Deutsche Welle: Vaping while pregnant: What we know

UC tobacco addiction expert weighs in on new research reported by global media

Ashley Merianos, PhD, an assistant professor of human services, is proving herself a sought-after expert for media commentary on the toxicity of tobacco and the effects of tobacco related behaviors such as smoking and vaping. 

Merianos, a prolific tobacco researcher who is currently serving as a co-investigator on two U.S. National Institutes of Health research projects, was cited recently in the global news outlet Deutsche Welle, Germany’s state-owned news organization. Merianos commented on potential flaws in a study (not her research) that showed vaping nicotine in pregnancy is not associated with any adverse effects in mothers or their babies.  

Ashley L. Merianos, PhD, Assoc Professor, CECH-Human Services

Ashley Merianos, PhD, tobacco researcher in the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Serivces. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

In the article, Merianos said the results needed to be interpreted with caution, "since the growing body of evidence points to inconclusive results about the role e-cigarettes play as a tobacco cessation aid for anyone, including pregnant women."

The article was reprinted in The Times of India.

Merianos current research focus is on third-hand smoke and is an affiliate member of the Thirdhand Smoke Research Consortium.

Third-hand smoke is either inhaling, ingesting or dermally absorbing the pollutants that are left behind in the environment after tobacco has been smoked. The pollutants can be found on walls, furniture and even decorations.

She recently led a study in collaboration with Cincinnati Children’s on the levels of third-hand smoke in 80 homes where children reside. That study, published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, found nicotine on surfaces in all of the children's homes and detected the presence of a tobacco-specific carcinogen (called NNK) in nearly half of the homes. The results of this study were covered by U.S. News and World Report and also covered locally.  

Merianos is also an affiliate member of the Thirdhand Smoke Research Consortium.

Read more about the study

Featured image at top of vape pen courtesy of UnSplash/vapeclubmy

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