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A co-worker of mine is pregnant, and was commenting that she was going to be visiting a friend of hers that smokes "e-cigarettes" (sometimes known as "vaping").

She was concerned that her friend might not consider it to be the same thing as "regular smoking", and therefore she might have to have a potentially awkward conversation about not "vaping" around her while she was pregnant.

I know a couple of people who are really into the whole e-cigarette thing as a "safe alternative to smoking". Some of them really believe that it is not only 100% safe, but that it generates nothing that anyone else would have cause to complain about (one person went so far as to try and convince her supervisors at work that it wouldn't be against policy for her to use it in the office).

Is there evidence are data that can be cited as sufficient cause for a pregnant woman to request that e-cigarettes not be used around her (aside from the obvious of it simply being courteous to agree to a request like that)?

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Travelling to see her friend is very many times more risky. I understand her point from a politeness point of view. If i vaped i would only do so outside and ot's wierd that someone would do so in front of a pregnant woman. Here's some interpretation of a news story from 2011 about nicotine replacement in pregnancy - dr is try to avoid chewing nicotine gum, but gum is better than smoking. nhs.uk/news/2011/07July/Pages/… –  DanBeale Feb 28 at 21:35

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As far as I know there is no conclusive and trustworthy research which determines whether e-cigarettes are safe or not. E-cigarettes are quite new and there is relatively few people using them. I daresay no research in the upcoming ten years will have statistically significant results, the time span is simply too short. Even if there were some research which claimed one way or another, I would disbelieve it. The only conclusion, as of right now, is that e-smoking may be dangerous.

So, what should we do? I would not hesitate to ask someone to stop e-smoking near my wife if she was pregnant, just as I would do with normal cigarettes. Moreover, I would consider it bad manners to e-smoke without permission of the person one is with.

Check your country's laws - it is possible that e-smoking is already regulated. In Poland e-smoking is banned from public transport and public places just as old-fashioned cigarettes. It is not as strictly enforced though, probably simply because we don't know if e-cigarettes are safe or not.

Still, a small amount of e-smoke won't probably hurt. Even with cigarettes we're dealing with relatively small probabilities. So don't panic if your pregnant wife has been exposed to e-smoke.

To sum up, don't take any chances. Next time, ask the person to stop.

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Great answer. Here's a recent study that specifically states more research is needed to know either way. –  Karl Bielefeldt Feb 28 at 19:27
It's important to note that the exposure is 10 times less than that of a normal cigarette and the exposure is only to nicotine, not any other contaminants. That said the danger from an e-cig is considerably lower. –  Doc Feb 28 at 19:37
@Doc the process undergoing in the e-cigarette is entirely different than in a normal cigarette. While the amount of cigarette's contaminants in e-cigarette's smoke is lower, there may be some completely different contaminants in it. All I'm actually saying is that we don't know yet! –  Dariusz Mar 1 at 8:25
@Doc we're not even sure what is in e-cig smoke - the market is filled with cartridges of questionable content. See tobacco.ucsf.edu/… –  w00t Mar 4 at 9:42
@w00t If you read the research articles linked (both by Karl above and in the link you provided) the only Prop 65 contaminants from second hand vapor listed is nicotine. There are other chemicals certainly, but those found are not known to "cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm". Refer to this page which has collected many pieces of research (including the one listed in your post) for more information. (page 19 has info about second hand air quality) –  Doc Mar 4 at 14:28

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