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 (3,495 Responses)
  1. Content Marketing Company


    June 9, 2021 at 02:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. EncoxHtf

    cialis dosage frequency cialis from china buy cialis pro

    June 9, 2021 at 03:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. lich thi dau bong da asiad 2019

    Xem Thẳng đá Bóngvideo ban thang world cup 2018Theo thể thức thi đấu, đội thắng ở cặp đấu này sẽ giành tấm vé đến Lithuania trong ngày hội bóng đá lớn nhất thế giới mang đến futsal. Tuyển futsal Việt Nam bước vào trận play-off lượt đi tranh vé dự play-off World Cup 2021 với sự tự tin. Tuy vậy, HLV Phạm Minh Giang bày tỏ, toàn đội không ngán Lebanon tuy nhiên sẽ tìm cách để khắc chế sức mạnh của đối thủ bởi trên băng ghế huấn luyện là nhà cầm quân Ramiro Lopez, người từng dẫn dắt futsal Tây Ban Nha.|Dựa vào lịch tranh tài, quý khách rất có thể sắp xếp việc làm


    June 9, 2021 at 04:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. http://8335.adminka.cc/

    Generous look

    June 9, 2021 at 07:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Video Marketing Companies

    Very nice post. I certainly love this website. Keep writing!


    June 9, 2021 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Orlando Grof


    June 9, 2021 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Hayden Minn


    June 9, 2021 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. http://5246.adminka.cc/

    The most pretty girl around.

    June 9, 2021 at 12:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Hunter Kinnear


    June 9, 2021 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. EncoxDev

    Imitrex envision rx pharmacy help desk importing drugs from canada

    June 9, 2021 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Nicolas Hice

    I was able to find good info from your blog posts.


    June 9, 2021 at 14:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Chuck Daryanl


    June 9, 2021 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Galen Keelan

    After checking out a number of the blog posts on your website, I really appreciate your technique of blogging. I saved it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my website as well and tell me your opinion.


    June 9, 2021 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. SEO Marketing Companies

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes that make the most important changes. Thanks for sharing!


    June 9, 2021 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. instagram takipçi satın al

    Hello, I desire to subscribe for this website to get most up-to-date
    updates, thus where can i do it please help out.

    June 9, 2021 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Margot Brossmann

    Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this short article together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    June 9, 2021 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. SEO Marketing Business


    June 9, 2021 at 19:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Monica Harpin

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe that this web site needs a great deal more attention. Iíll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the information!


    June 9, 2021 at 20:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Andres Sipkema


    June 9, 2021 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Shirley Dominis

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the best sites on the internet. I'm going to highly recommend this web site!


    June 9, 2021 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Edythe Buran

    You should take part in a contest for one of the greatest sites on the net. I'm going to recommend this web site!


    June 9, 2021 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. rv repair near me now


    June 9, 2021 at 23:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. ZisseVed

    where to buy liquid cialis how long does it take for cialis to work 5mg when to take cialis best time to take

    June 9, 2021 at 23:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Glen Nothem


    June 10, 2021 at 01:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Latrisha Abner

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


    June 10, 2021 at 01:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Lucas Dilalla

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Many thanks, However I am going through troubles with your RSS. I donít understand the reason why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anyone else getting the same RSS problems? Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    June 10, 2021 at 01:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Nannette Gretsch

    I have to thank you for the efforts you've put in penning this site. I am hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own blog now 😉

    June 10, 2021 at 01:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Mandie Kuni


    June 10, 2021 at 04:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Darnell Chalmers

    Hi, I believe your website may be having internet browser compatibility issues. When I take a look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, wonderful website!

    June 10, 2021 at 08:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Dominique Sturchio


    June 10, 2021 at 08:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. rv repair

    Iím amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog thatís both equally educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy I came across this in my hunt for something relating to this.


    June 10, 2021 at 08:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Refugio Jowell

    This is a good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate informationÖ Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!


    June 10, 2021 at 08:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Erica Ozga

    Great blog you have got here.. Itís hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I seriously appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    June 10, 2021 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. https://shiatsu-web.com

    Best view i have ever seen !


    June 10, 2021 at 11:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. rv repair near me now


    June 10, 2021 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. organic hair transplant

    His Web site spexhair.com was create to mentor and counsel others that are enduring male pattern baldness and thinking of hair restoration by using hair transplantation.

    We provide PCR COVID-19 screening to our individuals on internet site.
    In addition, we assist our prospects with queries
    about their hair transplantation in Turkey over the pandemic.

    In contrast to Minoxidil-based mostly items that
    recede outcomes within a month of stopping treatment method or superficial products which make your hair glimpse

    It is a variety of surgery that moves hair you already have to fill a place with thin or
    no hair. Medical doctors happen to be performing these transplants
    from the U.S. Because the nineteen fifties, but approaches have adjusted lots lately.

    I'd my most recent surgical procedures with Dr. Albena Kovacheva at The Harley Road Hair Clinic and will converse volumes
    about the key benefits of being dealt with there by her and the entire workforce in the clinic.

