For moms considering vaping, either as an alternative to smoking or for relaxation, safety is often a primary concern. Vaping involves inhaling a vapor created by an electronic cigarette or other vaping device. E-liquids, which are used in such devices, typically contain nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. The rising popularity of vaping has sparked numerous debates about its safety, especially regarding its use around children or during pregnancy. This article aims to provide a straightforward guide for moms on how to use vapes safely, acknowledging the challenges and responsibilities of motherhood.
Understand the Basics of Vaping
First, it’s crucial to understand what vaping is. Vaping devices, also known as e-cigarettes, vaporize a liquid solution that users inhale.
While they are often used as a smoking cessation aid, the long-term health impacts of vaping are still under study, and it’s essential to stay informed about the latest research.
Avoid Vaping During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Health professionals advise against the use of any nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, while pregnant or breastfeeding.
The reason is that nicotine can harm a fetus’s development and has been associated with premature delivery, low birth weight, and other complications. It’s also found in breast milk and can affect a nursing child.
Store Vaping Supplies Safely
If you’re a mom who chooses to vape, it’s crucial to store all vaping materials out of your children’s reach, just as you would with household cleaners and medications.
E-liquids, particularly, pose a poisoning risk if ingested, inhaled, or if they come into contact with skin. Ensure that e-liquids have child-resistant packaging and are stored in a locked area.
Do Not Vape Around Children
Secondhand vapor from e-cigarettes may pose health risks to those exposed, particularly children. The vapor can contain nicotine and other potentially harmful chemicals. To minimize exposure, do not vape around your children or inside your home and car.
Instead, opt to vape in designated areas away from children and others.
Choose Products Wisely
When selecting a vaping device and e-liquid, opt for products from reputable sources. Avoid buying from informal sources like street vendors, social media, or unlicensed shops, where products may be counterfeit or tampered with. Counterfeit products may not meet safety standards and could contain harmful ingredients.
Be Cautious with Device Maintenance
Proper care and handling of your vaping device are essential. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging, cleaning, and refilling your e-cigarette to prevent malfunctions or accidents.
Incorrect charging, in particular, can pose a fire risk, so use the charger provided with your device and avoid leaving it charging unattended or overnight.
Be Prepared to Respond to Emergencies
In case of accidental ingestion of e-liquid or device malfunction, it’s crucial to act quickly. Save the Poison Help number (1-800-222-1222 in the United States) in your phone and be ready to call in case a child ingests e-liquid.
For device malfunctions like overheating, know how to safely handle and dispose of your e-cigarette.
Lead by Example
Children often mimic the behavior of adults, particularly their parents. Be mindful of the example you set with your habits. If you choose to vape, explain to your children that it is an adult activity, much like drinking alcohol, and it’s not safe for them.
Discuss the dangers of nicotine and why they should not use vaping products.
Seek Support if Trying to Quit Nicotine
If you’re vaping as a step to quit smoking or to cut down nicotine intake, consider seeking support. Numerous resources, including hotlines, apps, and support groups, can offer assistance.
Healthcare providers can also guide you through nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) and provide additional resources for cessation.
Vaping around children poses risks due to exposure to secondhand aerosol, which can contain harmful substances. For moms who vape or are considering vaping, safety should be a top priority. Practicing safe storage, not vaping around children, and maintaining your device are steps you can take to vape more safely. However, the safest option is to avoid nicotine products altogether, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you aim to quit nicotine, seek support to increase your chances of success. Remember, your habits and choices significantly impact your children, so it’s essential to make informed decisions that prioritize your family’s health and well-being.