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 (3,494 Responses)
  1. Zisseloh

    other names for cialis https://rcialisgl.com/ – order cialis online canada cialis testimonials

    May 30, 2021 at 23:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. CrulkAsd

    cialis (lillys) https://cialisjla.com/ – us cialis online pharmacy cialis switzerland

    May 30, 2021 at 23:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Engine Repair Near Me

    http://pcsafer.inews24.com/log/link.asp?tid=web_log&adid=57&url=http://ocrvexperts.com

    May 31, 2021 at 00:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Handicap Van Repair Shop

    This is a topic that is close to my heart... Thank you! Exactly where are your contact details though?

    https://pages.audioteka.com/app/rdir.php?rdir=https://fleetvehiclerepairshop.com/company-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 31, 2021 at 01:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Van Mechanic Shop

    http://localbusiness.dailycomet.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.fleetvehiclerepairshop.com/leisure-travel-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 31, 2021 at 01:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Repair Center Near Me

    Hello! I just wish to give you a big thumbs up for your great info you've got right here on this post. I'll be returning to your site for more soon.

    http://www.2pol.com/pub/tracking.php?c=3388716&u=http://ocrvandtrucks.com&z=T1

    May 31, 2021 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. 2003 Dodge Sprinter Repair

    Your style is very unique compared to other people I have read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just bookmark this page.

    http://www.pantybucks.com/galleries/hpf/64/clair/index.php?link=http://sprintervanrepairnearme.com/

    May 31, 2021 at 04:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Courier Van Repair Shop Near Me

    https://www.kms.fr/Eprv/Spe/GoPartenaires/?Url=https://www.fleetservicerepairshop.com/business-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 31, 2021 at 04:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Sales And Repair Near Me

    Everything is very open with a precise explanation of the challenges. It was truly informative. Your site is useful. Many thanks for sharing!

    https://app.aspireiq.com/api/email/6002870918578176/click?click_id=None&link=http://ocrv.us/

    May 31, 2021 at 05:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Window Repair Near Me

    https://megalodon.jp/?url=http://ocrv.info

    May 31, 2021 at 06:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Van Repair Shop Near Me

    You should take part in a contest for one of the highest quality blogs on the internet. I am going to recommend this site!

    http://facabook.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=fleetservicerepairshop.com/camper-van-conversion-shop-near-me

    May 31, 2021 at 09:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Diesel Sprinter Repair Service

    http://1000love.net/lovelove/link.php?url=https://www.sprintervanrepair.com/

    May 31, 2021 at 10:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Camper Van Conversion Shop Near Me

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly think this site needs much more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the advice!

    http://wtk.db.com/777554543598768/optout?redirect=https://commercialrepairshop.com/utility-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 31, 2021 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. MileSwa

    cialis in canada pharmacy cialis usa cialis drug

    May 31, 2021 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Van Mechanic Shop

    I like looking through an article that can make people think. Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!

    http://s03.megalodon.jp/?url=https://fleetservicesorangecounty.com/van-upholstery-shop-near-me

    May 31, 2021 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. EncoxAni

    cipa certified canadian pharmacy drugs without prescription discount drug store pharmacy

    May 31, 2021 at 18:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Municipal Vehicle Repair Shop Near Me

    http://www.pantybucks.com/galleries/hpf/64/clair/index.php?link=https://sprintervanrepairshop.com/utility-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 31, 2021 at 19:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Rv Alignment

    https://paper.li/SharonLaMothe/1411841847?read=http://fleetservicerepairshop.com/touring-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 31, 2021 at 19:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Service A Mercedes Sprinter

    https://www.gvomail.com/redir.php?k=1560a19819b8f93348a7bc7fc28d0168&url=https://www.sprintervanrepair.com/

    May 31, 2021 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Mercedes Benz Collision Repair Sprinter Van

    Hi there! This blog post could not be written much better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he's going to have a very good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

    https://www.arida.biz/sougo/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=27&url=https://www.sprinterrepairnearme.com

    May 31, 2021 at 20:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Los Angeles Sprinter Repair

    http://localbusiness.dailycommercial.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.sprinterrepairnearme.com

    May 31, 2021 at 21:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Rv Upgrades

    https://forum.everleap.com/proxy.php?link=http://boxtruckrepairshop.com/luxury-sprinter-van-shop-near-me

    May 31, 2021 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. EncoxGtv

    verified online pharmacy compare prescription prices ed medication

    May 31, 2021 at 23:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Mercedes Sprinter Van Repair Motorhome

    Having read this I thought it was really enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this information together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    http://trucktown.ru/go.php?sprintervanrepair.com

    June 1, 2021 at 01:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. movies blog

    Hi there, I enjoy reading all of your article. I like to write a little comment to support you.

    June 1, 2021 at 02:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. lip glosses

    Great weblog right here! Additionally your website lots up fast!
    What web host are you the use of? Can I get your affiliate link in your host?

