“Pregnant women are highly motivated to quit smoking cigarettes and may believe e-cigarettes are a safe way to do so,” said Pesko, who is an assistant professor at the university’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.
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Pesko and his colleague Michael Cooper from the University of California, looked at U.S. birth record data for seven million pregnant women living in places where indoor smoking is banned. Then they calculated how an indoor vaping ban affected the rate at which smoking rates declined as the pregnancy progressed.
The research which was published in the Journal of Health Economics, indicated that places with indoor vaping restrictions slowed the decrease in smoking by 30% when compared to places with no vaping restrictions. “Indoor e-cigarette restrictions may reduce the attractiveness of vaping by requiring the user to make an additional time investment to use their devices, either outdoors or in non-regulated indoor areas,” said Pesko. “This added inconvenience may reduce e-cigarette use and increase tobacco use for those who otherwise prefer to smoke cigarettes.”
Vaping bans may mislead smokers into thinking that e-cigs are as bad as cigarettes
Cooper added, “These indoor e-cigarette restrictions also may lead to more smoking by increasing the perceived risk of e-cigarettes.” Infact, an official Public Health England (PHE) blog posted last year, had pointed out that any risk obtained via vaping during pregnancy is a fraction of that caused by smoking. The PHE guidance focuses on carbon monoxide as the most harmful substance for unborn babies, and clears up a lot of the confusion about nicotine.
“Governments should be cautious on the messaging they send, through regulations, on the relative risks of different smoking cessation products,” concluded Michael Pesko. “Ideally, products should be regulated proportionate to their level of risk.”
Read Further: Medical Press