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Smokers: Seeing someone light up is brain trigger
January 19th, 2011
11:45 AM ET

Smokers: Seeing someone light up is brain trigger

A big temptation for smokers is watching others smoke. Now, scientists are getting a deeper understanding of what goes on in the brain during those kinds of cravings.

A new study in the Journal of Neuroscience shows that watching people in a movie smoke triggers the same brain activity involved in planning to actually smoke a cigarette.

"This is one potential cue out there that can influence whether or not you’ll engage in smoking," said Dylan Wagner, lead study author and researcher at Dartmouth College.

Researchers showed clips of the film "Matchstick Men" in which characters smoked during several scenes. Participants were 17 smokers and 17 nonsmokers, which is a relatively small group of subjects, but significant for a brain scanning study.

They looked at brain activity through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to see which areas would respond most to watching smoking on the screen.

Like previous experiments, this one found a connection to the brain's reward system. But this study also adds that a brain region involved in planning, observing, and carrying out hand-based actions also seems to play a role, Wagner said.

A major limitation of the study is that researchers did not follow participants out of the laboratory to see whether they actually lit up after viewing the film clips.

The next step in this research is to try to link the findings to whether watching films with smoking will actually increase a person's frequency of smoking.

"Smokers should be informed that these are potential influences that might lead to increased cravings," Wagner said.


soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. r

    Must be that early man/fire discovery that's wired into all our brains.

    January 19, 2011 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • smokinsoldier24/7

      Everyone knows smoking will not be banned. Don't look at the health aspect of cigarettes, look at the government fat cats that fill there bank accounts with the profits of tobacco sales. I smoke about a pack a day, but I do my best to keep away from non smokers due to there sensitive nature. Also I am a deployed soldier in Afghanistan and our smokes are very cheap compared to the states. Upstate New York i was shelling out 10 bucks a pack which is 100 bucks a carton...idiotic. here i spend around 38 bucks a carton and due to these intense stress levels most of the soldiers I serve with choose to light up. I am well aware of the detrimental effects of cigarettes on my body, just as I am aware of the effects of a bullet on the human body. We are called defenders of freedom, but with all this anti smoking laws being passed, I have to ask what freedoms will we have left when we complete this tour of duty?

      January 20, 2011 at 06:50 | Report abuse |
    • FatSean

      If you don't like it, quit your job and do something else. Geeze. Oh your freedoms are being taken away. I really don't care man! Quit! Move to another country!

      January 20, 2011 at 10:29 | Report abuse |
    • r

      Uh, what do those reply comments have to do with what I said about fire being ingrained in our genetic makeup for caveman days?

      January 20, 2011 at 13:16 | Report abuse |
    • smokinsoldier24/7

      You are telling a U.S Soldier to quit HIS job because HIS freedoms are being taken away? Ignorance is the problem with our country, and uneducated people like you are going to be the downfall of our nation

      January 20, 2011 at 23:31 | Report abuse |
    • ida

      @smokinsoldier24/7 That's like saying you have no freedom left because you can't smoke pot. And please, don't say you are well aware of the risks because you are a human being, and we all have compensatory strategies that don't allow us to push away the idea of death so we can go along living life without being constantly traumatized. However, cigarette smoking is not like a bullet which kills fast. No. Cigarette smoking allows you to live a dream until you are diagnosed some nasty disease, at which point all those compensatory strategies crash down to earth rather dramatically and you realize the full extent of that risk.

      January 21, 2011 at 09:05 | Report abuse |
    • ida

      that allow us to push*

      January 21, 2011 at 09:12 | Report abuse |
  2. Philip

    Yeah, nothing like seeing some old hag light up an old cigar to get the juices flowing. Who wouldn't want to smoke after a sight like that.

    January 19, 2011 at 12:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Billy

      Waste. Yet, what are they going to do about this? Smoking-related diseases can be completely eliminated and save our country BILLIONS of dollars in healthcare and yet they continue to allow it. Its a disgusting habit that should be banned.

      January 19, 2011 at 14:18 | Report abuse |
    • bogman

      @BIlly- Thats a slippery slope dude, what happens when the gov. decides that playing sports causes joint damage later in life and it is costing taxpayers billions in health care costs and that it should be banned. Not that this is actually the case but there are many other physically damaging things that people do that are not as looked down upon socially that could be argued against with your same logic. Maybe fast food is a better analogy just be careful for what you start saying should be banned or not.

