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Do You Know the Health Risks of Vaping?

Popular e-cigarettes may do more damage than previously thought

Vaping has recently become a very popular alternative to traditional smoking, as they do not have the tobacco and tar that form some of the most addictive ingredients in cigarettes. Some people see this as a safer way to get their buzz, and have developed addictions to vaping pens instead of cigarettes. Because this habit is newer than cigarettes, there have not been many studies done that examine the long term effects that vaping can have on the body. More specifically, there is an even smaller amount of research regarding how safe developing a vaping habit is, and how it can it affect pregnancy and fertility. In this article we’re going to examine:


  • What is vaping and why is it so popular?
  • Are there serious side effects of vaping to fertility?


young person vaping
Many young people are taking up vaping without completely understanding the effect it can have on their health.

The Vaping Craze

Vaping, or using an e-cigarette, vaping pen, or personal vaporizer, has become a very popular habit. Instead of producing clouds of tobacco smoke like traditional cigarettes or cigars, a vaping device instead produces an aerosol cloud for the user to inhale. However, this cloud is often full of toxic chemicals that can have an effect on the health of the user. There is a common misconception that the pen or vaporizer is producing a water vapor, but it is actually producing an aerosol smoke full of particles.


After numerous studies that proved how bad a cigarette addiction could be to your health, many people moved away from them and their usage was restricted in bars, restaurants, and other public places. Vaping was promoted as a healthier alternative to smoking, and many people took it up without doing any research into what they were actually inhaling into their lungs. What comes out of the vaping device is a propylene glycol or glycerin vegetable based liquid with nicotine, flavoring, and other chemicals. More and more physicians recommend caution when using these products, especially middle school and high school children.


pregnant woman
Pregnant women should be aware that when they use a vaping device, they could be impacting the health of their baby.

Vaping and Fertility

So now we know why vaping is so popular-- and why we should be at least a little wary of it-- but what have studies shown about its effects on fertility? Many younger pregnant women are vaping, seeing it as a safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. However in a study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society, there appears to be a connection between vaping usage and infertility. The study observed the vaping effects on mice by exposing them to the vapor contents of an e-cigarette. They found that e-cigarette usage and its vapor can impair the implantation of a fertilized embryo in the uterus. 


Interestingly, the researchers also observed that vaping throughout pregnancy also had an effect on the health and metabolism of the female offspring of the mice in the study. This shows that the chemicals in vaping units can contribute to long term issues such as a decreased embryo implantation and delay of pregnancy.


While the number of people who vape is increasing, there are some significant side effects that users should be aware of. Pregnant women, or those who are looking to become pregnant, should be aware that vaping can reduce their chances of implantation and can affect the health of their offspring as well. 


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Bridget Houlihan

Bridget Houlihan is a writer, poet, and cat mom living in Pittsburgh, PA.
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