*2023 Update - Smokers looking to quit smoking should check out the New SMOKO VAPE POD! As the newest addition to the SMOKO E-Cigarette range, it provides our great-tasting UK made liquids in a pre-filled pod style vape that is discreet and easy to use!
Can You Vape While Pregnant?
You can vape while pregnant, but this should only be in the event that you really can't stop smoking. Nicotine may damage the developing brain of an unborn baby, so while studies that have looked at health outcomes for vaping while pregnant seem to indicate similar birth weights for children of vapers and non-smokers, there is evidence that nicotine can decrease cell numbers and/or cell size in numerous brain regions.
It is common knowledge that cigarette smoke is bad for an unborn child, but few know how bad it can really be. This can be dangerous as smoking is "the number 1 cause of adverse outcomes for babies".
In fact in 2015 over 11% of all new mothers smoked.
When you smoke, you don't just inhale nicotine, but the 4000 other chemicals, like lead and cyanide, tar or carbon monoxide - pick your poison! All of the chemicals enter the bloodstream, and from there straight to the baby.
But it's not just the chemicals either, the carbon monoxide that you breathe in with cigarette smoke actually replaces the the oxygen the baby needs.
In an adult it can take year for smoking to have a noticeable effect, but for an unborn baby, it is almost instantaneous.
If you smoke during pregnancy your baby is more likely to have:
- Complications during pregnancy and birth
- A higher risk of stillbirth
- A Premature birth, which can lead to a whole host of problems
- A much higher chance of being born underweight, babies born by mother who smoke are on average 200g lighter. This can lead to problem during labour and an increased chance of infection
- A much higher risk of suffering from asthma
- A higher chance of sudden infant death syndrome, or as it's otherwise known, cot death
But it's not just pregnant women who should quit smoking, secondhand cigarette smoke can hurt the baby as well. Smoking around a pregnant mother can cause some of the above problems as well, including loss of weight and cot death.
Babies whose parents smoke will also more likely develop bronchitis and pneumonia as well during the first year.
The advice that the NHS, the Royal college of Midwives and ASH all give is the same, if you are pregnant stop smoking immediately.
However, when pregnant women can't quit smoking, Electronic Cigarettes are a better alternative. Let's have a look at E cigarettes in pregnancy!
E-Cigarettes During Pregnancy
And there is a psychological element as well. Smokers for years associate puffing on something with a relaxing effect and that can be a habit which is hard to break. Especially with the stress of pregnancy.
That's why if you truly cannot quit smoking then electronic cigarettes can help; it gives you the nicotine that your body craves but without the 4000 chemicals and other harmful chemicals. The carbon monoxide especially is terrible for the baby, and just taking that away can help a great deal (according to the NHS).
E-cigarettes can also help with the psychological effect as well. As they are shaped in a cigarette shape and you breathe in vapour it feels more like a cigarette.
Second hand smoke is also not possible with e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes don't even produce smoke, but the vapour has been shown to have no adverse effect on people around it.
And nicotine itself is "relatively harmless" (according to the Royal Collage of Midwives) to the baby, though (again) no nicotine would still be better.
Sadly there hasn't been much study on the effects of just e-cigarettes to help pregnant women, as e-cigarettes are still new. However we can at least draw some conclusions from the studies done with NRT (nicotine replacement therapy). NRT includes patches, gum and inhalators, all of which contain nicotine.
Dr Sue Cooper from the University of Nottingham studied the effect of NRT on pregnant women and unborn children in 2014. She found that with NRT substantially improved the chances for babies to be born healthy.
Finally e-cigarettes can help where a lot of the NRT's can't.
As Cancer Research says, people who use NRT without professional help have the same chance of quitting as just going cold turkey. And if you compare NRT to E-cigarettes, you have a 60% better chance of stopping smoking with e-cigarettes then with NRT alone.
What's in E Cigarettes?
E Cigarettes work by heating a liquid mixture containing nicotine, flavourings, vegetable glycerine and propylene glycol into an aerosol or 'vapour' that can be inhaled. Nicotine exchange still occurs in the lungs, like with smoking, but without tar or carbon monoxide also getting into the lungs, negatively impacting oxygen exchange.
Public Health England's evidence review found that E Cigarettes are at least 95% less harmful than tobacco cigarettes and Cancer Research UK's own study found E-Cigarettes to be around 97% less harmful! Public Health England put out a video comparing cigarette smoke and E-Cigarette vapour, showing the difference on cotton in a jar often used to simulate lungs. This demonstrates that E Cigarette use is a better choice for pregnant women if they must inhale nicotine over using other forms of nicotine replacement, if they are are having trouble quitting smoking.
Other forms of Nicotine Replacement
In addition to electronic cigarettes, there are Nicotine Replacement Therapy products that can deliver nicotine to the body without the harms from cigarette smoke for quitting smoking. These include:
Nicotine patch - A transdermal patch that delivers nicotine through the skin.
Nicotine gum - Releases nicotine that is absorbed through the lining of the mouth.
Nicotine lozenges - Releases nicotine that is absorbed through the lining of the mouth.
Nicotine inhalator - allows the user to inhale nicotine via a mist.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy products can help to curb cravings when you quit smoking, but do not provide a substitute for the hand-to-mouth action that smokers are so used to. This is where electronic nicotine delivery systems - or e cigarettes - can be useful and, as recent studies indicate, could be more useful than NRT when you quit smoking.
Should You Use E-Cigarettes While Pregnant? Conclusion
As we have said throughout this whole article, it will always be better for you to quit smoking entirely. That is without question.
But if you can't do it, then e-cigarettes might be the solution for you. It feels more like a cigarette, and gets you the nicotine you need without the carbon monoxide or the chemicals.
Electronic cigarettes also don't produce and 2nd hand smoke, so if you aren’t the mother you can still help by switching to e-cigarettes.
As long as you avoid the Aniseed flavours like our absinthe flavour (as liquorice root is bad for the baby) e-cigarettes are a marked improvement over smoking.
So if you can't seem to quit smoking and you or someone you know is expecting, why not try one of our e-cigarette starter kits?
*2023 Update - Now you can get a FREE e cigarette starter kit* when you buy a box of SMOKO E-Cigarette refills! *(Cigalike starter kit, one per customer)