Breastfeeding mothers need access to relevant and reliable information about e-cigarettes

In August 2019 researchers from the UK published their study to assess the current attitudes, motivations and barriers to post-partum e-cigarette usage, particularly in breastfeeding mothers. Many women return to smoking in the post-partum period having stopped during pregnancy, and while this can affect their decisions about breastfeeding, little is known about women’s opinions on using e-cigs during this period. Information was collected via publicly accessible online forum discussions. Four themes were identified: use, perceived risk, social support and evidence. Results showed that women were using e-cigs to prevent a return to smoking post-partum although there were differing opinions on their safety. The women were concerned about possibly transferring harmful products from the e-cigarettes to their baby via breast milk as well as secondhand exposure, so they tended to actively seek and share information about e-cigarettes from a variety of sources. Whilst some women supported the use of e-cigarettes, others were critical of the mothers who used them.

Johnston EJ et al. Safety of Electronic Cigarette Use During Breastfeeding: Qualitative Study Using Online Forum Discussions. J Med Internet Res. 2019 Aug 12;21(8):e11506

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