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Smokers not very receptive to shocking images
Date:7/12/2011

ural response pattern they are not afraid of the consequences of smoking. "It seems that they are mentally caught up in their addiction, resulting in a lowered receptivity for fear-inducing stimuli," said Onur. "It seems that smokers need nicotine in order to maintain the normal function of their amygdala."

Hurlemann doubts that the shocking images of smokers' lungs and tumors on cigarette packs, which are in the works in the US and also under consideration in the EU, will have much effect on the majority of addicts. "In those who stop smoking, the activity of the fear center has been lowered so much that they are not very receptive to the scary photos," said Hurlemann.

Half of all smokers die early

"There are 1.2 billion smokers worldwide," said Hurlemann. "Statistically it can be assumed that about half of them will die early from consequences related to smoking." That is why it was important to ask how these people could be helped, he added. "Maybe we should invest more in therapy measures for smokers and into research to find the optimum smoking cessation methods for different types of patients?"

In non-smokers, however, the amygdala is active, which is why in his opinion, shocking images will be effective for them. "Those who do not smoke yet can probably be kept from smoking by such scare tactics," Dr. zgr Onur concurred.


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Contact: Dr. Ren Hurlemann
r.hurlemann@googlemail.com
0049-228-287-15057
University of Bonn
Source:Eurekalert

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