home
RSS
August 3rd, 2010
06:14 PM ET

Change your thinking to kick that cigarette habit

Imagine how tantalizing, how powerful the craving for a cigarette is. Then imagine you could stem that craving by merely changing the way you think. A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that merely thinking differently could help control cravings.

"Most people think that the reason smokers use substances is because of a lack of self-control," said Kevin Ochsner, associate professor of psychology at Columbia University. "We show they don't lack it, the problem they have is they may not know what strategy to use."

Let's face it, our brains are wired for short-term rewards, whether it is the first drag on a cigarette or the first bite of a hot stack of pancakes. According to study authors, the strategy to curb those cravings is almost deceptively simple: re-wiring the brain to think long-term.

Ochsner and colleagues gave brain scans to 21 people who reported regularly smoking. They posed two scenarios. In one, they measured what happened in the brain after asking smokers to think about the immediate rewards of smoking, for example the first drag on a cigarette, how the smoke would feel entering the lungs, or the sensation of smoke curling out of the mouth. In the second scenario smokers were asked to imagine the long-term consequences of smoking - health problems associated with it - such as emphysema or heart disease.

By way of comparison, the same was done with food. Study respondents were shown photos of delectable, fatty foods and asked to think about the short-term rewards (how great the food would taste), and the long-term consequences (obesity, diabetes, heart disease) while their brain activity was measured.

Turns out, something as simple as focusing on the long-term consequences of smoking (or eating fatty foods) could control the craving.

"This gives us a biological explanation for how cognitive regulation of craving works," said Hedy Kober, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and the study's lead author. "By changing the way they think about cigarettes in moments of craving, by focusing on the negative long-term consequences, [smokers] can reduce craving and change their own brain activity."

Two areas of the brain are at work when we crave things - the prefrontal cortex and the ventral striatum. The prefrontal cortex is an area associated with reasoning and the ventral striatum is associated with emotion, desire, and craving. Among study participants, successfully curbing cravings involved activating the reasoning part of the brain more than the craving-driven region.

Except re-wiring the brain, re-shaping how one thinks about craving, is far from simple - it is a long process. And then there are important questions about the biological underpinnings of addiction. Still, study authors say that thinking differently is powerful therapy.

"It takes a sustained, continuous effort," said Ochsner. "It is teaching you a new kind of emotional response instead of just going reflexively. It's slow and painful but we absolutely have the potential to do it."

Post by:
Filed under: Addiction • Brain • Psychology • Smoking

soundoff (3,248 Responses)
  1. Used Forklift Service California

    https://www.edamam.com/widget/nutrition.jsp?url=https://wildwestlifttrucks.com/indio-forklifts

    April 23, 2021 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Body Shop Riverside

    Howdy! I simply wish to give you a huge thumbs up for your great information you've got here on this post. I am coming back to your web site for more soon.

    http://bowmandistribution.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.me

    April 24, 2021 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. houses for sale kellogg idaho

    https://cse.google.com.sv/url?q=j&source=web&rct=j&url=https://meganleary.com

    April 24, 2021 at 10:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. FbsfEncox

    international pharmacy https://uspharmus.com/ – Atorlip-5 Trimox

    April 24, 2021 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Forklift Service

    http://vidoz.net/go/?url=http://wildwestlifttrucks.com/all-terrain-forklift-repair-orange-county-californa/

    April 24, 2021 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RfvbZisse

    cialis on line new zealand http://cileve.com/ drug canada cialis with prescription

    April 24, 2021 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Furniture Orange County

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be helpful to read articles from other authors and use a little something from other sites.

    http://bh.contextweb.com/bh/rtset?pid=560602&ev=1&rurl=http3A2F2Fwww.ocrvmotorsports.life

    April 24, 2021 at 18:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. real estate for sale rathdrum id

    An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a friend who has been doing a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me lunch because I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this subject here on your site.

    https://map.google.com.sg/url?q=https3A2F2Fmeganleary.com&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGaY_nlK9ozc51fqwjiVdMaYZL7rg

    April 24, 2021 at 18:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. how to repair a slide out on a travel trailer

    http://lolayoung.com/out.php?http://ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-supplies-near-me/

    April 24, 2021 at 21:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV AC Orange County

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you so much, However I am experiencing problems with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I am unable to join it. Is there anyone else getting similar RSS problems? Anyone who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    http://peraqua.com/culture-change/en?redirect=https://tintuc365.co/forum/profile.php?id=178320

    April 24, 2021 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Forklift Parts Near Me

    http://dlibrary.mediu.edu.my/cgi-bin/koha/tracklinks.pl?uri=http://wildwestlifttrucks.com/electric-pallet-jack-forklift-repair-orange-county-california/

    April 24, 2021 at 22:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. rv technician near me

    http://ivfindit.ivpressonline.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-canyon-country-california

    April 25, 2021 at 13:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Solar Panels Systems California

    Your style is unique compared to other people I've read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this web site.

    http://fonerwa.org/ksp/sites/all/modules/pubdlcnt/pubdlcnt.php?file=http://specodejda21.ru/product/kostyum-sirius-eger-kurtka-bryuki-tk-kroun-230-kmf-seryj-moh//

    April 25, 2021 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. LrbsEncox

    buying levitra online reviews http://uslevitraanna.com/ levitra ad

    April 25, 2021 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. LhdvZisse

    cialis online https://asciled.com/ cialis in manitoba

    April 25, 2021 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. erectile dysfunction drugs

    is erectile dysfunction covered by medicare https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ erectile therapy pump

