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Should pregnant women vape?

A number of pregnant women the past few years were under the impression they were protecting their unborn children by switching from smoking combustible cigarettes to e-cigarettes.

Think again, health officials said.

With a series of recent research studies concluding vaping is less risky than cigarettes, expecting mothers made the switch confidently.

The good intentions, however, could prove to be harmful to the nearly four percent of pregnant vapers, according to a new study.

While she wasn’t a member of the research team, Dr. Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician/gynecologist at New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital, commented on the misinformation.

“Pregnant women may erroneously think that e-cigarette vaping is safer,” Wu told HealthDay News. “Babies face the same risks from nicotine exposure (with vaping), which include brain and lung damage and increased risks of sudden infant death syndrome.”

Wei Bao, a University of Iowa assistant professor of epidemiology, guided a new study, which was published April 29 in the JAMA Pediatrics journal. The research suggested smoking traditional cigarettes among pregnant women was down to eight percent, compared to the 14 percent of smokers among women who were not expecting. To collect data for the study, Bao’s team received information from more than 27,000 women, ranging in age from 18 to 44 years old. Among the ladies who participated in the U.S. health survey from 2014-17, nearly 1,200 participants were pregnant, according to HealthDay News.

The study also indicated that 39 percent of pregnant women who smoke cigarettes also indulge in e-cigarettes.

Center for Tobacco Control Director Patricia Folan said the number or pregnant vapers remains too high.

Yes, vaping may be less risky, but it still could harm a fetus.

“The substances in e-cigarettes can have a damaging effect on the brain and lungs of the unborn baby,” Folan said. “Some studies have shown that the flavorings in e-liquids also can harm the developing child.”

Should pregnant women vape? The answer seems to be no.

Interested in the latest vaping research? Check out our Vape News page for more!