Limerick cardiologist says no evidence to favour e-cigarettes

ecig by Bernie English

A NEWLY appointed Limerick cardiac consultant has warned there is no evidence that e-cigarettes are less of a health threat than tobacco.

In an interview as he takes up his position with the UHL hospitals groups, Tony Moloney was giving advice for people who not to need to see him.

“A patient asked me about e-cigarettes only the other day. She used to smoke 50 a day and now is on e-cigarettes. Her peripheral arterial disease has improved. I said to her there was no concrete evidence about e-cigarettes and, in terms of the actual long-term risks, we simply don’t know,” he said.

He also warned that unless the health service here can attract more top-end staff to come home, it is in serious trouble.

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And he added that putting calorie counts and sugar content on restaurant menus was “a no-brainer” as far as he was concerned.

Delivering care in the community through the “hub and spoke model” at University of Limerick Hospitals Group is one of the reasons the consultant vascular surgeon gave for his return to Ireland after six successful years in Canada.

He has joined a team of four consultant vascular surgeons.

“I have always thought about and believe in a hub and spoke model. I think the clinic in Nenagh is hugely important. Having clinics in Nenagh, in Ennis and in St John’s – and obviously in UHL as well – serves our catchment area well”.

Mr Moloney said he had “done a lot of research” before deciding to leave practice in Canada and return home.

“Consultant numbers in Ireland are at critical levels and if we don’t attract people back home from overseas, the health service is in real trouble.

“But I see Limerick and this region a little differently, in that reconfiguration has made the hospital network not only successful on paper but functional and adaptive in reality, despite the bed challenges we face daily. The directorates, led by chief executive Colette Cowan, have done a great job in very difficult circumstances”.

Asked what health advice he would give for people to avoid seeing him at work, Mr Moloney said “vascular and cardiac diseases have, in essence, the same set of risk factors, management of these not only includes medication but also: healthy living; exercise; control of blood sugars; control of cholesterol; control of blood pressure and smoking cessation”.