      January 19, 2011 at 14:57 | Report abuse |
    • Lasciel

      @bogman – you twisting an ankle on the field or eating a cheeseburger does not impinge on my health – your smoking does. That's why it should be banned.

      January 19, 2011 at 16:09 | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      @Lasciel

      Hopefully you don't drive!! Because your car exhaust is doing a lot more damage to EVERYONE than one person smoking a cigarette outside nearby. And before you ask, no, I don't drive. I gave up my car, insurance, gasoline, maintenance, registration fees, a few years ago...so that I would walk more, and get healthier.. It worked in case you wondered. But back to the point at hand...I am sick of people blaming smokers for poisoning our air supply, as they climb into their giant SUV to go grab a latte. You are what is wrong with the world.

      January 19, 2011 at 17:52 | Report abuse |
    • Barry

      @Lasciel

      No smoker here is claiming that it's right to smoke. The truth is, when I was a smoker, I was a good 25 to 50 feet from someone who wasn't smoking, and usually, the bus in front of where I smoked would dump enough exhaust that it wouldn't matter if I did or not.

      Sure, smoking could save a lot of money each year in health costs, but so would cutting the healthcare bill, or kicking the illegals out of the country, since those consume more money per year than anything else.

      Before you speak, maybe you should think about the taxes that they have on a pack of cigs and what that goes to. If someone got cancer that didn't smoke ever, don't you think those taxes should go to their medical bill, instead of fixing the roads? By the way, smoke free for two months, can't hold that on me can you.

      January 19, 2011 at 23:06 | Report abuse |
    • Lasciel

      Really guys? The point I was trying to make is that some lifestyle decisions can affect the health of others around you.

      Yes, I agree that we need to do way better about other air quality problems. But let's be real, for most of us the public transit in town is practically non-existent... and I can't bike thru 3 feet of snow for half the year. So, I limit my driving as much as I can and work with grassroots orgs to try to improve the situation. Does that still make me a bad person?

      I work in public health and am well aware of the tax issues. I fight for those tax moneys to go to health issues every day. But, politicians are fond of robbing Peter to pay Paul and they get the final say.

      Bottom line is that as an asthmatic, yes pollution causes breathing problems (I was med-free in a less polluted part of the nation), but cigarette smoke is the #1 enviro trigger for me and most other asthmatics. Even old smoke in a building/hotel or on a person is enough for an attack. Even you standing 25 feet away, if the wind is right, is enough for an attack. Many smokers I've talked to claim they have a right to do what they want – but what about my right to breathe?

      January 20, 2011 at 12:11 | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Really, Lasciel? Sorry to hear about your breathing problems, but forgive me for doubting that second-hand cigarette smoke is the cause. I'm a boomer, and if second-hand smoke were half as deadly as "they" claim, why aren't more of my generation dead or permanently hooked up to oxygen machines? Virtually all of our parents smoked. My mother smoked. My father was a three-pack per day smoker. Up until four years ago, I smoked a pack per day. So why don't I have asthma?

      You claim you live where there is three feet of snow for half the year. Isn't that a lifestyle choice? Couldn't you choose to live elsewhere? Where I live, one can ride a bicycle nearly every day.

      January 20, 2011 at 12:46 | Report abuse |
    • Lasciel

      I didn't say smoke caused my asthma, I said it is the main trigger for my asthma. Why I have asthma is not something doctors can tell me.

      Are you seriously suggesting that everyone should move to a state with no snow so as not to use a car? Really, if you are going to ding me please stay within the realm of realism.

      January 20, 2011 at 16:23 | Report abuse |
  3. Lisa

    What a waste. Smokers already know this - all they had to do was ask.

    January 19, 2011 at 12:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Andrew

      I know right? Its not exactly rocket science figuring out that smokers really want to smoke. I'm also trying to quit and actually this article is making me want one right now.....

      January 19, 2011 at 15:49 | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      Very true. I haven't smoked for six years but the craving comes back when I see someone enjoying a marlboro on the big screen. I guess they just needed to prove the hypothesis

      January 20, 2011 at 12:23 | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Thin article about even thinner science. No mention of whether any of the 17 non-smokers were former smokers, either. I, too, still crave cigarettes every time I see someone smoking or smell the smoke. I really miss lighting up. This article was useless to me.

