You’ve probably heard people say vaping (a.k.a. using Juul and other e-cigarettes) is a safer than cigarette smoking, but more and more data is suggesting it’s really, really bad for you — including one new study that looked at how vaping may affect women’s fertility.
In the study, published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society, researchers observed the effects of vaping on mice to get insight into how vaping might affect fertility and pregnancy. The results weren’t good. Mice that were exposed to e-cigarette vapor before pregnancy took longer to get pregnant and were less likely to have an embryo implant in the uterus, which is necessary to become pregnant. In pregnant mice that were exposed to the vapor, fetuses didn’t gain as much weight as those that weren’t exposed.
“We also discovered that e-cigarette usage throughout pregnancy changed the long-term health and metabolism of female offspring — imparting lifelong, second-generation effects on the growing fetus,” said the study’s corresponding author, Kathleen Caron, Ph.D., of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, in a press release.
Sure, the study was on mice, but it’s convincing enough that it should motivate women trying to get pregnant or who’d like to get pregnant in the future to lay off the vape.
“These findings are important because they change our views on the perceived safety of e-cigarettes as alternatives to traditional cigarettes before and during pregnancy,” Caron said.
So add this news to ever-growing evidence that vaping is harmful. We already know it can cause scary problems with brain development, blood vessels and lung health. Vaping is also linked to increased risk of heart attack, stroke and depression.
Plus, we should be concerned about kids and teens, who are increasingly using and becoming addicted to vapes. The number of middle and high school students using e-cigarettes rose from 2.1 million in 2017 to 3.6 million in 2018, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. So if you haven’t been talking to your kids about vaping yet — what are you waiting for?