5 Reasons You Have Nothing to Prove to Anybody.


“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” ~ Maya Angelou

Most of us walk through the world with the sole agenda of proving our self worth and purpose for being on this earth. While I know we all want to make a difference, and it’s becoming harder and harder to stand out in today’s crazy world of social media, I feel it’s my duty to remind you of why you have nothing to prove to anybody.

I’ll start by saying it simply.

5 Reasons You Have Nothing to Prove to Anybody

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

A hard concept to grasp I’m sure, but it’s very true and only you can deny it. No one can tell you how much value you have to offer, and there are certainly to “guidelines” by which we can measure a person’s worth.

Where we all run into problems with issues around self worth and value is when we attach our sense of self to what we do and how well we do it. We incessantly compare ourselves to everyone else, which leads to feeling less than, and insufficient.

We learn that if we are attractive enough, smart enough, funny enough, nice enough, giving enough or talented enough that we will be accepted and belong.

The idea of being accepted and loved for who we are without including what we “do” is a novel concept for all of us.

I’ll say it again in case it didn’t go in the first time.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

I can say this without even knowing you because I truly believe that each and every person walking along side of me is worthy, valuable, perfect and enough.

Here are 5 more reasons you have nothing to prove to anybody.

1. Your standards are all that matter

Stop using others as a yardstick for what and who you need to be. Set your own standards for yourself, and if those are too high then check in with yourself about how you developed these unreachable ideas about yourself in the first place. Having realistic and attainable standards for who you are and how you want to walk through this world will keep you grounded in your own authentic worthiness.

2. External validation is fleeting

It feels good to get the gold star or affirmation from someone you respect or admire. No doubt that this is a good thing for anyone. However, this kind of validation is fleeting simply because it’s not yours to own. It’s on borrowed time, and if you don’t do your own work on owning your own value this goodness will slip away. You want to hold this part of yourself sacred so it’s always available when you need it.

3. You’ll never please everyone

There is a hamster wheel for everything in life, and that includes your desire to please others by proving yourself. There will inevitably be that one person who never really sees how great you are (usually a parent) leaving you going back to the empty well over and over. Know that your honorable acts of seeking approval will be futile with a few if not many.

4. You are good enough

There’s a concept in Psychoogy developed by D.W. Winnicott that talks about the good enough mother. This applies here too. You don’t have to be perfect or more than, you just need to be good enough. Good enough has to be determined by you, and you alone. Striving to be perfect or more than you need to be will exhaust you and ultimately leave you feeling defeated because it’s unsustainable.

5. Inadequacy is an internal experience

Recognize that your feelings of not being enough or needing to prove your worth are inside of you. You may experience the feelings when you are around other people, but it’s most likely a projection of your own internal struggle. Work on this in therapy or with a trusted mentor because feeling valued and worthy completely starts within.

What constitutes approval seeking behavior and why do you think so many people are after it?

Resistance to Malaria Drugs Has Spread in SE Asia.


International experts raised the alarm Tuesday over the spread of drug-resistant malaria in several Southeast Asian countries, saying it endangers major global gains in fighting the mosquito-borne disease that kills more than 600,000 people annually.

While the disease wreaks its heaviest toll in Africa, it’s in nations along the Mekong River where the most serious threat to treating it has emerged.

The availability of therapies using the drug artemisinin has helped cut global malaria deaths by a quarter in the past decade. But over the same period, resistance to the drug emerged on Thailand’s borders with Myanmar and Cambodia and has spread. It has been detected in southern Vietnam and likely exists in southern Laos, said Prof. Nick White of the Thailand-based Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit.

White, a leading authority on the subject, said that while there’s no confirmed evidence of resistance in Africa, there’s plenty of risk of transmission by air travelers from affected countries, such as construction laborers, aid workers or soldiers serving on peacekeeping missions.

“We have to take a radical approach to this. It’s like a cancer that’s spreading and we have to take it out now,” White told a conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington. He said no alternative anti-malarial drug is on the horizon.

The U.N. World Health Organization, or WHO, is also warning that what seems to be a localized threat could easily get out of control and have serious implications for global health.

Mosquitoes have developed resistance to antimalarial drugs before.

It happened with the drug chloroquine, which helped eliminate malaria from Europe, North America, the Caribbean and parts of Asia and South-Central America during the 1950s. Resistance first began appearing on the Thai-Cambodia border, and by the early 1990s it was virtually useless as an antimalarial in much of the world.