      January 20, 2011 at 12:49 | Report abuse |
    • Kat

      Agreed, heck, I can only watch Mad Men on tivo because I need to run out for a cigarette every 15 minutes, and I can normally go a few hours!

      January 20, 2011 at 14:48 | Report abuse |
  4. flash

    Yep, I'm trying to quit and seeing other people smoke is torture. Didn't need a study to figure that out.

    January 19, 2011 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. ScottK

    I find that most anti-smoking commercials that show someone lighting up make me want to smoke again, not the other way around, except maybe for the new one with the old lady with a hole in her throat.

    January 19, 2011 at 13:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. dwhitt

    "Smokers should be informed that these are potential influences that might lead to increased cravings," Wagner said.

    So now, we're going to have warnings put on these as well?????

    January 19, 2011 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Take the warnings off

      I say take all the warnings off. If you are stupid enough to ingest that garbage then you deserve whatever is coming to you.

      January 19, 2011 at 14:20 | Report abuse |
  7. what's up

    If we can buy all the guns we want and all the alcohol we want why not cigs. People, give me a break!

    January 19, 2011 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Corporate America

    amazing that drug addiction is still encouraged throughout our society by not only the same old greedy capitalists but by so many of our own representatives and not only continues but is empowered to this day by our latest GOP tobacco industry-owned speaker of the house.

    January 19, 2011 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katie

      I think you're forgetting that OUR PRESIDENT also smokes, but of course, he has been 95% quit for the last two years. LOL

      January 19, 2011 at 16:00 | Report abuse |
  9. KSMYAS

    Yeah, my daughter just did a study last week and apparently it hurts real bad when the poo is too big coming out!

    January 19, 2011 at 16:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Jrad

    This is true. I quit smoking about 4 months back, and I get my worst cravings, not after a meal or before bed, but after watching someone light up smoke on TV.

    It's even worse than when someone lights up in real life, go figure..

    January 19, 2011 at 17:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. V Saxena

    I wish to God cigarettes would be outlawed. I really do. I really really do. I've tried quitting and tried other alternatives, but I've always failed. The craving (the "force") is too strong in me!

    January 19, 2011 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Barry

      Cold turkey it

      January 19, 2011 at 22:57 | Report abuse |
    • Lamie

      I think quitting smoking could be the best solution, if one should value life. I am also suffering from similar situation, I do smoke two to three sticks of cigrattes in the evening, but when I drink, I smoke more cigrattes, I am completely embarass among my friends and my health as well, so let us quit from this practice, if we want to enjoy life.

      January 20, 2011 at 04:54 | Report abuse |
    • Damon

      Nicotine is what you want, you know tobacco is nasty. I've been using a nicotine vaporiser for over a year now and I couldn't be happier or healthier. Nicotine is about as bad for you as caffiene, but smoking tobacco is a zillion times worse. So you don't need tobacco to get nicotine.

      January 20, 2011 at 09:19 | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      As a former smoker, I sympathize. It was very difficult to quit that habit.

      However, do you really want the Nanny States of America to force it on you?

      January 20, 2011 at 12:54 | Report abuse |
  12. Robert

    Cigarettes should cost no less than $20.00 a pack. Since cigarettes will never be illegal because this country was founded on tobacco profits, a ridiculous high price will discourage smoking. I am 3 months smoke free and I hate the sight and smell of them. I've had to blow off friends and family because I hate cigarettes so much.

    January 19, 2011 at 17:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Tinie

    You get more poisons from your exhaust on your car than from my cigs.
    Before you ask-i dont drive and never have.
    If i want to pollute my lungs then let me. You dont like it, then go somewhere else.

    January 19, 2011 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • baldo

      you have no idea what your talking about you poor clueless fool. If you lit up near me I`d kick you in the teeth. That`s if you have any left.

      January 19, 2011 at 18:17 | Report abuse |
    • tct

      baldo: No possible effect of smoking is worse than becoming like you, get the help you need.

      January 19, 2011 at 19:18 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      I see, so smoking is bad, but it is perfectly okay for you to kick people's teeth in.

      January 19, 2011 at 23:54 | Report abuse |
  14. baldo

    I chain smoked for twenty years, downloaded a hypnotherapy cd for smoking cessation and after about twenty listens..voila! Now two years smoke free and the mere thought of lighting up sickens me. try it!

