Impact of maternal exposure to e-cigarette vapor on offspring health outcomes: A systematic review of animal studies

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Research Paper 16/07/2023
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Impact of maternal exposure to e-cigarette vapor on offspring health outcomes: A systematic review of animal studies

Zarina Kate C. Laggui
J. Bio. Env. Sci.23( 1), 163-174, July 2023.
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Since their introduction in 2007, electronic cigarettes have gained popularity, much of which come from the notion that it is a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes, even for women during pregnancy. These assertions are based in large part on the fact that e-cigarette vapors contain less toxicant compared with cigarette smoke. Little is known yet about the effects of prenatal exposure on offspring; hence, this paper aims to provide an overview of the current research on the impacts of prenatal e-cigarette exposure to offspring health outcomes. Since a clinical study in humans is scarce, this review refers only to animal studies published from 2018 to present. All relevant studies were systematically selected from online databases (Google Scholar, Web of Science, PubMed, NCBI, Research Gate, Science Direct). The search yielded 10 significant research papers. Most studies included made use of murine model for maternal e-cigarette exposure. Prenatal exposure to e-cigarettes of high nicotine levels resulted to reduced birth weight and litter size. Maternal vaping produced developmental dysfunction in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hepatic and renal systems of offspring. Moreover, afflicted offspring had short term memory deficits, and impaired learning and object recognition ability. Hyperactivity and decreased anxiety behavior are also exhibited by prenatally exposed offspring. It is also noted that e – cigarette vapor confers adverse health outcomes, independent of nicotine content. Based on these findings, it is then recommended that a more intense education and awareness program on the detrimental effects of e-cigarette smoking be given to pregnant women of child-bearing age, as well as prenatal care professionals.


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