Research proves e-cigarettes are an effective method of quitting and are becoming increasingly popular across the U.K.

According to Tommy’s, an organisation which funds research into pregnancy problems, they’re less harmful than normal cigarettes. With e-cigarettes, there is no tobacco being burned, so there are far fewer toxins inhaled.

Carbon monoxide, for example, is a well-known omission of traditional tobacco that can seriously affect an unborn child. E-cigarettes don’t produce carbon monoxide.

Like normal cigarettes, e-cigarettes do usually contain nicotine. Nicotine narrows blood vessels, which means fewer nutrients and less oxygen can reach the baby via the placenta. This could affect the baby’s growth.

There are nicotine-free e-cigarettes, but the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which scrutinises medical devices, found problems with some of the liquids.

Traces of nitrosamine and formaldehyde have been found, which are a cancer-risk. In addition, some of the liquids contained a small trace of nicotine, which means people could be unknowingly inhaling nicotine.

With all of this considered, it is not recommended to use the e-cigarette during pregnancy.

According to Babycentre, midwifes are likely to recommend nicotine replacement therapy rather than e-cigarettes.

As further research is conducted into e-cigarettes, it is possible they will become a viable option for pregnant smokers. But for now, not enough is known about them.