Controversy Ignites After Pregnant Mom Goes Public With Her E-Cig Habit

After being a pack-a-day smoker for more than a decade, Texas smoker Carly Gay finally had a real reason to kick the habit. Though she had tried to stop smoking for years, finding out she was pregnant gave her the final push to really give up cigarettes once and for all. At first, Carly tried to quit cold turkey, but she just couldn’t do it. After realizing it was next to impossible to quit on her own, she turned to electronic cigarettes.

Gay told local reporters, “I have tried to stop since I started smoking, and it is next to impossible.” She went on to explain that she had switched over to electronic cigarettes and gradually reduced her nicotine usage until she was completely nicotine-free. Gay believes that she is following sound medical advice by gradually reducing her nicotine use instead of quitting cold turkey like she had previously attempted. She said, “The doctors advise you that quitting cold turkey can cause a lot of stress on you and the baby. It’s better to cut back than quit cold turkey.”

Of course, not everyone agrees. Dr. Sheila Chhutani from Texas Health Dallas said that cold turkey quitting was not harmful to the mother or baby. “I tell them to give it up, just like alcohol. I tell them to stop,” she said. Dr. Chhutani also said that it is very important for pregnant mothers to stop smoking in the first three months, as this is the most critical times in terms of development in utero.

Carly Gay said she used e-cigarettes during her first trimester and she is really pleased with her progress in eliminating first tobacco and then nicotine. She enjoys the physical experience of smoking and she feels that e-cigs allow her to continue that without the risks to her baby that are associated with tobacco and nicotine. “When you inhale it, you can feel a hit in your lungs. That’s what us smokers like about smoking is we get that inhale. It’s strong. It feels good.”

Gay intends to continue using her e-cigarette despite the judgmental looks she sometimes gets on a daily basis. She insists that people should do their own research and know the facts before they are so quick to form an opinion. She feels that she has made a responsible decision by choosing e-cigarettes instead of the much more dangerous tobacco cigarettes she used for so long.

Dr. Chhutani agreed that e-cigarettes were less dangerous. She told reporters, “I would rather you do the e-cigarettes and just have the nicotine than the nicotine plus (tobacco).” An ordinary cigarette exposes a pregnant woman and her unborn baby to over 4,000 chemicals, but e-cigs only contain 4 chemicals including nicotine.

While not everyone would agree with Gay’s decision to use e-cigarettes during pregnancy, it’s certainly a hot topic. Just do a quick Internet search on “ecigs and pregnancy” and you will get hundreds of results. This is an option that women want to know more about.
As for Carly Gay, she is happy with the improvements she has already noticed in her life since switching to e-cigarettes. “I can breathe now… I can go for a jog… I don’t run out of breath anymore,” she said. After using cigarettes for more than ten years, she feels that switching to e-cigarettes was a really smart choice for both her and her baby.

How do you feel about the prospect of pregnant women using e-cigarettes? Would you feel strange if you saw a pregnant woman vaping?

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Author Focus: Katie Bercham
Katie actually had a negative first experience of electronic cigarettes, picking up a cheap and horrible model from my local mall. Thanks to a chance meeting with co-editor David, she hasn’t had a tobacco cigarette in over 2 years. She brings a strong female voice to the e-cig community... Read Full Profile >