Mums have been warned that vaping during pregnancy increases the risk of having a child with behavioural problems.
New research claims that exposure to e-cigarette chemicals in the womb leads to hyperactive progeny, reports the Daily Record.
Vapes which use nicotine cause eve worse changes to an unborn foetus’ grey matter, warns researchers.
Grey matter is a major component in the central nervous system.
Mums-to-be in the UK are already warned that smoking cigarettes can badly affect their babies.
Smoking normal cigs has been linked to ADHD and autism in children.
However, mums turning to vapes to get their nicotine fix while pregnant could also be triggering neurological conditions.
Lead author Professor Mathilakath Vijayan said: “Vaping during pregnancy exposes the developing baby’s brain to chemicals in the vape.
“Our results suggest flavours have the potential to impact pre-natal brain development.”
The team behind the study at the University of Calgary used a photometer response to track the data.
It causes zebrafish embryos to respond to light.
The model showed that exposure to vaping when in the womb dulls sensory perception and alters behaviour.
Prof Vijayan said: “We tested the effects of flavoured blue raspberry and cinnamon and unflavoured vape liquids with and without nicotine.”
He continued: “While the unflavoured vapes had no impact, the flavoured vapes even without nicotine caused profound behavioural changes which were similar to nicotine alone.
“Vaping during pregnancy exposes the developing baby’s brain to chemicals in the vape.
“Flavoured vapes with nicotine caused even more behavioural alterations.”
The Royal College of Midwives advised pregnant smokers to use vapes as a quitting aid as lately as last year.
While the NHS website said that: “If using an e-cigarette helps you to stop smoking, it is much safer for you and your baby than continuing to smoke.”
However, Prof Vijayan believes there is not enough information available to ensure they are safe for unborn babies.
He said: “With more than 7,000 vape flavours on the market, each having unique profiles of chemicals in the final aerosol, characterising their potential neurotoxicity will be an onerous task.”
Sophie Foster/Daily Star