    April 25, 2021 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. parts shop near me

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won't disappoint me as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I genuinely believed you'd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you could fix if you weren't too busy searching for attention.

    http://ww31.download.boomtown.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com/rv-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    April 25, 2021 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV Awning Orange County

    I'm extremely pleased to discover this web site. I need to to thank you for ones time for this wonderful read!! I definitely really liked every little bit of it and i also have you saved as a favorite to check out new stuff on your web site.

    http://d-click.alterdata.com.br/u/15028/1120/88002/2068_0/6d5c3/?url=https://womanpersonaltrainers.com/2016/03/el-electro-fitness/

    April 25, 2021 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. LhdvZisse

    cialis soft tabs overnight https://asciled.com/ cialis generic online

    April 26, 2021 at 14:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. sildenafil generic without prescription

    sildenafil online no prescription https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ buy sildenafil 20 mg tablets

    April 26, 2021 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. JbsdEncox

    Ampicillin https://onlinecanda21.com/ Anafranil

    April 26, 2021 at 19:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. cure for covid 19

    erectile pills in canada https://plaquenilx.com/ solving erectile dysfunction without meds

    April 26, 2021 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. plaquenil hives

    erectile vacuum systems https://plaquenilx.com/ erectile tissue problems

    April 26, 2021 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. LrbsEncox

    levitra coupon card http://uslevitraanna.com/ levitra cautions

    April 26, 2021 at 22:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. cialis canadian

    canadian pharmacy generic cialis https://canadacialisstore.com/ canadian pharmacy for cialis

    April 26, 2021 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RfvbZisse

    cheapest generic cialis http://cileve.com/ – cialis super active experiences dapoxetine/cialis

    April 27, 2021 at 01:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. GvdbCrulk

    tadalafil 5mg price http://boxtadafil.com/ – blue sky peptide tadalafil review how to relieve back pain cause by tadalafil

    April 27, 2021 at 02:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. ntvINPltxN

    oxford homework help process essay chronological order hcplc homework help master thesis help

    April 27, 2021 at 05:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. erectile dysfunction drug

    erectile review https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ best erectile dysfunction medicine

    April 27, 2021 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. AbdgEncox

    online rx pharmacy http://canadianeve21.com/ Super ED Trial Pack

    April 27, 2021 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. home for sale wallace id

    http://www.hotelstars.cz/redirect?url=https://www.meganleary.com

    April 27, 2021 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. realtors near me now

    http://www.offtherail.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.meganleary.com

    April 27, 2021 at 22:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. house for sale spirit lake

    https://www.publishing.ninja/V2/php/linkTracking.php?magazineID=143&pageID=2411&link=http://meganleary.com

    April 27, 2021 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. sildenafil 50mg for sale

    sildenafil without preion from canada https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil 2

    April 27, 2021 at 23:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. FbsfEncox

    Pepcid http://uspharmus.com/ pharmacy tech

    April 28, 2021 at 03:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. vOLAOBQnTj

    woodlands junior homework help celts words to help essay flow order and chaos essay essay writing service bbb

    April 28, 2021 at 09:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. PgKxThAQHd

    all nighter doing homework buy undergraduate essays susan last minute homework help homework help for students

    April 29, 2021 at 16:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. aralen mexico

    what is chloroquine used for https://chloroquineorigin.com/ chloroquin side effects

    April 29, 2021 at 19:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. canadian diet pills

    canadian weight loss pills https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian pharmacies ed pills

    April 30, 2021 at 07:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. GvdbCrulk

    tadalafil sale https://boxtadafil.com/ – how to take tadalafil tadalafil without a prescription

    April 30, 2021 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. AbdgEncox

    cheap pharmacy online https://canadianeve21.com/ Nimotop

    April 30, 2021 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. mobjrgUale

    doing nothing is something essay asda customer service essay microeconomics homework help online junit writing custom runner

    April 30, 2021 at 23:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. dapoxetine

    buy priligy online dapoxetine pills for sale

    May 1, 2021 at 02:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. IsaacJourf

    база сайтов на wordpress

    Вы занимаетесь продвижением сайтов? Тогда вам к нам. Наша группа в телеграмме. У нас вы можете выбрать любую нужную для вашей работы базу для прогонов Xrumer и GSA, allsubmitter по разной ценовой категории.как создать базу для хрумера
    скачать купить базы для хрумера

    May 1, 2021 at 03:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RfvbZisse

    cialis pro https://cileve.com/ – cialis and pay pal get generic cialis overnight

    May 1, 2021 at 09:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. quinine

    is chloroquine available over the counter https://chloroquineorigin.com/ is chloroquine phosphate over the counter

    May 1, 2021 at 09:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. itubolawd Bandar Bola Tangkas Online Terpercaya

    This is a really good tip particularly to those new
    to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate info… Appreciate
    your sharing this one. A must read article!

    May 1, 2021 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. do you need prescription for canadian prescription of cialis in usa

    how can i order cialis from a canadian pharmacy https://canadacialisstore.com/ canadian pharmacy generic cialis

    May 1, 2021 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. viagra canada for sale

    generic viagra order canada https://canadaviagrastore.com/ canada viagra scam

    May 2, 2021 at 00:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. generic viagra cost walmart canada

    best viagra pills 25 mg canada pharmarcy https://canadaviagrastore.com/ viagra sin receta en farmacias de canada

    May 2, 2021 at 02:09 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41

Leave a Reply to Dino Bolda


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.