'Pro-vaping lobby mimicking advertising used by the tobacco companies 50 years ago,' Cork doctor warns

'Pro-vaping lobby mimicking advertising used by the tobacco companies 50 years ago,' Cork doctor warns
File photo

By Áine Kenny

A Cork doctor has warned against the potential dangers of vaping.

Dr Nick Flynn told The Echo there are not enough studies on the long-term side effects of vaping. “While vaping may be safer than smoking, this doesn’t mean it is safe. There’s no scientific proof to say it’s completely safe.”

“Inhaling flavoured chemicals into your lungs is potentially dangerous,” he added. He says the phenomenon of young people vaping without ever smoking is a worrying trend.

They are vaping naively and becoming addicted to nicotine.

“If you switch to vaping after quitting cigarettes, then that is better. But the end goal has to be neither smoking or vaping.

“My concern is the pro-vaping lobby are mimicking the advertising used by the tobacco companies 50 years ago,” he says.

“These lobby groups can be quite aggressive on social media if you raise concerns. You are taking a chance with your health. A lot of recent studies show that vaping causes the endothelium, the cells which line the blood and lymphatic vessels, to become inflamed.

The study which came out on Wednesday says that vaping can also damage the lungs and brain.

This study was released by the European Heart Journal. It examined the effect of vaping on 20 vapers before they smoked and 15 minutes after. Their results showed an increase in heart rate and stiffened arteries, and the vaper’s endothelium stopped working properly.

The researchers also exposed 151 mice to vapour over one, three or five days, for 20 minutes six times a day. The mice’s lungs and brains appeared to become damaged.

“I would be very concerned that in ten years time we will have people in their 30s and 40s with serious lung conditions because of vaping in their teens and 20s,” added Dr Flynn.

Vapes are battery-powered devices which heat a flavoured liquid containing nicotine, propylene glycol and glycerin. This produces a vapour which can be inhaled.

- This story first appeared in The Echo on Friday, November 15

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