Study finds why some smokers are kick the butt while others struggle
Many smokers want to quit, but some people are successful to leave the habit than others. Two studies have shed light on new ways by which quitting the habit can be made easier.
In the studies, the researchers looked at the brains and behavior of smokers. A trial published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology found that some smokers start the quitting habit with a particular rich network of brain neurons in area known as the insula. This area controls the cravings and urges and passes on cues.
Joseph McClernan from Duke University School of Medicine carried out MRI scans on 85 smokers who smoked more than 10 cigarettes per day. They were divided into two groups- either to continue smoking their brand or to smoke low-nicotine cigarettes along with nicotine replacement therapy for a month.
Both the groups were then asked to quit the habit and were given nicotine replacement for 10 weeks. Those who could not quit the habit for longer were the ones that have lower activity in the insula.
Through quick MRI scans of brains, it would be possible to identify people who may face more difficulties in quitting the habit. The researchers think that not only the stronger connections promote interactions between cravings and behavior, but also enhance the connections that curb or suppress those urges.
In the next study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers tried one of the most effective ways to encourage people, money.
Dr. Scott Halpern from the University of Pennsylvania and his team recruited 2,538 employees from CVS Caremark to one of the five smoking cessation programs. It was noticed that more people who were in the reward program took up challenge to remain abstinent for six months.
Other factors that can be taken up by employers or insurers are to introduce competition or encourage them to quit smoking.
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