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E-cigarettes might not be a safer alternative to smoking during pregnancy, according to the first known study into the effects of prenatal nicotine exposure on babies.

Psychologists at Durham University, UK, found that babies of mothers who smoked e-cigarettes during pregnancy displayed similar abnormal reflexes to infants whose mothers smoked traditional cigarettes. Lead author Suzanne Froggatt [...] said: "Nicotine can cause widespread negative effects on the central nervous system, subsequently affecting brain development, with animal studies indicating the devastating effects within the brain.