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According to the FDA, over 3 million youth use some type of tobacco product. E-cigarettes, otherwise known as vapes, have quickly become "the most commonly used tobacco products" in the United States in 2022 (FDA).
People vape for different reasons. Some find it a helpful stress-reliever. Others enjoy vaping with friends as a pastime. If you vape regularly and have just found out you're pregnant, you're probably wondering: Will vaping effect my baby? Isn't vaping safer than smoking cigarettes?
The bottom line: Nicotine is unsafe for you and your baby.
Most vapes contain nicotine, which is a drug found in regular tobacco products like cigarettes and cigars (CDC).
According to the Mayo Clinic, any contact your baby has with nicotine can damage its brain development and the growth of your baby's vital organs. "While the 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" (MayoClinic). Just because vaping is sometimes considered to be "safer" than cigarettes, your baby is still exposed to chemicals that could have harmful life-long effects.
"Vaping during pregnancy has deeper implications. In utero exposure to nicotine, which is found in many vaping products, is known to directly harm fetuses by causing abnormal lung, heart, brain, and immune system development, which carries lifelong consequences" – Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, M.D. (UT Southwestern).
Vaping helps me manage my anxiety. If I quit, how will I cope with the stress?
Stress during pregnancy is a real issue that many soon-to-be moms face. There are many ways to help yourself find peace without vaping. Visit this helpful article for info on how to cope with anxiety during pregnancy: https://crossroadspcc.com/blog/anxiety-pregnancy
But all of my friends vape! How am I supposed to fit in if I can't?
You should never feel pressured into doing something that is unhealthy for you. And when you're pregnant, you're not just watching out for your own health but the health of your baby. True friends are people who want what's best for you. If that means saying 'no' to vaping, then they should encourage you in that decision instead of pressuring you.
Results from the Annual National Youth Tobacco Survey. FDA, 2022, https://www.fda.gov/tobacco-products/youth-and-tobacco/results-annual-national-youth-tobacco-survey. Accessed 13 Dec. 2022.
Quick Facts on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults. CDC, 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/Quick-Facts-on-the-Risks-of-E-cigarettes-for-Kids-Teens-and-Young-Adults.html. Accessed 13 Dec. 2022.
Hays, J. Taylor. Is Vaping During Pregnancy OK? Mayo Clinic, 2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-answers/vaping-during-pregnancy/faq-20462062. Accessed 13 Dec. 2022.
Horsager-Boehrer, Robyn. 4 Myths About Vaping and Pregnancy – Busted, UT Southwestern Medical Center, 2019, https://utswmed.org/medblog/4-myths-about-vaping-and-pregnancy-busted/. Accessed 13 Dec. 2022.
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