Pregnant women's use of e-cigarettes in the UK: a cross-sectional survey



Bowker K, Lewis S, Phillips L, Orton S, Ussher M, Naughton F, Bauld L, Coleman T, Sinclair L, McRobbie H, Khan A & Cooper S (2021) Pregnant women's use of e-cigarettes in the UK: a cross-sectional survey. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 128 (6), pp. 984-993.

Objective To estimate prevalence of vaping in pregnancy. Compare characteristics and attitudes between exclusive smokers and vapers, and between exclusive vapers and dual users (smoke and vape). Design Cross-sectional survey Setting Hospitals across England and Scotland Population Pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in 2017 Methods Women 8-24 weeks gestation completed screening questions about their smoking and vaping. Current or recent ex-smokers and/or vapers completed a full detailed survey about vaping and smoking. Main outcome measures The prevalence of vaping, characteristics and attitudes of women who vape and/or smoke. Results Of 3360 pregnant women who completed screening questions, 515 (15.3%, 95% CI 14.1-16.6) were exclusive smokers, 44 (1.3%, 95% CI 1.0-1.8) exclusive vapers and 118 (3.5%, 95% CI 2.9-4.2) dual users. In total 867 (25.8%) women completed the full survey; compared with smokers (n=434), vapers (n=140) were more likely to hold higher educational qualifications (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.01-2.25). Compared with exclusive vapers (n=33), dual users (n=107) were younger (OR 0.91 95% CI 0.85-0.98) and less likely to hold high qualifications (OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.20-0.96). Compared with smokers, dual users were more likely to be planning to quit smoking (OR 2.27, 95% CI 1.24-4.18). Compared with smokers, vapers were more likely to think vaping was safer than smoking (78.6% v 36.4%). Conclusions One in twenty pregnant women report vaping, most also smoke. Dual users are more motivated towards stopping smoking than smokers. Where women have tried, but cannot stop smoking, clinicians could encourage them to consider vaping for smoking cessation.

Pregnancy; smoking; vaping; e-cigarettes; prevalence

BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology: Volume 128, Issue 6

FundersCRUK Cancer Research UK
Publication date31/05/2021
Publication date online04/10/2020
Date accepted by journal24/09/2020

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Professor Michael Ussher

Professor Michael Ussher

Professor of Behavioural Medicine, Institute for Social Marketing