12 June 2019

No, it’s never safe to vape if you’re pregnant

O&G Respiratory Women

Women who are pregnant, or think they might be pregnant, should be dissuaded from thinking e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to using regular tobacco products, according to an expert opinion published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

Associate Professor Alexander Larcombe says a lack of detailed research on the safety or otherwise of “vaping” meant there was not sufficient evidence to support this belief.

“There is this general perception that it’s either orders of magnitude or completely safe to vape during pregnancy, which is completely unfounded and almost certainly not true, because women and babies are still potentially getting exposed to nicotine and other potentially harmful chemicals,” Professor Larcombe said.

“My concern is we just don’t know what the effects are on the unborn baby.”

Women of child-bearing age were Australia’s fastest growing and largest user group of electronic nicotine delivery systems, he said.

Another common misconception was that e-cigarette vapours were mainly water and did not pose a secondary-exposure threat those nearby and that those vapours were non-toxic.

“Water is not a common ingredient in e-liquids and water vapour generally only makes us a small proportion of aerosols, which typically contain propylene glycol, glycerine and a variety of potentially toxic chemicals, including volatile organic compounds, tobacco-specific nitrosamines, metals and particulate matter,” Professor Larcombe said.

Also of concern were findings by Professor Larcombe and colleagues that as many as six in 10 “nicotine-free” e-cigarette liquids available for sale in Australia did actually contain nicotine.

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2 Comments on "No, it’s never safe to vape if you’re pregnant"

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Joe Kosterich
Member
2 months 8 days ago

The question is not is vaping safe. Nothing is 100% safe. the question is whether vaping is less harmful than smoking. The answer to that is a resounding yes. It is also twice as effective as other quit smoking methods. NZ gets this. Why don’t we?

c.mendelsohn@unsw.edu.au
Member
2 months 8 days ago
Unfortunately, this article is very misleading and exaggerates the risk of vaping in pregnancy. Most importantly, it does not compare the risks of vaping to smoking in pregnancy. Women who vape in pregnancy are almost exclusively former smokers who would otherwise be smoking. While vaping is not totally risk-free in pregnancy, it is likely to be far less harmful than smoking. The exposure to the chemicals mentioned by A/Professor Larcombe is dramatically less from vaping compared to smoking. According to the UK Royal College of Physicians, the long term risk of vaping is likely to be less than 5% of… Read more »
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