Resistance to artemisinin is caused by various factors, such as use of substandard or counterfeit drugs, or prescribing artemisinin on its own rather than in combination with another longer-acting drug to ensure that all malaria-carrying parasites in a patient’s bloodstream are killed off.

Scientists have been working for decades to develop a malaria vaccine, but none is yet available.

Nowhere are the challenges to countering drug resistance greater than in Myanmar, also known as Burma, which accounts for most of malaria deaths in the Mekong region, according to a report for the conference by Dr. Christopher Daniel, former commander of the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center.

Myanmar’s public health system is ill-equipped to cope, although once-paltry government spending on it has increased significantly under the quasi-civilian administration that took power in 2011.

Dr. Myat Phone Kyaw, assistant director of the Myanmar Medical Research Center, said malaria drug resistance first emerged in the country’s east where migrant workers cross between Myanmar and Thailand, and is assumed to have spread to other regions. Death rates have dropped as effective treatments have become more available, but more aid and research is needed as transient workers in industries like mining and logging pose a continuing transmission risk, he said.

White said it is critical to prevent drug resistance creeping across Myanmar’s northwestern border with densely populated India. “In my view, once it gets into the northeast part of India, that’s it, it’s too late, you won’t be able to stop it,” he said.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies is advocating greater U.S. involvement and aid for health and fighting malaria in the Mekong region, particularly in Myanmar, where Washington has been in the vanguard of ramping up international aid. The think tank says that can increase America’s profile in Southeast Asia in a way that will benefit needy people and not be viewed as threatening to strategic rival, China.

But securing more funds won’t be easy at a time when Washington is cutting back on programs for its own poor. The U.S. is already a major contributor to international anti-malaria efforts, and in Myanmar, is promising $20 million per year in health assistance under its recently resumed bilateral aid program.

White said the problem was less one of lack of funds, than in countries having the will to take quick action to fight a disease that hits the rural poor, which have less of a political voice than urban populations.

He said infection rates have been dropping but the disease needs to be wiped out entirely or it could be distilled to the most resistant parasites and infection rates will rise again. “Once it reaches a higher level of resistance where the drugs don’t work, we are technically stuffed,” White said.

Charles Darwin to receive apology from the Church of England for rejecting evolution.


The Church of England is to apologise to Charles Darwin for its initial rejection of his theories, nearly 150 years after he published his most famous work.

The Church of England will concede in a statement that it was over-defensive and over-emotional in dismissing Darwin’s ideas. It will call “anti-evolutionary fervour” an “indictment” on the Church”.

Charles Darwin to receive apology from the Church of England for rejecting evolution

The bold move is certain to dismay sections of the Church that believe in creationism and regard Darwin’s views as directly opposed to traditional Christian teaching.

The apology, which has been written by the Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, the Church’s director of mission and public affairs, says that Christians, in their response to Darwin’s theory of natural selection, repeated the mistakes they made in doubting Galileo’s astronomy in the 17th century.

“The statement will read: Charles Darwin: 200 years from your birth, the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still. We try to practise the old virtues of ‘faith seeking understanding’ and hope that makes some amends.”

Opposition to evolutionary theories is still “a litmus test of faithfulness” for some Christian movements, the Church will admit. It will say that such attitudes owe much to a fear of perceived threats to Christianity.

A Smarter Way to Prevent Heart Attacks


Under new guidelines, one third of adults in the U.S. should consider using statins based on their overall health profile, not just their cholesterol number

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The well-established strategy among doctors for reducing cardiovascular disease has been to lower bad cholesterol, or LDL, to specific targets (below 100 or below 70 for people at high risk). No more. New clinical guidelines unveiled Tuesday take a more broad approach to assess a patient’s risk of heart disease and to prescribe twice as many Americans (one third of all adults) cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The cholesterol numbers have been deemed arbitrary and worse predictors of heart risk than doctors originally thought. Now, doctors are being told to dive more deeply into a patient’s background to assess their potential risk for heart attacks and to prescribe cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to high-risk patients. The formula for whether a patient ought to be prescribed a drug will include age, gender, race and factors beyond cholesterol, like whether someone smokes.

Though doctors say the new approach will limit how many people will be put on statins because of their cholesterol number, under the new formula, 33 million Americans — 44 percent of men and 22 percent of women — would meet the requirements to consider taking a statin. The current guidelines only recommend statins for 15 percent of adults.

