Navigation Links
Smoking mind over smoking matter
Date:7/13/2010

Nicotine patches and gum are common ― and often ineffective ― ways of fighting cigarette cravings, as most smokers have discovered. Now a new study from Tel Aviv University shows why they're ineffective, and may provide the basis for more successful psychologically-based smoking cessation programs.

In the new study published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Dr. Reuven Dar of Tel Aviv University's Department of Psychology found that the intensity of cravings for cigarettes had more to do with the psychosocial element of smoking than with the physiological effects of nicotine as an addictive chemical.

"These findings might not be popular with advocates of the nicotine addiction theory, because they undermine the physiological role of nicotine and emphasize mind over matter when it comes to smoking," Dr. Dar says. He hopes this research will help clinicians and health authorities develop more successful smoking cessation programs than those utilizing expensive nicotine patches or gum.

Up in the air

Dr. Dar and his colleagues' conclusions are based on two landmark studies. In the most recent study, he and his colleagues monitored the smoking behavior and craving levels of in-flight attendants, both women and men, who worked at the Israeli airline El Al. Each participant was monitored during two flights ― a long flight of 10 to 13 hours in duration, from Tel Aviv to New York, for example; and a two-hop shorter trip from Israel to Europe and back, each leg lasting three to five hours. Using a questionnaire, he sampled craving levels of the attendants throughout the duration of their flights.

Dr. Dar and his colleagues found that the duration of the flight had no significant impact on craving levels, which were similar for short and long flights. Moreover, craving levels at the end of each short flight were much higher those at the end of the long flight, demonstrating that cravings increased in anticipation of the flight landing, whatever the flight's total duration. He concluded that the craving effect is produced by psychological cues rather than by the physiological effects of nicotine deprivation.

No smoking on the Sabbath

In an earlier 2005 study, Dr. Dar examined smokers who were religious Jews, forbidden by their religion to smoke on the Sabbath. He asked them about their smoking cravings on three separate days: the Sabbath, a regular weekday, and a weekday on which they'd been asked to abstain. Participants were interviewed at the end of each day about their craving levels during that day.

What Dr. Dar found is that cravings were very low on the morning of the Sabbath, when the smoker knew he would not be able to smoke for at least 10 hours. Craving levels gradually increased at the end of the Sabbath, when participants anticipated the first post-Sabbath cigarette. Craving levels on the weekday on which these people smoked as much as they wanted were just as high as on the day they abstained, showing that craving has little to do with nicotine deprivation.

Dr. Dar's studies conclude that nicotine is not addictive as physiological addictions are usually defined. While nicotine does have a physiological role in increasing cognitive abilities such as attention and memory, it's not an addictive substance like heroin, which creates true systemic and biologically-based withdrawal symptoms in the body of the user, he says.

Dr. Dar believes that people who smoke do so for short-term benefits like oral gratification, sensory pleasure and social camaraderie. Once the habit is established, people continue to smoke in response to cues and in situations that become associated with smoking. Dr. Dar believes that understanding smoking as a habit, not an addiction, will facilitate treatment. Smoking cessation techniques should emphasize the psychological and behavioral aspects of the habit and not the biological aspects, he suggests.


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Decline in U.S. Teen Smoking Rate Stalls
2. People Living With Lung Cancer Are Too Often Stigmatised Because Of Link To Smoking
3. Smoking-related colorectal cancer in older women is associated with molecularly defined DNA changes
4. Smoking-related colorectal cancer in older women is associated with molecularly-defined DNA changes
5. Smoking May Boost Risk of Certain Colon Cancers
6. Bars, restaurants see no significant employment change under smoking bans in 2 cities
7. Patients Could Use More Help Quitting Smoking
8. Smoking cigarettes is a predictor of RA and may negatively impact on efficacy of anti-TNFs
9. Diet, Meds and Smoking Linked to Eye Disease Risks
10. Crowne Plaza Washington DC - Silver Spring 100% Non-Smoking
11. New study finds strong association between smoking and flat precancerous polyps
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Smoking mind over smoking matter
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... Catalent Pharma Solutions, the leading global ... health products, today announced that Mr. Michael Merges, Director of Strategic Growth, Catalent ... held at the Mayflower Hotel, Washington DC, on Jan. 24 – 26, 2017. ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... Floundering on New Year’s ... and the perfect time for a reset. The U.S. Apple Association agrees and recommends ... many of the factors that contribute to heart disease. , The U.S. Apple Association ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... For breast cancer clinicians and ... or those who desire a more intimate review and analysis of its highlights, a ... to Bedside—is being offered by Imedex on February 4, 2017 in Chicago. Chaired by ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... Etymotic ... National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) winter trade show, Booth #2876, at the ... ER•4® has long been the gold standard for high-definition, in-ear earphones. This classic ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... Peoples Health is ... Health network on Dec. 1, 2016. Peoples Health, a Metairie-based Medicare Advantage company, ... an exciting addition to our provider network, and the addition will benefit our ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017  Dermata Therapeutics, ... products to treat a variety of dermatological diseases, ... compound DMT210, in a Phase 2 acne rosacea ... to downregulate the proinflammatory cytokines in the skin ... acne rosacea. This clinical trial, ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... 18, 2017 The report " Automated Breast Ultrasound System ... Scanner), By End User (Hospitals, Diagnostic Imaging Centers), Industry Analysis Report, Regional Outlook ... Argentina , Germany , UK, France ... Russia , China , Japan , ... , Saudi Arabia , UAE, South Africa ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017  Tarix Orphan LLC today ... granted a Rare Pediatric Disease (RPD) designation for the ... Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB), a rare genetic skin disorder. ... treatment is limited to supportive care. "The ... Drug Designation previously granted by the FDA in this ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: