E-Cigarettes have become increasingly popular among those aiming to give up smoking, but are they the best way forward?
Dr. Ruairi Hanley sees Vaping as a positive, and believes doctors should prescribe it as an alternative to cigarettes.
"These Vaping devices are 95% safer than ordinary cigarettes," he said. With five to six thousand people a year dying from smoking related illnesses, he thinks vaping devices could have an "enormous public health benefit."
"They have a role to play in getting people off cigarettes, so I think it's a really great breakthrough."
While the HSE says there's a lack of long-term data on their safety, Ruairi maintains that they are less harmful than ordinary cigarettes. He said that, although the best thing would obviously be for people to stop smoking altogether, "We must not allow the best to become the enemy of the good."
The number of smokers in Ireland is dropping, but what's the best way to get this to continue? Ruairi feels the answer is to raise taxes on cigarettes, which he says would encourage more people to switch to Vaping.
Dr Ruairi Hanley MB BCH BAO (Hons.) MICGP grew up in Sligo and graduated from UCD School of Medicine in June 2000.
Ruairi has been a medical columnist since 2005 and currently writes for the Irish Medical Times. He has contributed opinion articles to national newspapers including the Irish Independent, Sunday Business Post and Daily Mail.
In 2013, Ruairi was elected to the medical council ahead of 12 other candidates with 1377 votes.