And for the first time the treatment is focusing on strokes, not just heart attacks. ”We’re trying to focus the most appropriate therapy to prevent heart attack and stroke…in a wide range of patients,” said Neil J. Stone, professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and head of the panel that wrote the cholesterol guidelines.

In the U.S., 600,000 people per year die from heart disease (accounting for about one in four deaths).

Zinc ‘starves’ deadly bacteria.


Australian researchers have found that zinc can ‘starve’ one of the world’s most deadly bacteria by preventing its uptake of an essential metal.

The finding, by infectious disease researchers at the University of Adelaide and The University of Queensland, opens the way for further work to design antibacterial agents in the fight against Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Streptococcus pneumoniae is responsible for more than one million deaths a year, killing children, the elderly and other vulnerable people by causing pneumonia, meningitis, and other serious infectious diseases.

Published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, the researchers describe how zinc “jams shut” a protein transporter in the bacteria so that it cannot take up manganese, an essential metal that Streptococcus pneumoniae needs to be able to invade and cause disease in humans.

“It’s long been known that zinc plays an important role in the body’s ability to protect against bacterial infection, but this is the first time anyone has been able to show how zinc actually blocks an essential pathway causing the bacteria to starve,” says project leader Dr Christopher McDevitt, Research Fellow in the University of Adelaide’s Research Centre for Infectious Diseases.

“This work spans fields from chemistry and biochemistry to microbiology and immunology to see, at an atomic level of detail, how this transport protein is responsible for keeping the bacteria alive by scavenging one essential metal (manganese), but at the same time also makes the bacteria vulnerable to being killed by another metal (zinc),” says Professor Bostjan Kobe, Professor of Structural Biology at The University of Queensland.

The study reveals that the bacterial transporter (PsaBCA) uses a ‘spring-hammer’ mechanism to bind the metals. The difference in size between the two metals, manganese and zinc, causes the transporter to bind them in different ways. The smaller size of zinc means that when it binds to the transporter, the mechanism closes too tightly around the zinc, causing an essential spring in the protein to unwind too far, jamming it shut and blocking the transporter from being able to take up manganese.

“Without manganese, these bacteria can easily be cleared by the immune system,” says Dr McDevitt. “For the first time, we understand how these types of transporters function. With this new information we can start to design the next generation of antibacterial agents to target and block these essential transporters.”

Cosmic rays zap a planet’s chances for life.


Mysterious cosmic rays constantly bombard Earth from outer space. Now scientists find these energetic particles could limit where life as we know it might exist on alien planets. Cosmic rays continue to baffle scientists more than a century after they were first discovered. These charged subatomic particles zip through space at nearly the speed of light, a few strangely with energies up to 100 million times beyond what is possible from the most powerful particle accelerator on Earth. Cosmic rays are believed to be atomic nuclei, with the vast majority being protons, or hydrogen nuclei.

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When hit Earth’s atmosphere, they generate a shower of other particles, including muons, which are essentially much heavier versions of their cousin the electron. Some of these particles reach Earth’s surface, potentially damaging on land and in the oceans—muons can even penetrate hundreds of feet below a planet’s surface.

Scientists investigated how cosmic rays might influence the habitability of distant alien worlds. The hundreds of exoplanets astronomers have discovered in the past two decades using ground and space telescopes have raised the possibility that some might be home to extraterrestrial life. Interest is especially focused on worlds in so-called habitable or Goldilocks zones, which receive enough heat to possess surfaces that can keep water liquid rather than freeze—on Earth, there is life virtually wherever there is liquid water.

The investigators reasoned the level of radiation a planet receives helps control its habitability. While a planet might see much fewer compared to the radiation from its star, the average energy of cosmic rays is far higher than photons and protons from the star, making them critical to focus on.

“If the radiation dose is too high, then life as we know it cannot exist,” said study author Dimitra Atri, a physicist at the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, a nonprofit institute with a network of scientists across the world.

The researchers concentrated on two factors that might influence the cosmic ray dose a planet gets—the strength of its , and the depth of its atmosphere.

“I started thinking about this problem when I was thinking about Mars and Earth, which are next-door neighbors, and how we have a thriving biosphere here on Earth, while it’s safe to say Mars does not have a thriving biosphere on its surface. Why is that so?” Atri said. “The main factor is that Mars has a high level of radiation—the atmosphere on Mars is almost negligible, very, very small compared to Earth’s, and it has no planetary magnetic field, so it has no shielding from the cosmic rays found everywhere in the galaxy. So I wondered what intermediate scenarios might be like, lying between these two extremes.”