    This planet-renowned staff involves senior surgeon Dr.

    Greg Vida who in my professional opinion – after
    staying privy to lots of his FUE surgeries and observing
    patient brings about human being – is Just about the
    most knowledgeable, skilful and proficient surgeons on this planet, way too.

    This is the extensive-standing myth. Certainly, the curly
    framework of black hair offers surgical strengths for African American hair transplant people: This curly glimpse tends to make the person look denser, so a hair transplant can only
    require significantly less to accomplish a visible outcome.

    They could also prescribe an antibiotic or an anti-inflammatory drug for
    you to just take for a number of days. Many people have the ability to return to operate 2 to five
    days following the operation.

    The “Organic Hair Transplantation” approach is
    created immediately after 2 yrs of analysis and advancement system in Estetik
    Intercontinental Laboratories. In this technique adipose tissue derived stem cells are
    acquired within the Extra fat tissue in the affected person and injected for the scalp.

    Then the symmetry of the ideal and still left places needs to be adjusted.
    The symmetry is definitely discovered in front of the mirror or
    camera lenses.

    “I just truly feel so much better about my hair and think that
    It is really fuller, thicker and much healthier. I like my effects
    to this point! I see this kind of an excellent difference in shots and I’m not self-aware about my hair looking
    slim anymore! It's this type of liberating experience! ”

    Usually, to the third stage, there continues to be no want to produce a temporal level from the start.

    The density raise with the scarce region is adequate.

    The aim of elevated hair density is similar, but There's two
    distinct procedures for accomplishing A prosperous hair transplant,
    each of which require community anesthesia. "Following It is numbed, nutritious hair follicles are harvested with the donor area — the again of the head — either by extracting a skinny ellipse from the hair-bearing scalp and shutting the realm with sutures or by extracting person hair follicles one after the other by using a tiny motorized punch," Wesley explains.

    Then, you can plan the method in The sunshine from the recommendations and
    return in your regular daily life by getting a hair transplant without
    delay. We know what sort of problems hair decline and baldness could potentially cause in social lifetime, organization lifestyle and private interactions.
    However, due to the hair transplant procedure, you can leave every one of these powering and
    clear up your difficulties effortlessly. Hair transplantation actually signifies actual hair.
    In fact, this is considered the most correct respond to to be supplied to individuals that request whether it is prosthetic
    hair or normal hair transplantation. This comparison just reveals the variances concerning The 2 applications and answers those who are curious.
    To possess a hair transplant, take motion now to obtain purely natural
    hair. This process is going to be much easier than you're
    thinking that.

    Women of all ages have alternate options, like hair extensions,
    Gentlemen don’t. That’s why I like to recommend Veta treatment lines since
    they are Secure, pure and extremely helpful”

    June 10, 2021 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Kymberly Honer


    June 10, 2021 at 16:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. rv repair shops near me

    An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you should publish more on this subject matter, it might not be a taboo matter but usually folks don't discuss these topics. To the next! Many thanks!!


    June 10, 2021 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Rhea Stiens

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I believe that you need to publish more about this issue, it may not be a taboo subject but typically people do not discuss such issues. To the next! Many thanks!!


    June 10, 2021 at 18:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Leana Kops

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes that produce the most significant changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 10, 2021 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Marc Janosik


    June 10, 2021 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Norberto Hurta

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

    June 10, 2021 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. rv repair near me now


    June 10, 2021 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Karry Ambrosini


    June 10, 2021 at 23:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Arron Waterfield

    Your style is so unique compared to other folks I've read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this page.


    June 10, 2021 at 23:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. click here

    Please let me know if you're looking for a author for your weblog.

    You have some really good posts and I feel I would be a good
    asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd absolutely love to write some material for your blog
    in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot
    me an e-mail if interested. Cheers!

    June 11, 2021 at 00:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Joleen

    Your means of telling the whole thing in this paragraph is truly nice, all
    be capable of simply know it, Thanks a lot.

    Feel free to visit my website ... Joleen

    June 11, 2021 at 01:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Leland Kinsel

    I'd like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this blog. I really hope to check out the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own site now 😉


    June 11, 2021 at 02:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Jules Cariddi


    June 11, 2021 at 05:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. lich u20 the gioi 2017

    Kênh Thẳng Bóng Đá Hôm Naytrực tiếp u19 việt nam hôm nayTrên băng ghế đào tạo, Lebanon đã bửa nhiệm Ramiro Lopez cách đây 3 tuần. Nhà cầm quân người Tây Ban Nha công ty yếu thực hiện việc trên Ý và từng có thời gian thực hiện việc tại Kuwait.|Và NHM bóng đá Việt Nam đang đợi Minh Trí cùng đồng đội hóa giải đối thủ để tạo lợi thế cho trận lượt về sau đây hai ngày. Chelsea đã nên trải qua 8 phút bù giờ khó thở bảo vệ chiến thắng.


    June 11, 2021 at 05:58 | 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 Google Marketing Business


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.

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.