safe to vape while pregnant

No, it's not safe to vape while pregnant. Vaping can have adverse effects on both the mother and fetus.

Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, an addictive drug that can damage a baby’s developing brain, lungs and other organs. They also contain chemicals, flavors and other additives that can negatively impact health.

When you vape, these chemicals in e-liquids enter your body. Because you and your baby share the same bloodstream, harmful chemicals in your system are shared with your baby through the placenta and umbilical cord.

There is evidence to suggest that exposure to e-cigarettes during pregnancy has the potential to harm maternal and fetal health and cause adverse effects, including increased systemic inflammation, low birth weight, preterm birth, and small size for gestational age status.

However, research remains limited and there are large knowledge gaps regarding effects of e-cigarette use on maternal and fetal health and birth outcomes.

So quitting or not vaping when pregnant is by far the best health and safe way an expectant mother can take to protect and enhance the current and future health of her baby & herself.

What are the ingredients in vape vapor? Side Effects & Dangers during Pregnancy

ingredients in vape vapor

E-cigarette vapor is not harmless water vapor it contains harmful chemicals.

E-Liquids used in E-cigarettes usually contain nicotine, water, and either propylene glycol or glycerine, and flavourings.

In addition, When the e-liquid is heated at a high voltage, other chemicals are formed.

1. Nicotine

E-cigarettes have even higher levels of nicotine than regular cigarettes.

Nicotine is a stimulant, like caffeine, and has the potential to stimulate the circulatory system, with an increased risk of arrhythmias and raised blood pressure.

Nicotine is a developmental toxicant that can negatively affect pregnancy and infant health. It can damage the development of the baby’s brain and lungs.

Nicotine narrows your blood vessels, which means that less oxygen and fewer nutrients reach your baby via the placenta.

2. Flavourings

There are thousands of flavours all with different additives and chemicals, For example, the diacetyl and liquorice.

High levels of exposure to diacetyl can lead to the serious, irreversible lung disease bronchiolitis obliterans also known as “popcorn lung”.

The Liquorice plant has been associated with bloating and water retention that occurs during pregnancy.

Additionally, The chemical flavoring ingredients in e-cigarettes may have a more toxic effect on embryonic cells than adult cells, which means that a developing fetus may be more susceptible to damage.

3. Propylene Glycol (PG)

Propylene Glycol is a colorless, odorless, thick liquid. It is an ingredient in antifreeze and is known to cause irritation to the lungs and eyes and may cause issues for people with asthma and emphysema.

Propylene glycol is unsafe for infants and pregnant women as it's harder for them to break down the ingredient.

4. Glycerin

Glycerin has no color or smell but gives a candy taste. This likely to be safe for you and your baby.

5. Other substances found in e-cig vapor

Ultrafine particles: These can be inhaled deep into the lungs and may exacerbate conditions such as asthma and emphysema and could lead to a heart attack.

Volatile Organic Compounds: These are created as a by product of heating the vapor and can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches and nausea, and can damage the liver, kidney and nervous system.

Cancer causing toxins: The aerosol ("vapor") from an e-cigarette contains some cancer-causing chemicals, like nitrosamines, Propylene Oxide, Formaldehyde (MS,SS), etc, although in significantly lower amounts than in cigarette smoke.

Trace Heavy metals: These are known to cause respiratory distress and disease and include nickel, tin and lead.

In addition to what is listed above, there are other chemicals that are used and may not even be listed due to the lack of information from the manufacturer.

Is there any health risk from second-hand vape vapor while pregnant?

health risk from second-hand vape vapor while pregnant

Vapor from E-cigarettes containing nicotine and other chemicals are not safe during pregnancy.

Vapor is exhaled by e-cigarette users as part of their vaping. If someone nearby is vaping, you may breathe in these harmful chemicals.

In addition, Secondhand smoke leaves toxic thirdhand smoke behind. This dangerous residue hangs onto every possible surface, including carpets, blankets, and stuffed animals.

There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke for pregnant women. Infants and young children are especially vulnerable.

Ask your friends and family not to smoke around you while pregnant or when baby arrives.

How to limit your exposure to e-cig vapor during pregnancy?

1. Make your home and car smoke-free.

2. Ask people not to smoke around you.

3. Make sure the places you visit (for instance, restaurants) are smoke-free.

4. If you're visiting the home of someone you know smokes inside, try to socialize outside whenever possible.

Are nicotine-free e-cigarettes safe during pregnancy?

No. Besides nicotine, other harmful chemicals from e-cigarettes can get into your bloodstream and your baby's body.

In addition, Even if you purchase vaping products advertised as nicotine-free, there is often still a small amount of nicotine found in these liquids and the vapors they produce.

Does nicotine and other substances from e-cigarettes get into breastmilk?

Yes. Inhaled nicotine and other substances enters a mother's blood through her lungs, and then easily passes into breastmilk.

Is vaping safer than smoking while pregnant?

 vaping is safer than smoking

Nicotine vaping is substantially less harmful than smoking. It's also one of the most effective tools for quitting smoking.

Cigarettes deliver nicotine along with thousands of harmful chemicals. E-cigarettes allow you to inhale nicotine through a vapour rather than smoke.

E-cigarettes do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, the 2 main toxins in cigarette smoke. Carbon monoxide is particularly harmful to developing babies.

The vapour from an e-cigarette does contain some of the potentially harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke, but at much lower levels.

If using an e-cigarette helps you to stop smoking, it is much safer and more preferable for you and your baby than continuing to smoke.

Our more detailed article about Smoking vs Vaping Comparison

Alternatives to Vaping While Pregnant

Alternatives to Vaping While Pregnant

Nicotine is highly addictive. If a person is already pregnant, and want to find a successful alternative to discontinuing e-cigarette vaping, then the NRT approach would be more acceptable.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) gives you nicotine – in the form of gum, patches, sprays, inhalers, or lozenges – but not the other harmful chemicals in e-cig or vape.

Using two nicotine replacement medicines (NRTs) together is more likely to help you quit successfully than using one alone.

Patches can provide a steady level of nicotine in the body to help lessen withdrawal, while the gum can be used to more quickly relieve cravings as they happen.

Conclusion

E-cigarettes have been touted as being safer than traditional cigarettes and while this is true, there are still health consequences.

Vaping aerosols can contain Nicotine and other unique toxic compounds, and therefore they cannot be considered safe to use during pregnancy.

Additionally, Vaping simply hasn’t been around long enough for scientists to have really explored the long-term effects, particularly regarding pregnancy.

Quitting vaping when pregnant is one of the most important, safe and health things that an expectant mother can do for her child. When a pregnancy is planned it is best to quit vaping in advance of conception.