    I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

    June 1, 2021 at 04:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Nissan High Top Van Repair Shop

    Can I just say what a relief to find somebody who really knows what they're discussing over the internet. You actually realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people should read this and understand this side of the story. I can't believe you are not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

    https://www.dmca.com/Protection/Status.aspx?ID=edc817fd-d796-4c84-abb8-d1cb5b2e3719&refurl=http://www.commercialvanrepairshop.com/nissan-luxury-van-repair-shop-near-me

    June 1, 2021 at 04:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. City Bus Repair

    Good site you have got here.. It’s difficult to find high-quality writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    http://wad.ojooo.com/cks_preview.php?lang=en&url=https://www.fleetservicesorangecounty.com/business-van-repair-shop-near-me

    June 1, 2021 at 08:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Roadtrek Repair

    http://privatelink.de/?https://ocrvfleetservices.com/passenger-van-repair-shop-near-me

    June 1, 2021 at 08:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. rv wraps near me

    When I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there a means you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!

    http://www.dmca.com/Protection/Status.aspx?ID=edc817fd-d796-4c84-abb8-d1cb5b2e3719&refurl=https://hrpcs.org/showthread.php?tid=21341

    June 1, 2021 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. motorhome mechanic near me

    Next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn't fail me just as much as this particular one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, but I truly thought you would probably have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something you could possibly fix if you weren't too busy seeking attention.

    https://d.hodes.com/r/tp2?e=se&tv=pixel_tracker&aid=homedepot&p=web&se_ca=anonymous&se_ac=click&se_la=ccuid&u=https://retirementcommunity.com/news/books/travel_books/3063-Live-Your-Road-Trip-Dream-Travel-for-Year-for-the-Cost-Staying-Home.html?print

    June 1, 2021 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. cabinet repair orange county

    /

    June 1, 2021 at 12:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Rv Mechanic

    I could not resist commenting. Perfectly written!

    /

    June 1, 2021 at 13:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Bradford Schwinghammer

    http://redirects.tradedoubler.com/utm/td_redirect.php?td_keep_old_utm_value=1&url=https://fernandov15a3.idblogmaker.com/4130995/the-best-side-of-lawn-movers

    June 1, 2021 at 14:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. rv slide out roof repair

    Can I simply just say what a comfort to uncover someone that actually knows what they're talking about on the internet. You certainly understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people have to read this and understand this side of your story. I can't believe you're not more popular since you definitely have the gift.

    /

    June 1, 2021 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Mercedes Luxury Van Repair Shop Near Me

    I was more than happy to find this page. I wanted to thank you for your time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it and i also have you bookmarked to check out new stuff on your site.

    http://www.deri-ou.com/url.php?url=http://ingenieurleistungenreiter.com/index.php?option=com_phocaguestbook&view=phocaguestbook&id=1&Itemid=4&t=2340&limitstart=57800

    June 1, 2021 at 16:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Zisseloh

    cialis price compare generic cialis au cialis promise program

    June 1, 2021 at 20:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Raymond Lemire

    I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something not enough people are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy I stumbled across this during my hunt for something relating to this.

    https://za.zalo.me/v3/verifyv2/pc?token=OcNsmjfpL0XY2F3BtHzNRs4A-hhQ5q5sPXtbk3O&continue=ocrvfleetservices.com

    June 1, 2021 at 20:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. rv cabinets and furniture

    https://slack-redir.net/link?url=https://alatharnews.com/?p=2438&cpage=5

    June 1, 2021 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. trailer supplies orange county

    http://www.london.umb.edu/?URL=http://www.soulcentre.org/blog/2016/stress-relief-how-to-reduce-stress/

    June 1, 2021 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. PC chinh hang

    It's remarkable in support of me to have a site, which is
    useful for my knowledge. thanks admin

    June 1, 2021 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. geico repair center

    http://www.cs.odu.edu/~mln/teaching/cs751-s11/?method=display&redirect=http://www.businessgiftgiving.blogginaway.com/2495859/detailed-notes-on-rv-repair-shop

    June 2, 2021 at 01:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Coleen Poulet

    https://reddit.app.link/?channel=mweb_branch&feature=xpromo&campaign=xpromo&$og_redirect=https://connery49r1.bloggosite.com/5639131/indicators-on-best-roofing-companies-near-me-you-should-know

    June 2, 2021 at 01:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Ford High Top Van Repair

    Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after looking at a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely pleased I stumbled upon it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

    https://www.bestrevie.ws/r/46678c091e3ae21e328f865434774f917baebabe-MDEyMDE5?url=https://trimsarl.com/component/k2/item/156-lipsum-loror-di/156-lipsum-loror-di?start=775560

    June 2, 2021 at 02:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Technician Shop Near Me

    http://bb3x.ru/go.php?https://crazy4smiths.com/vlasic-pickles-relish-just-99¢-smiths-mega-sale/

    June 2, 2021 at 04:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. EncoxHtf

    can cialis raise blood pressure cialis canada online buy cialis with american express

    June 2, 2021 at 05:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. rv body shop near me

    I really love your website.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you build this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my own website and want to know where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Thanks!

    http://surveys.montclair.edu/survey/preview.jsp?surveyid=1326825217719&url=http://ahaayy.com/2021/page/22/

    June 2, 2021 at 05:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Hortensia Cochrane

    I really like reading a post that can make people think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!

    https://rspcb.safety.fhwa.dot.gov/pageRedirect.aspx?RedirectedURL=https://daltonr03v1.shoutmyblog.com/4137294/not-known-facts-about-security-companies

    June 2, 2021 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. orange coast trailer supply

    It’s hard to find well-informed people on this topic, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    https://www.treasury.gov/cgi-bin/redirect.cgi/?https://tomspeed.de/index.php?option=com_phocaguestbook&view=phocaguestbook&id=1&Itemid=53&t=96720&limitstart=240&el_mcal_month=5&el_mcal_year=2013

    June 2, 2021 at 08:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. dump truck paint schemes

    http://sogo.i2i.jp/link_go.php?url=http://ingenieurleistungenreiter.de/index.php?option=com_phocaguestbook&view=phocaguestbook&id=1&Itemid=4&limitstart=64800

    June 2, 2021 at 09:34 | 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 42 43 44 45

Leave a Reply to yQpQThZOhC


 

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.