The study titled, “Effect of Electronic cigarette aerosol Exposure During Gestation and Lactation on Learning and Memory of Adult Male Offspring Rats” is to be published in Physiology & Behavior. The researchers exposed rats to either fresh air or e-cig vapour, for one hour daily during their gestational period as well as days 4-21 of lactation.

Male offspring (human male fetuses are known to be more susceptible to stress than their female counterparts) were followed for 19 weeks, after which their spatial learning ability and memory were tested.

Vapour exposure impaired long-term memory of rat babies

The results indicated that relative to fresh air exposure, aerosol exposure during the gestation and lactation perios impaired long-term memory in adult offspring (P<0.05). To this effect, the researchers concluded that vaping during pregnancy should be discouraged.

Since vaping is significantly safer than smoking, heavy smokers who are unable to quit otherwise, would still benefit by switching to the safer alternatives, as would their offspring.
Meanwhile, in response to such studies about e-cig use during pregnancy, vaping advocates have always maintained that such research needs to be put in perspective. It was pointed out that while no one is suggesting pregnant women should take up vaping for leisure and ideally they would completely abstain from such products, whether they contain nicotine or not. However, since vaping is significantly safer than smoking, heavy smokers who are unable to quit otherwise, would still benefit by switching to the safer alternatives, as would their offspring.

A recent systematic review conducted by French researchers, analysed international literature published between January 2003 and April 2019, tackling the topic of smoking cessation during pregnancy.

Titled, “[CNGOF-SFT Expert Report and Guidelines for smoking management during pregnancy – short text]”, the review aimed to identify up-to-date evidence-based guidelines for the management of smoking cessation during pregnancy. The researchers looked through Cochrane PubMed, and Embase databases using the relevant keywords.

NRTs recommended for pregnant women who failed to quit via other means

The compiled data indicated that counselling had a modest positive effect on smoking cessation and the use of self-help interventions and health education are recommended in helping pregnant smokers quit. Once again, the prescription of nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) is recommended for pregnant women who have failed to quit by other means, however the use of e-cigarettes is generally frowned upon given the lack of scientific evidence on the long term effects of the devices.

CDC: 1 in 14 US Women Smoke Whilst Pregnant

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