The investigators simulated planets ranging from ones with no magnetic field to ones as strong as Earth’s, and worlds with atmospheres ranging from as thick as Earth’s to just a tenth as thick.

“We know the magnetic field around Earth protects us from these harmful cosmic rays, and we thought magnetic fields were going to be the main factor that controls the radiation dose to the surface,” Atri said.

Unexpectedly, “we found the thickness of a planet’s atmosphere is a much more important factor in determining a planet’s radiation dose,” Atri told Astrobiology Magazine. “If you took the Earth and you completely removed the magnetic field, the radiation dose rate will increase by two, which is a big increase, but it would still have very small effects, and would not have any effects on us. However, if you keep the magnetic field and decreased the atmosphere so it is a tenth as thick, the will increase by more than two orders of magnitude.”

Planets around red dwarf stars are often thought of as prime targets for the search of alien life, since these relatively dim stars are very common in the universe, making up at least 80 percent of the total number of stars. Theoretical calculations suggested planets in the habitable zones close to red dwarfs are more likely to have weaker magnetic fields, especially in the case of so-called super-Earths, large rocky planets up to 10 times Earth’s mass. Astrobiologists were concerned these weak magnetic fields could make them poor candidates for life, but these new findings suggest weak magnetic fields are less of a problem than they thought.

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Future research can examine how increasing radiation affects the evolution of life, Atri said. “Most studies of radiation’s effects on life mostly expose organisms to very high doses of radiation to see if they get killed or not, but I think systematic studies that gradually increase the radiation microbes receive could show how they evolve in environments that receive a lot of cosmic rays,” he said.

Heavy smokers cut down or quit after magnetic brain stimulation, study finds.


Heavy smokers who regularly puffed more than a packet of cigarettes a day cut down or quit for six months after their brains were stimulated with magnets, researchers say.

The apparent success of the simple procedure has led the scientists to organise a large-scale trial which will launch early next year at 15 medical centres worldwide.

Smokers in the pilot study had already tried anti-smoking drugs, nicotine gum and patches or psychotherapy to no avail, raising hopes that magnetic stimulation might offer an effective alternative for those who want to give up but have so far failed.

Nearly half of the smokers in one group, who received high-frequency magnetic pulses, quit after a three-week course of stimulation, with more than a third still abstaining six months on.

“This is a new approach to the problem,” said neuroscientist Abraham Zangen of Ben-Gurion University in Israel. “These are heavy smokers who could not stop smoking before.”

More trials will be needed to prove the value of the procedure, which scientists say should only be offered within a psychotherapy-based programme designed specifically for smokers.

For the pilot study, Zangen recruited 115 people aged 21-70 who smoked at least 20 a day. Only those who had tried to give up before using at least two methods were allowed to take part in the programme.

The smokers were divided into three groups. The first had 15 minutes of high-frequency magnetic stimulation every weekday for two weeks, followed by three sessions in the third week.

The second group had the same number of sessions of low-frequency magnetic stimulation. The third group thought they were having their brains stimulated, but the device was actually turned off to provide a control group.

Before each session, one of Zangen’s PhD students lit a cigarette and took a puff in front of half of the smokers in each group. This was designed to awaken their cravings for a smoke, and hopefully make them more susceptible to the treatment.

Zangen targeted brain regions called the prefrontal cortex and insula with a technique called deep repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation, or rTMS. Throughout the study, he asked the smokers to record how much they smoked up until six months later.

The results showed a placebo effect, or an improvement without any proper intervention, in the control group, and also in the smokers who received low frequency stimulation. In both of these groups, the smokers cut down on average from 26 to 20 cigarettes a day.

But the results were more impressive in the smokers who had high-frequency brain stimulation after witnessing one of the scientists have a drag on a cigarette: 44% quit after the three-week course and six months later, 36% said they were still not smoking.

To check that the smokers were telling the truth, Zangen tested their urine for a breakdown product of nicotine called cotinine. The results were in line with the smokers’ claims.

Though the findings are promising, the study was too small to be convincing. Zangen said a much larger trial, involving medical centres in several countries, was due to start in the next few months to test the stimulation on far more smokers.

More than a third of those treated with high frequency magnetic pulses stopped smoking for at least six months, researchers say.