    January 19, 2011 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • tct

      Do they have hypnotherapy for the violent criminal tendencies you're so proud of?

      January 19, 2011 at 19:21 | Report abuse |
  15. Jimmy

    All of you self-righteous former smokers amaze me. You smoked as long as you wished but now that you have quit, everyone else has to follow you and quit immediately. Why don't you grow up and let others also determine what they wish to do. I smoked for about 30-35 years and I quit about 10 years ago. I believe that each adult has the right to decide on their own and that we shouldn't try to legislate this type of behavior even if we don't like it or wouldn't do it.

    January 19, 2011 at 19:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Burbank

      I agree with you 100%. Also, if you aren't really ready to quit yet no matter what method you use it won't work long term. When you are finally truly ready it will be comparatively easy. I tried evey method available and failed at least 15 times over a 20 year period. When I finally quit I just did it cold turkey because I was truly ready and it was a good time to git 'er done and git it over with. 🙂

      January 19, 2011 at 19:18 | Report abuse |
  16. Burbank

    They said they didn't follow the smokers outside afterwards to see if they lighted up. Of course they did, you aren't allowed to smoke indoors in a place like that regardless of what state you live in. I am an ex-smoker, it's exactly what I would have done.

    Also a note here: If you are not truly ready to quit smoking seeing other people smoking might make you start again, if you are truly ready to quit, it will not. I quit and failed at least 15 times before I finally made it. When I quit for real it did not bother me at all to see it or smell others smoking because I had really truly quit.

    People that quit and then turn into righteous idiots that put down people that still smoke haven't truly quit, even if it's been years. That's why they are so righteous, they secretly feel threatened by it and are afraid it might start them up again.

    January 19, 2011 at 19:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Tracy

    Cigarette smoking is filthy, smelly and low-class. Take your filthy smoke and enclose yourself in a big nasty bubble. YUCK!

    January 19, 2011 at 19:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Burbank

      Oooooh! Someone has shame issues. My! My! Dumping the shame you feel deep down inside on others won't work Get therapy.

      January 19, 2011 at 19:19 | Report abuse |
  18. tct

    Burbank & Jimmy: Thanks for posting, it's great to see SANE ex-smokers ( but remarkably rare) and both of you come across as good people.

    January 19, 2011 at 19:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. jimbo

    What a waste of money! Any smoker will tell you that seeing others smoke makes you want to smoke – you didn't have to conduct a study to prove that . How many tax dollars were wasted on this waste of time? What's next? Proving that the sky is blue?! 🙁

    January 19, 2011 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. LinzeeLou

    As an ex-smoker... I have to say: Well DUH! You needed a study to tell you that seeing someone smoke, even in a movie, makes smokers want to light up? Any smoker will tell you that!

    January 19, 2011 at 20:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Odalice yolanda feliz

    That's why they should be strong willed and stop.....

    January 19, 2011 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. SAM

    And How about ALCOHOL USERS ?

    January 19, 2011 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Tom

    The psychology of this article is interesting but already proven. First smokers seeing somebody else smoke triggers a craving because of the Pavlovian response described almost 50 years ago using a dog, some food, and a ringing bell at feeding time. second: The psychology of the people commenting is interesting. The people who use harsh language and insults against smokers are doing one or both of two things. Either they are putting down smokers to boost their ego and feel superior, or trying to cover up an inadequacy in their life, either perceived or real. Then of course the smokers respond with angst and aggression to try to ward off people saying spiteful things. The ex-smokers try to remain neutral because they want to feel superior like the anti smokers, but also sympathize with the smokers out of nostalgia for an old habit.

    January 19, 2011 at 23:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • tct

      Condemning someone for threatening violence is displaying angst and aggression? I must be rabid for calling Charles Manson a murderer!

      January 19, 2011 at 23:58 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Indeed, its part of the natural fight or flight reflex. Just as you, I am sure, would bristle with angered responses if I were to reply with a barrage of insults and vulgarity directed at you.

