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Study: E-cigarette smokers are more likely to have low birth weight babies

A study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, showed that women who use e-cigarettes during pregnancy are 33% more likely to have low birth weight babies.


Low birth weight babies - those who weigh less than 5.5 pounds - often need specialized medical care and are at greater risk of early life complications and long-term health problems, said Dr. Annette Reagan, lead author of the study and assistant professor of epidemiology. .


The results of the study, which also included researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were published in the July issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. The researchers analyzed data from nearly 80,000 mothers from the 2016-18 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, or PRAMS, a A project coordinated by the CDC that gathers nationwide information about mothers' experiences before, during, and shortly after pregnancy.

Of that group, 1.1% reported that they used e-cigarettes during the third trimester of pregnancy, and nearly two-thirds of e-cigarette users said they also smoked regular or "combustible" cigarettes during that time.


"Although only a small percentage of people use e-cigarettes, we were surprised by the number who used e-cigarettes during pregnancy and found increased rates of low birth weight among e-cigarette users," said Reagan, who also teaches at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing. .


"These findings are important, because a premature birth means the baby has less time in the mother's womb to grow and gain weight," Reagan said.


Nicotine, which is found in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes, is considered toxic, a substance that can have a detrimental effect on fetal development, and researchers found that low birth weight was more common among women who used e-cigarettes frequently than among occasional users. .


These findings show that e-cigarettes should not be considered a safe alternative to regular cigarettes, and that there are likely to be very real health risks from vaping when it comes to pregnancy.