E-cigarette usage may impair fertility and pregnancy outcomes, a study from the Endocrine Society has found.
Exposing female mice to vapour from e-cigarettes resulted in both decreased embryo implantation and a significant delay in conceiving a first litter.
Female offspring exposed to the vapour in utero also failed to gain as much weight as animals who were not exposed to it after eight and a half months.
E-cigarettes are often marketed as safe alternatives to smoking tobacco cigarettes and have increased in popularity in the UK over the past few years, with between 5.4 per cent and 6.2 per cent of the adult population regularly vaping according to government figures.
“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,” said study author Kathleen Caron.
“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 foetus.”
Several recent reports have questioned the safety of e-cigarettes and their long-term effect on the human body.
A separate study from Baylor College of Medicine observed how mice exposed to e-cigarette vapours containing nicotine in common vaping solvents propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin developed severe lung damage and excessive inflammation comparable to human smokers with lung condition emphysema.
Unexpectedly, rodents exposed to vapours which did not contain nicotine also exhibited lung damage as a result of abnormal turnover of their lungs’ protective fluid.
Another from the University of Pennsylvania claimed smoking a single e-cigarette can damage blood vessels and reduce blood flow, even nicotine-free versions.
The death of an adult in the US last month is being treated as the first known linked to vaping, after the unnamed patient developed pulmonary illness from the use of e-cigarettes.
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agency said 193 patients across 22 states were reported between 28 June and 20 August, all of which involved smoking e-cigarettes or other vaping devices.
The patients range in age from 17 to 38-years old, with many of the 22 affected states centred in the middle and north east of the country.