      January 20, 2011 at 00:18 | Report abuse |
  24. Salty dog

    Relax and Have a Player's

    January 20, 2011 at 00:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Kiki

    Cars get people from a to b. Cigarettes have no positive purpose to justify their necessity. I used to smoke so I do not judge those who do. Just dont light up around me...unless it is a smoking area lol

    January 20, 2011 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. SUE

    TRULY, the only solution/help with smoking is TO NEVER START. I am a cigarette addict. I have quit for YEARS at a time – only because I thought I should. THEn as I became older I thought, oh well, why not. Then I quit again – AFTER TRIPLE BY-PSS surgery. NO i AM SMOKING AGAIN.
    i KNOW iT IS ONLY BECAUSE i AM ADDICTED TO THE HAPPENING, THE "SOMETHING TO DO", THE FILLING UP BORED TIME". wELL EVEN THO i KNOW i am stupid, i DO IT.
    so, please do not allow YOUR CHILDREN TO start. iT IS AN endless HAPPENING. eVEN WHEN YOU KNOW IT'S WRONG, AND truly DON'T EVEN ENJOY THE CIGS, IYT'S THE "SOMETHING TO DO" THAT ENABLES YOU.
    do not ALLOW YOUR CHILDREN TO start!!!@!!!!!!! bE AN ANGRY, HORRIFIC PAEWNT – save your children FROM THIS TOTAL NON-ENDING CRAVING!!! nOT FOR TASTE, FLAVOR,BUT FOR something TO OCCUPY YOU IN BOREDOM!!!!!!

    January 20, 2011 at 03:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • tct

      I'd agree except angry and horrific are counterproductive. Teens (the most common starting point) are rebellious, mellow and soft but saying it's a bad choice works better.

      January 20, 2011 at 05:10 | Report abuse |
  27. DoTheMath

    Actually, studies have shown that smokers require less healthcare than non-smokers. Reason? Smokers tend to die before other, more expensive illnesses set in, such as Altzheimer's. When they do get cancer, they usually don't last long, unlike people who have other cancers that can be kept in remission longer (with more expensive treatments). Idiots who blame smokers for health insurance costs don't have a clue. BTW – I do not smoke. I just do the math.

    January 20, 2011 at 04:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Damon

      Smokers are self-medicating, so not as many will need Lexapro or any of the other many anxiety-reducing medications. I have been using a nicotine vaporiser for over a year, and my breathing has drastically improved. I smoked for 20 years and never went to the doctor for any smoking-related illness. But I'm glad I quit tobacco. Like many never give up their caffiene, I will never give up nicotine.

      January 20, 2011 at 09:27 | Report abuse |
  28. Linda

    I quit 6 years ago afer 27 years of trying. What did it was what I like to call extreme motivation–a lot of self-talk about how I was going to lose everything that was important to me unless I quit. Job, kid's love & respect, health, looks. When I did that I started using nicotine replacement therapy and I used it for a year, way over the time you are supposed to use it but I was determined to quit. I had a feeling that I must do this now.

    January 20, 2011 at 07:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. chris

    I think deep down old people really want to die but there just afraid of that final moment. That's why I don't over worry about my health.

    January 20, 2011 at 07:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Teeph

    Aw man. Reading this really makes me wish I could still smoke. Man, smoking is awesome. Too bad it's also so darned bad for you.

    Oh sweet, sweet nicotine I miss you so. =(

    January 20, 2011 at 07:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Tim

    This study is something that anyone that watches a group of smokers could figure out.

    Strange as it seems I smoke a pack a day I also run everyday. I have smoked for 15 years and I still out run 80% of the 18 year olds out there in time and distance. So you that don't smoke leave me be till you can out work me and out run me on the track. AAHHHH time for a cig. I'm planning a 5 mile run tomorrow anyone game? I'll be waiting at the finish line smoking in 30mins. Do the math thats a 6 min mile.

    January 20, 2011 at 09:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • FatSean

      Most of the rabid anti-smoking people also tend to be fat and/or just out of shape in general. I only light up on weekends. The hate on the internet for smokers is hilarious...

      January 20, 2011 at 10:30 | Report abuse |
  32. Chuck Anziulewicz

    Best article about smoking EVER:
    http://www.spiked-online.com/articles/0000000CA8B1.htm

    January 20, 2011 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Craving

    Yeah... watching the first couple of seasons of Rescue Me increased my smoking quite a bit. Such a lemming.

    January 20, 2011 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. sweetums

    I found that I wanted to light up after watching a no-smoking ad.