If the procedure turns out to be effective, smokers might not need to have their brains stimulated regularly to avoid relapsing, he said.

“It’s quite easy to quit for a few days, or even for a few weeks, but if we can help people quit for more than three months, then they are actually quite unlikely to relapse later on,” he said.

A man smoking a cigarette

Peter Eichhammer, who has studied brain stimulation at the University of Regensburg, said that while the procedure might be effective, it was important for smokers to receive treatment in a dedicated psychotherapy-based programme.

“rTMS may help people to reduce smoking, most likely by mimicking nicotine’s actions on the brain reward system,” he said. “But it does not substitute a special psychological therapy. In general, I would be very cautious to promote rTMS as a sole biologically-driven therapeutical strategy.

“rTMS may be helpful but should be embedded in a psychological therapeutical program. Moreover, we need replication from a variety of clinical studies which really treat people with this addiction,” he said.

Mammogram finds US reporter’s cancer


Good Morning America‘s Amy Robach has revealed she will have a double mastectomy this week, a month after undergoing a mammogram on the show.

The 40-year-old correspondent discovered she had breast cancer after reluctantly agreeing to have a screening filmed for the ABC show.

She said GMA anchor Robin Roberts had persuaded her that if the story saved one life, it would be worth it.

“It never occurred to me that life would be mine,” said Robach.

Producers chose Robach to cover the mammogram story because it is recommended that women at the age of 40 regularly check for breast cancer.

During Monday’s programme, and in a blog post following the show, Robach said doctors had not yet determined what stage the cancer had progressed to, or whether it had spread.

The original story, which was part of the GMA Goes Pink breast cancer awareness day, featured Robach emerging from her on-air mammogram, before telling colleagues that it hurt much less than she thought it would.

A few weeks later she was told she had cancer, after returning for what she thought would be some follow-up images.

Robach said that her husband, actor Andrew Shue, had returned from his work trip that night and her parents had also caught a flight to New York to join her.

“We started gearing up for a fight,” she said, as she revealed that she would have both breasts removed this Thursday, followed by reconstructive surgery.

Robach joined ABC in 2012 from NBC, where she was a Weekend Today host.

‘No excuses’

She frequently filled in as a presenter on ABC’s top-rated morning show GMA, while host Roberts was fighting a serious blood and bone marrow disease.

Robach said that with a full-time job and two children she had always found reasons to put off having a mammogram herself.

However a doctor told her that the test had saved her life.

“I can only hope my story will inspire every woman who hears it to get a mammogram, to take a self-exam,” said Robach.

“No excuses. It is the difference between life and death.”

Depression ‘speeds ageing process’


Depression can make us physically older by speeding up the ageing process in our cells, according to a study.

Lab tests showed cells looked biologically older in people who were severely depressed or who had been in the past.

These visible differences in a measure of cell ageing called telomere length couldn’t be explained by other factors, such as whether a person smoked.

The findings, in more than 2,000 people, appear in Molecular Psychiatry.

Experts already know that people with major depression are at increased risk of age-related diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

This might be partly down to unhealthy lifestyle behaviours such as alcohol use and physical inactivity.

But scientists suspect depression takes its own toll on our cells.

Telomere shortening

To investigate, Josine Verhoeven from the VU University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, along with colleagues from the US, recruited 2,407 people to take part in the study.

More than one third of the volunteers were currently depressed, a third had experienced major depression in the past and the rest had never been depressed.

The volunteers were asked to give a blood sample for the researchers to analyse in the lab for signs of cellular ageing.

The researchers were looking for changes in structures deep inside cells called telomeres.

Telomeres cap the end of our chromosomes which house our DNA. Their job is to stop any unwanted loss of this vital genetic code. As cells divide, the telomeres get shorter and shorter. Measuring their length is a way of assessing cellular ageing.

People who were or had been depressed had much shorter telomeres than those who had never experienced depression. This difference was apparent even after lifestyle differences, such as heavy drinking and smoking, were taken into account.

Furthermore, the most severely and chronically depressed patients had the shortest telomeres.

Dr Verhoeven and colleagues speculate that shortened telomeres are a consequence of the body’s reaction to the distress depression causes.

telomere at the end of chromosomes

“This large-scale study provides convincing evidence that depression is associated with several years of biological ageing, especially among those with the most severe and chronic symptoms,” they say.

But it is unclear whether this ageing process is harmful and if it can be reversed.

