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Magnetic Brain Stimulation May Temporarily Dull Nicotine Craving
Date:4/26/2013

eems safe, Li said. The main side effects are a short-lived headache and scalp discomfort. There also appears to be a small risk of seizure, happening in fewer than one in 1,000 patients.

If transcranial magnetic stimulation were to become an option for smokers, there would also be the issue of cost. When the therapy is used for depression, one session typically costs around $300.

Still, Sheffer said that the more options available to smokers, the better. Right now, the approved treatments include nicotine replacement products, like patches and gums, as well as the prescription drugs varenicline (Chantix) and bupropion (Zyban and generics).

Those options, Sheffer noted, are meant to be used along with behavioral counseling.

According to the American Lung Association, it takes the average smoker five or six "serious attempts" to finally quit. So if one approach fails, the group says, keep trying until you find the combination of therapies that works.

More information

The American Lung Association has advice on kicking the habit.

SOURCES: Xingbao Li, M.D., assistant professor, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston; Christine Sheffer, Ph.D., associate medical professor, community health and social medicine, City College of New York; April 15, 2013, Biological Psychiatry


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