Answer From J. Taylor Hays, M.D.
Using electronic cigarettes (vaping) during pregnancy isn’t safe.
Most electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) contain nicotine, which permanently damages a baby’s developing brain and many other organs. E-cigarette liquids also contain chemicals, flavors and other additives that might not be safe for your baby.
It’s well known that smoking cigarettes during pregnancy can harm women and their babies. But research suggests that pregnant women who vape believe that using e-cigarettes is less harmful than smoking cigarettes. Pregnant women often don’t know if their e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Some also might use e-cigarettes during pregnancy because of the perception that the devices can help them quit or reduce cigarette smoking.
While use of e-cigarettes might expose a growing baby to fewer toxins compared with those from regular cigarette use, nicotine exposure of any kind is harmful to a baby.
If you’re pregnant and you smoke or vape, quitting is the best way to give your baby a healthy start. Begin by consulting your health care provider for advice or seek counseling.
If you don’t smoke, don’t vape while pregnant.
Vaping is not harmless, but is likely to be less harmful than smoking while pregnant.
Nicotine is a relatively harmless drug for adults who smoke. However, it is potentially harmful to unborn babies, newborns and children. It is best to be nicotine free when pregnant.
The best thing for the health of you and your baby is to quit smoking. Seek support and advice through your local stop smoking service, doctor, midwife or Quitline, and talk to others who have successfully quit.