Scotland are launching the first ever study examining the safety of e-cigarettes on pregnant women and any possible impact of vaping on unborn babies.
The study is set to begin next year and several hundred women will be recruited to investigate if vaping can help pregnant women who are struggling to stop smoking.
Carried out by the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies as well as a network of universities, the progress of the babies will be tracked until they are two to asses if there are any potential harmful effects.
This study comes after a recent article stated that vaping is as harmful as smoking due to potential arterial stiffness caused by nicotine, although the same effect is observed after drinking coffee.
Many countries such as Brazil, Singapore and Austria have completely banned the sale of electronic cigarettes even though a recent report by the RCP said the health risk from vaping is less than 5% of the harm of traditional cigarettes.
Linda Bauld, a professor of health policy at the University of Sterling is worried about the current public perception of vaping thanks to misleading media, she said:
“We are primarily interested in adult smokers who struggle to stop – that includes groups like prisoners, people with mental health problems and pregnant women, she said. We haven’t made much inroads into reducing smoking rates in these groups, so for these groups e-cigarettes offer real promise.
“over 9,900 pregnant women still smoking in Scotland”
“We will be recruiting several hundred pregnant smokers and randomising them to use NRT and behavioural support, or an e-cigarette and behavioural support and then we will see how they get on. We will look at does it help them stop smoking, do they like it and is it safe?”
With over 9,900 pregnant women still smoking in Scotland alone, recently released guidelines for midwives state that pregnant women should not be discouraged from vaping if they will be used to eliminate regular tobacco smoking.
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