E-Cigarettes and Pregnancy

You may have heard that e-cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes or that they can help you to quit smoking. Quitting can be hard—but if you’re pregnant, quitting all forms of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, is best for you and your baby. Learn more about resources to quit all tobacco products.

What are e-cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes (also called electronic nicotine delivery systems or e-cigarettes) come in different sizes and shapes, including pens, mods, (i.e., these types are modified by the user) and tanks. Most e-cigarettes contain a battery, a heating device, and a cartridge to hold liquid. The liquid typically contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. The battery-powered device heats the liquid in the cartridge into an aerosol that the user inhales.

Are e-cigarettes safer than regular cigarettes in pregnancy?

Although the aerosol of e-cigarettes generally has fewer harmful substances than cigarette smoke, e-cigarettes and other products containing nicotine are not safe to use during pregnancy. Nicotine is a health danger for pregnant women and developing babies and can damage a developing baby’s brain and lungs. Also, some of the flavorings used in e-cigarettes may be harmful to a developing baby.

Can e-cigarettes help me quit smoking during pregnancy or stay smoke-free after my baby is born?

There is not enough evidence to know whether or not e-cigarettes help people to quit smoking. Individual, group, and telephone counseling have been found to be effective in helping people to quit. If you are pregnant and haven’t been able to quit smoking on your own or with counseling, you can discuss the risks and benefits of Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications with your health care provider. After your baby is born, you will have more options for FDA-approved quit-smoking medications. E-cigarettes are not approved by the FDA to help people quit smoking. It’s important to know that nicotine is poisonous, and parents and caregivers should keep all products containing nicotine, including e-cigarettes and stop-smoking medications, out of the reach of children.

Resources to Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking can be hard, but it can help protect you and your baby from health problems. Quitting early or before pregnancy is the best, but it’s never too late to quit smoking. For FREE support, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Quitline coaches can answer questions, help you develop a quit plan, and provide support. For tips and advice to quit smoking, you can also visit How to Quit and Pregnancy, Motherhood, and Smoking.