Electronic Cigarette are safer than a normal cigarette; however, is vaping harmful to your unborn baby? Can you be around second-hand vape? We’ve got the latest expert advice..
No, electronic cigarettes are not recommended during pregnancy. Why? They are both unlicensed and unregulated. Manufacturers state they are safe; however, experts aren’t entirely sure. So, we recommend you play it safe and avoid vaping.
How Health Professionals Feel
NHS health professionals (our friends over in the UK) also do not recommend electronic cigarettes during pregnancy. E-cigarettes are not regulated as tobacco products or as medicines, and thus the total list of ingredients are unknown (granted, you can make your own e-juice and know what is being added). They also argue that Nicotine levels also vary from e-juice to e-juice.
Electronic Cigarette Ingredients
The ingredients in an e-cigarette vary from brand to brand, as does the amount of nicotine. Manufacturers make smoking an e-cig more appealing by adding different flavored substances. Due to the fact e-cigs are unregulated, manufacturers do not have to inform you exactly what has been added. They provide vague information on the packaging.
Finding out what is added to e-juice is almost impossible. Checking a few vape sites, we found that none of them had a complete breakdown of ingredients. Words such as PG, VG, liquids and flavorings are thrown around, but nothing specific.
Contacting an unnamed manufacturer as a concerned customer, we still came up short. When asked for a full list of ingredients, their Contact Center Team played the trade secrets card. “Unfortunately I cannot answer your question as this is a closely guarded secret due to the competitive nature of this industry.”
One thing that is not a secret: most electronic cigarette juice contains nicotine. Granted, you can opt out of the nicotine variety. There have been limited studies to determine whether nicotine found in an e-cigarette is at a high enough dose to affect an unborn baby. Doses are smaller than those found in cigarettes and you yes you can opt for a lower dose. Again levels vary by brand, some have begun to label their e-juice as light, mid, and high rather then the normal mg (milligrams). According to Public Health England (yes, the UK again), the amount of nicotine indicated on a cartridge is not a truly reliable indication as to how much nicotine you are inhaling.
Some e-cigarettes contain no nicotine at all, and if you find you do not crave nicotine found in cigarettes, ask yourself if you really need them at all.
Nicotine Aside, Are there Other Ingredients That Can Affect Your Baby?
Public Health England states, despite some manufacturers’ claims that electronic cigarettes are harmless there has been evidence they could include harmful additives such as:
- Small amounts of known carcinogens: formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and nitrosamines
- Toxic metals such as cadmium, nickel and lead
Initial tests have proven these levels are much, much lower than in normal cigarettes – around one-thousandth of the level. However, it’s suggested that even at very low levels over a period of years, they could be damaging to your health. Frustratingly, it’s not clear if they might cause any long-term damage to your unborn child.
Are E-Cigarettes Safer Than Cigarettes?
As no cigarette is safe when you are pregnant and can cause harm to your unborn baby, e-cigarettes are less damaging than regular cigarettes. This is based on the fact that e-cigs don’t contain tobacco, and hence the tobacco residue tar. However, without stringent testing the safety comparison is still an assumption.
We might find, once regulated and further tests have been completed, that there is no harmful effect on your unborn baby, but as it stands now, the advice is do not risk it and avoid vaping.
Should I Worried About Second-hand Vaping While Pregnant?
Due to the fact that e-cigs do not burn tobacco, there is no smoke and no carbon monoxide for you to passively inhale. Likewise, the theory remains that not enough nicotine is emitted from e-cigarette, so you shouldn’t be affected by the vapor. Vapor is mainly water and electronic cigarettes vapor has NO toxic effect.
Verdict: Do not vape while pregnant.