For a lot of women, pregnancy is an opportunity to quit smoking. But I've just discovered a pregnancy smoking loophole: e-cigarettes. Some doctors are telling their patients that "vaping" is okay during pregnancy. Or anyway, they're giving vaping the green light because it's less bad than smoking.
On one hand I can see how this would make sense. At least with e-cigarettes, you're not inhaling all the usual carcinogens you get with regular cigarettes. Just clean, pure nicotine. Which still crosses the placenta and is still no good for your baby. Okay, fine, it's not just pure nicotine -- it's also propylene glycol (PEG), the stuff they use to make smoke in theatrical productions. That's probably ... not terrible ... right? Or they wouldn't send it puffing through theaters? Well, one thing you should know: E-cigarettes haven't been approved by the FDA.
I know -- every time I write "not approved by the FDA," there's a whole contingent of people ready to say "who needs the FDA -- I can do my own research!" And then, inevitably, you hear "but they do it in Europe." Womp womp. But anyway, the FDA is investigating a few e-cigarette products. And in the meantime, Canada has banned them. So put that in your pipe and -- er, never mind.
Okay, so there's that whole safety-of-e-cigarettes thing. And then there's the issue of practically mainlining nicotine. But you don't actually have to e-smoke nicotine. E-cigarettes can be used with any number of substances -- like marijuana! Which supposedly is just fiiiine through pregnancy, according to some people but not me. But then I don't get it. If you're not smoking e-cigarettes for the nicotine, what are you smoking them for? I guess the nervous habit of holding a stick and puffing it -- which is still a big deal for smokers trying to quit, I won't deny.
But surely there are other, safer ways to tray and kick the habit? I think it's going to be hard for most pregnant women to find a doctor or midwife who approves of vaping. But who knows? Maybe the research will show that e-cigs (without nicotine) are just fine and dandy through pregnancy.
Do you think vaping during pregnancy is safe?
Image via Huffington Post