Study: Vaping During Pregnancy Affects Offspring Into Adulthood

Researchers at West Virginia University's (WVU) School of Medicine are claiming that using vapes during pregnancy poses significant health risks for the offspring, all the way into adulthood. 

Published in the “American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology,” the study was conducted using a rat model. Female pregnant rats were exposed to e-cigarette aerosol one hour a day for five days a week, and their offspring were examined at one month, three months and seven months (adulthood in rats), at which time the alleged adverse effects of vaping were found.

The findings indicated that the function of a major blood vessel in the brain (cerebrovascular function) was reduced by 50% at one-month-old and lasted all the way into adulthood. “These data demonstrate that maternal vaping during pregnancy is not harm-free and confers significant cerebrovascular health risk/dysfunction to offspring that persists into adult life,” reported the researchers.

UK smoking cessation services about pregnant vapers
In 2015, SSS (Stop Smoking Services) managers in the UK where vaping is openly endorsed for smoking cessation, were surveyed about their opinions about the use of e-cigarettes in pregnant women who wish to quit smoking. Subsequently, a sub-sample of managers were interviewed to gather explanations about their position on the topic. The responses were thematically analysed.

After analysing the compiled responses, the researchers found that 67.8% (72/106) of  overall managers reported that 2.2% (range 1.4–4.3%) of pregnant clients were using e-cigarettes.

Most SSS managers said they support the use of e-cigarettes amongst pregnant women who already vaped prior to the pregnancy. However they added, they would not recommend vaping to those who were still smoking and not using e-cigarettes. A total of 8.3% of the managers said they were likely/very likely to advise using e-cigarettes, while 56.9% of SSS were unlikely/very unlikely to advise using them.

Fifteen of the total respondents were interviewed further and these were generally positive about the use of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation in pregnancy. However, concerns about the perceived lack of evidence for safety were brought up and the majority expressed a desire for further research on the topic.