    January 20, 2011 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. sandy

    okay this is all kinda pointless to argue about what we write on here isn't going to do anything much less change anyones mind. i agree that we smokers DO NOT contribute to pollution as much fancy ass cars going to mcdonalds to buy a burger wich is btw. much worse on your health then a cigg. so calm down debaters really. btw i don't drive i use my bike i don't even own a car to hep our invironment.

    January 20, 2011 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. sandy

    p.s. DON'T WORRY BE HAPPY (:

    January 20, 2011 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Chuck Anziulewicz

    Last Halloween night I broke with tradition, and instead of handing out candy bars to the trick-or-treaters, I handed out packs of cigarettes. You should've seen those little moppets' faces light up when "The Marlboro Man" gave them their treats!

    January 20, 2011 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. MAT

    Dont worry, all you fat folks are next. Then those who eat too much salt, then sugar. Not to mention all of you out there who drink. A good note will be all the blackmarket money going around as supplemental income for those on welfare. They will collect both as they do now with drugs.

    January 20, 2011 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carla

      You're right, the gov't IS considering limiting salt content in the entire food industry, restaurants and all. Also, limiting portions is on the list. Restaurants that are struggling are already limiting portions WHILE raising prices.

      March 5, 2011 at 08:45 | Report abuse |
  39. patti

    reading this makes me want to smoke
    I'm going to lunch early! thanks for the temptation

    January 20, 2011 at 12:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Julie Labrouste

    ...duh?

    January 20, 2011 at 13:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Pat NY

    Is it true that smoking causes lung cancer? I heard that somewhere, but thought it was up there with global warming.

    January 20, 2011 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Al

    Why are we still allowing Hollywood and movies to infest us with cigarette smoking? I almost never see anyone smoking these days except in Movie or even worse, on TV. There should be a rating for smoking and it should be included in the waring to parents. A movie that show smoking should be at least "PG" and more likely "R"!

    January 20, 2011 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • FatSean

      Given the obesity epidemic, any movie or film showing fat people or poor eating habits should also get the same treatment.

      January 20, 2011 at 14:26 | Report abuse |
  43. Joe

    Success in quitting smoking! There's a book by Allen Carr called "The Easy Way to Stop Smoking"
    I haven't touched a cigarette in 9 months and don't want one. I was a two pack a day guy. Amazing. The only thing you have to lose is the $14 for the book. If you read it and still smoke, you're no worse off than before. Give it a shot.

    January 20, 2011 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
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    Hello Everyone,

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    January 20, 2011 at 18:49 | Report abuse | Reply
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  46. Swizzle

    Obviously if smoking does not affect the body of say a 30 year old, then it will be perfectly okay to let a 2 year old child who is bored or stressed smoke -_-

    February 10, 2011 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Carla

    It is a free country (for now). If one CHOOSES to do something, it is a personal choice and their health may or may not be affected by it. If you are offended by someones smoke, stand up for yourself, or move. That's the beauty of America. Until some 5 minute hypnotherapy stress reliever mp3 becomes as popular,cool, hip and readily available at every corner-store>people will continue to smoke. I say an mp3 because every other thing like e-cigs, gum, patches etc... you have to put in or on your body, and it's not for sure some new commercial will come out saying "If you used this, you may be eligible for compensation..." It sounds kind of out there but cant you see popping your ear buds in and listening to something soothing and mentally rewarding to get out of reality for breaktime?

    March 5, 2011 at 08:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Lily-Anne

    @FatSean

    Why would we need ratings for a movie with an over weight person in it? Its not like we're going to see it and our brains are going to say "Hey, that guys looks cool! Lets go to Burger King right now so we can get fat too!" No, that's not how it works. However, like the article was trying to say, smoking can influence the brain to have a pull to cigarrettes, and want to use them also. As much as I want to agree to cutting cigarettes off the market, I don't think many people would agree to that and money would be even tighter with no taxes coming in for them. Sorry guys, maybe if we start now with flicking their companies off, in a few years we will be tobacco free and adjusted to the new ways of living.

    March 9, 2011 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Dave

    Can't these people lay off cigarettes? They have pounded the subject into the ground. Why not try to cure something? ALS, MS, Lupus, diabetes. There are hundreds of diseases that could use more research. Get off the cigarettes already.

    March 19, 2011 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
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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.