(CTN News) – According to researchers at Queen Mary University of London, the regular use of nicotine replacement products during pregnancy is not associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes or adverse pregnancy events.
The PREP 2 trial compared pregnancy outcomes in women who used nicotine in the form of e-cigarettes (EC) or nicotine patches regularly during their pregnancy versus those who did not. Over 1100 pregnant smokers attended 23 hospitals in England and one stop-smoking service in Scotland.
E-cigarettes were more often used in the group.
Researchers measured salivary cotinine levels at baseline and at the end of pregnancy, as well as information on each participant’s use of cigarettes or other forms of NRT, respiratory symptoms, birth weight, and other characteristics of their newborns. The study, published today in Addiction Journal, discovered that e-cigarettes were more often used in the group analysed than nicotine patches (47% vs. 21%).
Women who smoked and used a nicotine replacement product during their pregnancy had babies with the same birth weights as women who only smoked, whereas babies born to women who did not smoke during pregnancy had no birth weight difference, regardless of whether the women used nicotine products or not.
Regular use of nicotine products was not linked to any negative consequences for mothers or their newborns. Professor Peter Hajek, lead researcher at Queen Mary University of London’s Wolfson Institute of Population Health, stated, “The experiment answers two crucial concerns, one practical and one involving our understanding of the hazards of smoking.
E-cigarettes assisted pregnant smokers in quitting without creating any discernible dangers to pregnancy when compared to ending smoking without additional nicotine usage. Using nicotine-containing smoking cessation aids during pregnancy seems to be safe. The effects of smoking on pregnancy, at least in late pregnancy, appear to be related to other compounds in tobacco smoke rather than nicotine.”
Researchers from Queen Mary University of London, University of New South Wales (Australia), University of Nottingham, St George’s University of London, University of Stirling, University of Edinburgh, and King’s College London, as well as St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, analysed data from the Pregnancy Trial of E-cigarettes and Patches (PREP) randomised controlled trial, which the National Institute for Health and Care Research funded.