New study adds to concerns about e-cigarettes

Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman of ASH Ireland has responded to a new study about e-cigarettes and urged people to start vaping only as a last resort when trying to quit smoking.


The study, just published in the peer-reviewed journal Thorax (British Medical Journal Group), has shown that e-cigarette vapour destroys protective cells that keep the lungs clear of harmful particles. It showed that the vapour impairs the activity of cells known as macrophages, which help remove dust, bacteria and allergens. Some of the damage highlighted by the study is similar to the effects of tobacco and chronic lung disease.


Dr Doorley said that the report adds to reservations about the safety of e-cigarettes. Speaking to the Irish Independent, he said,

“We certainly shouldn’t dismiss this study. We have known for quite some time about the concerns of vaping. Our health regulator HIQA conducted a major study in recent years which acknowledged that, while e-cigarettes could help people quit smoking, there were still many reservations. The single biggest concern we have at the moment is their long-term safety.”


Dr Doorley told the Irish Independent that e-cigarettes should not be the go-to solution when giving up smoking. “There are options that are safer and have a good long-term track record, like the drug Varenicline, along with nicotine replacement therapy.”


For help quitting, please contact the National Quitline at or call 1800 201203.


The article just published about the study on e-cigarettes is available in full here.

The Irish Independent article is available here.