Using e-cigarettes before, during and after pregnancy
E-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than tobacco. This page provides resources and information about the use of e-cigarettes before, during and after pregnancy.
Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke during pregnancy is responsible for an increased rate of stillbirths, complications during labour, premature birth, miscarriages, birth defects and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Based on the latest evidence, e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than cigarettes and are an effective aid for quitting. However, it is important to use UK e-liquids which have been regulated by the MHRA and never home-made or illicit vaping substances.
Many women who smoke during pregnancy are using e-cigarettes as an aid to quit or cut down and members of the midwifery team may be asked for advice.
These resources have been designed by the Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group to inform health professionals and support conversations with pregnant women who smoke and are inquiring about e-cigarettes. The resources will be updated in line with any updates to NICE guidance, significant evidence updates or in the event that a medically licensed e-cigarette comes to market. The ‘Infographic for pregnant women‘ was developed in collaboration with Tommy’s
Disclaimer: None of the Challenge Group’s resources have input from organisations with vested interests in the vaping or tobacco industries
- Use of electronic cigarettes before, during and after pregnancy: A guide for maternity and other healthcare professionals (A4)
- Use of electronic cigarettes before, during and after pregnancy: Key messages for health professionals working with pregnant women and their babies (A5)
- E-cigarettes in pregnancy: Infographic for pregnant women and families (A5) Also available (online only) in the following languages: Regular version: Bulgarian | Polish | Punjabi | Romanian | Urdu | Print version: Bulgarian | Polish | Punjabi | Romanian | Urdu
- E-cigarettes in pregnancy: Infographic for pregnant women and families (A4)
Physical copies of these resources can be ordered by midwifery teams via this order form.
Please note: These resources should be ordered by maternity units to be used consistently across the service. If we get very small requests we may need to follow this up with your service manager.
Nicotine in pregnancy (March 2019)
This Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group webinar presents evidence concerning the safety and effectiveness of the use of nicotine in pregnancy.
Use of e-cigarettes in pregnancy (March 2017)
Professor Linda Bauld from the University of Stirling provides an update on the latest evidence about the use of electronic cigarettes in pregnancy, which is followed by a question and answer session with experts from Public Health England, the Royal College of Midwives and Improving Performance in Practice.
NCSCT have a dedicated, free, training module on the use of e-cigarettes in smoking cessation entitled 'Vaping: a guide for healthcare professionals', accessible here.
Evidence and further resources
- Office for Health Improvement and Disparities: Nicotine vaping in England: 2022 evidence update
- Hajek P et al.: Electronic cigarettes versus nicotine patches for smoking cessation in pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. 2022
- Hartmann‐Boyce J et al.: Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation. Cochrane database of systematic reviews. October 2020
- PHE: Vaping in England: evidence update March 2020 (reviews the literature on vaping specifically among pregnant women)
- Hajek P et al.: A Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine-Replacement Therapy. 2019
- NCSCT Briefing: Advice for services on making e-cigarettes available 2021
- ASH Factsheet: Use of e-cigarettes among adults in Great Britain: 2022
- ASH Factsheet: Use of e-cigarettes among young people in Great Britain: 2022
- ASH Briefing: Electronic cigarettes
- ROSPA: Use of e-cigarettes (vaping) in the home: advice for parents
- Tommy’s: Smoking in Pregnancy Costs Calculator
- Royal College of Nursing: Guidance on smoking cessation and e-cigarettes
- Royal College of Midwives: Position Statement – Support to Quit Smoking in Pregnancy
- ‘Making the Switch’: short films for smokers considering a move to vaping
- NFCC: E-cigarette use in smokefree NHS settings. 2018