Doctors dole out a lot of information when women learn they’re pregnant.
Drink less caffeine, eat better food, get more sleep — and certainly stop smoking.
It seems many American mothers have heard the pleas of their doctors to kick the tobacco habit.
But some may be picking up e-cigarettes as a substitute, believing them to be a better option.
Researchers from the University of Iowa, led by Dr. Wei Bao, a secretary professor of epidemiology, unearthed that 14 percent of American women of reproductive age who’re not pregnant smoke conventional cigarettes (the rolled tobacco kind).
Compare that to just 8 percent of pregnant women who still smoke conventional cigarettes.
But e-cigarette use among both pregnant and non-pregnant women of reproductive age is virtually identical.
The analysis, which was published in JAMA Pediatrics, unearthed that 3.6 percent of pregnant women used e-cigarettes while 3.3 percent of non-pregnant women did.
This finding points to the possibility that expectant mothers may believe, despite emerging studies and advice to the contrary, that the brand new electronic nicotine delivery systems are indeed healthier than conventional cigarettes for some reason — and that they’re a better alternative if you never wish to quit entirely.
“Many women realize that cigarettes are to be avoided in pregnancy. There are risks with smoking, including fetal growth restriction, placental abruption, aberrations in fetal development, and a lot more,” Courtney Martin, DO, OB-GYN and medical director of maternity services at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital in California, told Healthline. “But, you will find misconceptions today about e-cigarettes or ‘vaping’being safe as they are not actually smoking.”
Although the e-products are pitched as a better alternative to conventional cigarettes, and sometimes as a smoking cessation tool, many experts still suggest pregnant women steer clear of e-cigarettes.
“Since there are no available studies that definitively prove whether it’s safe or not, it’s impossible to express that vaping is safe in pregnancy,” Dr. Sherry Ross, OB-GYN and women’s health expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in California, told Healthline.
The way the analysis was performed
E-cigarettes are a fairly new service for review and study.
It’s been within yesteryear 10 years that the product hit the industry and found not too difficult success, especially among teens and young adults.
Indeed, between 2017 and 2018, e-cigarette use among America’s youth increased by 78 percent, in line with the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Bao and his team say their study is the first ever to look at e-cigarette use nationally among women of reproductive age.
The researchers analyzed data from 27,920 women between the ages of 18 and 44. All women were participants in the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Of the more than 27,000 participants, 1,071 were pregnant during the time of the survey.
Along with the percentage of total e-cigarette and conventional cigarette users, the report also demonstrated that nearly 39 percent of current e-cigarette users were once conventional cigarette users.
“It’s possible that some pregnant women perceived e-cigarettes as a secure alternative to conventional cigarettes,” the researchers wrote in the final report. “In addition, some women who used conventional cigarettes could have switched to e-cigarettes in pregnancy as a method of smoking cessation.”
Though they did not draw any conclusions about the effects e-cigarette use had on the fetuses or mothers, their findings provides insight into future possible research.