Exposure to e-cigarette vapor damages cells that causes birth defects in babies, new study found. (Photo: Pixabay)
An alarming new study has discovered vaping while pregnancy can cause babies to be born with birth defects to their faces and heads.
Exposure to e-cigarette vapor damages cells that eventually become facial features and could cause facial clefts and much more damaging effects, the Daily Mail reported.
Dr Amanda Dickinson, senior author of the study and his team examined the responses of animal embryos to the vapor.
They discovered the combinations of liquids are responsible for the e-cigarette's worst damage to the developing animal. One flavour in particular caused the worst damage. The animals also have significant facial clefts due to the exposure.
The study conducted by a team at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) add to a growing body of evidence that vaping is not a safe replacement for traditional tobacco products.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have previously stated that while pregnant, no form of smoking is safe.
While previous research has shown that e-cigarette vapor does contain few toxins, the effects are not fully clear because it is relatively new.
"E-cigarettes are ‘generally perceived by the public as 'safe' for recreational use and only associated with mild effects when used during pregnancy," the study authors are quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. Adding, "The work we have done here contradicts this perception and has the potential to inform public policy regarding the distribution and regulation of the ECIG market."