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E-cigarettes ‘as dangerous as’ tobacco in pregnancy

If you think switching to e-cigarettes during pregnancy is safer, then you are wrong as a new study suggests that by doing so, you are unwittingly putting your unborn baby at risk.

The New York University study found that the devices may harm learning, memory, co-ordination and behaviour and the world’s leading science conference has heard that even fertility may be cut, the Daily Mail reported.

Researcher Judith Zelikoff said that women may be turning to these products as an alternative because they think they’re safe, but as it turns out they’re not.

Zelikoff compared baby mice exposed to e-cigarette vapour in the womb and shortly after birth with pups whose mothers had breathed in clean air.

Both normal e-cigarettes and nicotine-free varieties were used. When she looked at the creatures’ brains, she found distinct differences in their genes, with up to 2,630 genes more or less active in the mice that had breathed in e-cigarette fumes.

She noted that the findings should open people’s eyes by showing that this is something that potentially can be harmful if used during pregnancy. It should lead to much more research, this is just the beginning. This is not just a product that’s cool to use and is not going to have health effects.

Patrick O’Brien, of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said that e-cigarettes are becoming a popular alternative to tobacco smoking, but as the long-term risks for the developing baby from using them are not known, they do not recommend women to use these products in pregnancy.

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