If you are planning to get pregnant soon and become a mom, but you are also a smoker and are looking for ways to quit this nasty habit, you might be wondering if vaping is the solution. Vaping includes e-cigarettes, e-hookah, e-pens, vape pens, and tanks, that are essentially battery-operated devices and use heat to turn chemicals (that sometimes include nicotine) into vapor, which is then inhaled, much like regular smoke coming from a cigarette.
This smoking method is generally considered to be much less harmful than smoking regular cigarettes that are packed with nicotine and tar, but the main question is:
Is vaping while pregnant 100% safe?
Turns out it is not. One new study suggests that exposure to the vapor coming from e-cigarette can damage cells in baby’s face and head, which can later result in facial disfigurement called facial cleft.
What Are Facial Clefts?
Uneven development of head and facial cells leads to the formation of facial clefts – gaps that can form on one’s face and around the mouth that can affect not only skin tissue and soft muscle, but the bone structure as well.
This rare condition affects only 1 in every 150,000 babies and depending on how severe the cell damage is, these disfigurements can be corrected via surgery. However, if these clefts are left untreated, they can cause eating difficulties, speech impairments, dental issues, while can also render the person more prone to ear infections and hearing loss.
E-Cigarettes VS Regular Cigarettes
According to a study conducted by the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), vaping is not a completely safe alternative to regular tobacco products. More and more doctors, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), claim that any type of smoking, including vaping, is not recommended, especially for pregnant women.
Though vaping is still quite new and there are still many studies and researches to be conducted in this niche of smoking, recent experiments have shown that, even though e-cigarette vapor contains fewer toxins, it is still not entirely safe.
The VCU Study
The study that was supervised by Dr. Amanda Dickinson conducted tests on animal embryos to see how they reacted to e-cigarette vapor and found that most flavors caused only minor disfigurements, while one novel flavor comprised of a mixture of several liquids led to more severe damage.
Vaping liquids usually contain the following ingredients: propylene, nicotine, vegetable glycerine, glycol, flavoring compounds, and a compound called diacetyl, which was proven to be the most harmful. The 2014 experiment revealed that diacetyl was found in more than two-thirds of the 159 liquids that were tested. This compound is also linked to an illness known as popcorn lung disorder (bronchiolitis obliterans), a condition that leads to the damage in the lungs, more precisely, to lungs’ smallest airways, and results in a strong cough and shortness of breath.
Another frog-based study involved the testing of just 6 different e-liquids, all containing nicotine. The nicotine dosage ranged from 6mg/ml to 24mg/ml, while they contained at least one flavoring additive. The researchers found that most damaging effects were tied to the liquids that included high numbers of different flavors.
One blend used the flavors like almond, strawberry, biscuit, caramel, vanilla, Vienna cream; while the other used cereal, berries, cream, and citrus. These liquids were linked to the most dramatic facial clefts, including other facial birth defects in frogs, and the researchers suggest these results are “translatable to human embryos.”
To conclude, vaping while pregnant, though less harmful than consuming traditional tobacco, is not entirely safe. For more articles like this one, visit Smokey News.