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Ovalbumin addicted, pregnant mice shouldn’t vape

The Brits are known for their wicked sense of humor, but Professor John Britton from the UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies takes his witty banter to an entirely new level.   A news story broke recently about an unpublished e-cig study claiming that vaping while pregnant can increase risks of asthma in the mothers’ offspring.  And experts like Britton were often contacted by media outlets to offer their opinions.

The basis of the study conducted by researchers from the University of Technology Sydney involves exposing female mice to e-cigarette vapor while mating.  The rodent participants were split into three groups:  Those exposed to nicotine-enhanced e-liquids, those exposed to zero nicotine e-liquids, and a control group “doing the nasty” in a vapor-free room.  Those in the vaping groups were exposed to the vapor during pregnancy, the birthing process, and while nursing their young. 

Of course, none of the mice were exposed to cigarette smoke.  Shocker!

So, as creepy as this sounds already, the Aussie teem then exposed the newborn baby mice to large doses of the protein ovalbumin which is commonly found in eggs and is known to cause asthma.  Somehow, some way, the researchers came to the attention-grabbing conclusion that vaping while pregnant leads to increases in baby asthma.


But did the increases in diagnoses result from the e-cig vapor or the force-feeding of the protein ovalbumin?  According to lead author Dr. Pawan Sharma, the study shows that “e-cigarette use during pregnancy should not be considered safe."

UK vape expert offers hilarious reaction to ‘baby asthma’ report

Of course, most vaping advocates instantly recognize how bogus this “baby asthma” report truly is from the very beginning.  But the medical community still has to react to these sorts of studies publicly, either to support their findings or to refute them.  So, when the Science Media Centre asked Prof. John Briton for his opinion on the matter, he offered the following hilarious comment.

“I think this study shows that mice who are thinking of starting a family, and having done so expose their offspring to ovalbumin, should reflect on a decision to start vaping.  It has no relevance to human health or disease.”

That makes sense.  If you are a mouse who eats a lot of eggs…and is pregnant…then you might want to consider taking up vaping as a new pastime, especially if you have never vaped or smoked a day in your life. 

No one, especially the vaping community, advocates for vaping during pregnancy.  But most would also agree that given the choice, vaping is significantly healthier than smoking, both for the mother and for the newborn child.   Perhaps Professor Linda Bauld from the University of Stirling put it best.

“No-one is suggesting that pregnant women who are non-smokers should vape. Instead, e-cigarettes may have a role to play in helping pregnant women who already smoke.”
“This study did not compare smoking and vaping which is the key comparison if we are to reduce risk.”

Vapes.com would love to provide our readers the link to this bogus research, but we want to avoid giving the publication any further attention.  However, Professor John Britton from the UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies can be contacted at the University of Nottingham if you want to applaud him for his sarcastic jocularity.


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