UK expert Dr Anna Phillips, of the University of Birmingham, has researched the effects of stress on telomere length.

She says telomere length does not consistently predict other key outcomes such as death risk.

Further, it is likely that only a major depressive disorder, not experience of or even a lifetime of mild-to-moderate depressive symptoms, relates to telomere length, she said.

E-cigarettes ‘could save millions’


Scientists say that if all smokers in the world switched from cigarettes to electronic cigarettes, it could save millions of lives.

Woman smoking an electronic cigarette

In the UK there are currently about 100,000 deaths per year attributable to smoking, worldwide it is estimated to be more than five million.

Now researchers are hopeful that an increasing use of e-cigarettes could prevent some of these deaths.

But some groups warn that e-cigarettes could normalise smoking.

An estimated 700,000 users smoke e-cigarettes in the UK, according to Action on Smoking and Health. Some users combine “vaping”, as it is often called, with traditional cigarettes while others substitute it for smoking completely.

E-cigarettes have also recently be found to be just as effective as nicotine patches in helping smokers quit.

Future hope

Rather than inhaling the toxic substances found in tobacco, e-cigarette users inhale vaporised liquid nicotine.

Robert West, professor of health psychology at University College London, told delegates at the 2013 E-Cigarette Summit at London’s Royal Society that “literally millions of lives” could be saved.

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Every adolescent tries something new, many try smoking. I would prefer they try e-cigarettes to regular cigarettes”

Dr Jacques Le Houezec Tobacco and nicotine researcher

“The big question, and why we’re here, is whether that goal can be realised and how best to do it… and what kind of cultural, regulatory environment can be put in place to make sure that’s achieved.

“I think it can be achieved but that’s a hope, a promise, not a reality,” he said.

A revolution

This view was echoed by Dr Jacques Le Houezec, a private consultant who has been researching the effects of nicotine and tobacco.

He said that because the harmful effects of its main comparator, tobacco, e-cigarette use should not be over-regulated.

“We’ve been in the field for very long, this for us is a revolution.

E-cigarettes
There is concern over the lack of regulation of e-cigarettes

“Every adolescent tries something new, many try smoking. I would prefer they try e-cigarettes to regular cigarettes.” Dr Le Houezec added.

Many are now calling for the industry to be regulated. An EU proposal to regulate e-cigarettes as a medicine was recently rejected, but in the UK e-cigarettes will be licensed as a medicine from 2016.

Konstantinos Farsalinos, from the University Hospital Gathuisberg, Belgium, said it was important for light regulation to be put in place “as soon as possible”.

“Companies are all hiding behind the lack of regulation and are not performing any tests on their products, this is a big problem.”

Prof Farsalinos studies the health impacts of e-cigarette vapour. Despite the lack of regulation, he remained positive about the health risks associated with inhaling it.

Healthy rats

E-cigarettes are still relatively new, so there is little in the way of long-term studies looking at their overall health impacts.

In order to have valid clinical data, a large group of e-cigarette users would need to be followed for many years.

Seeing as many users aim to stop smoking, following a large group of e-smokers for a long period could be difficult.

But in rats at least, a study showed that after they inhaled nicotine for two years, there were no harmful effects. This was found in a 1996 study before e-cigarettes were on the market, a study Dr Le Houezec said was reassuring.

Concern about the increase in e-cigarette use remains.

The World Health Organization advised that consumers should not use e-cigarettes until they are deemed safe. They said the potential risks “remain undetermined” and that the contents of the vapour emissions had not been thoroughly studied

Woman smoking electronic cigarette
E-cigarettes still divide opinion

The British Medical Association has called for a ban on public vaping in the same way that public smoking was banned.

They stated that a strong regulatory framework was needed to “restrict their marketing, sale and promotion so that it is only targeted at smokers as a way of cutting down and quitting, and does not appeal to non-smokers, in particular children and young people”.

Ram Moorthy, from the British Medical Association, said that their use normalises smoking behaviour.

“We don’t want that behaviour to be considered normal again and that e-cigarettes are used as an alternative for the areas that people cannot smoke,” he told BBC News.

But Lynne Dawkins, from the University of East London, said that while light-touch regulation was important, it must be treated with caution.

She said that e-cigarettes presented a “viable safer alternative” to offer to smokers.

“We don’t want to spoil this great opportunity we have for overseeing this unprecedented growth and evolving technology that has not been seen before, We have to be careful not to stump that.”