Navigation Links
Study Probes Why Smokers Find It Hard to Quit

When not in a state of craving, they may underestimate intensity of future urge to light up

TUESDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- If you're not craving a hit of nicotine the moment you declare you are quitting smoking, your battle just got a little tougher, say researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

"We have observed previously that the idea of smoking a cigarette becomes increasingly attractive to smokers while they are craving," lead investigator Michael Sayette, a University of Pittsburgh professor of psychology, said in a university news release. "This study suggests that when smokers are not craving, they fail to appreciate just how powerful their cravings will be. This lack of insight while not craving may lead them to make decisions -- such as choosing to attend a party where there will be lots of smoking -- that they may come to regret."

The study, published in the September issue of Psychological Science, examines the "cold-to-hot empathy gap" -- that is, the tendency for people in a "cold" state (one not influenced by visceral factors such as hunger or fatigue) to improperly predict their own behavior when in a "hot" state (hungry, fatigued). This is, in part, because those in the cold state can't recall the intensity of their past cravings.

The researchers gathered 98 smokers for two experimental sessions. Those put in a "hot" state were asked to not smoke for 12 hours prior to the first session, then were induced to crave a cigarette by holding but not smoking a lit one. Those in a "cold" state smoked up until the first session but did not hold a lit cigarette. A comparison group skipped the first session completely.

During the first session, "hot" and "cold" participants were asked how much money they would need to delay smoking for five minutes in the second session, a time when all participants would be in a "hot" state. Smokers in all three groups had to abstain from smoking for 12 hours before the second session started, and were asked to hold -- but not smoke -- a lit cigarette during the session.

When asked the money question in the second session, the "cold" smokers from the first session asked for significantly more money to delay smoking for just five minutes while those originally in a "hot" state did not request an increase.

Those from the "cold" group were also much less likely to accurately predict how much money they would need to delay lighting up. Almost half of the "cold" smokers requested more money than what they had initially predicted, while only 25 percent of the "hot" group did the same.

"These findings suggest that smokers are likely to underpredict their own future desire to smoke when they're not craving a cigarette," study co-author George Loewenstein, the Herbert A. Simon Professor of Economics and Psychology at Carnegie Mellon, said in the news release. "The research not only has implications for helping smokers quit, but it also enlightens us on how nonsmokers may pick up the habit. If smokers can't appreciate the intensity of their need to smoke when they aren't currently craving, what's the likelihood that people who have never smoked can do so?"

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about how to quit smoking.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: Carnegie Mellon University, news release, Aug. 26, 2008

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Launches a Dynamic Web-Based Series of CME Certified Activities Entitled: Recognizing and Managing Diseases of The Leg: A Self-Study Program
2. Better care of sickest patients can actually save hospitals money, says largest study of its kind
3. Researchers receive grant to study ways of preventing heart disease
4. Safety study indicates gene therapy for blindness improves vision
5. NIH launches unique effort to advance study of urologic chronic pelvic pain disorders
6. Study firmly shows no connection between measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism
7. Oncology Clinical Research Scientist Recommends a Nuanced Preclinical Study Process to Speed Drug Development
8. Neutral HIV presentations more likely to be considered inviting, study finds
9. Study: Delaying evolution of drug resistance in malaria parasite possible
10. Study Links Serum Calcium, Prostate Cancer Death
11. Height May Boost Prostate Cancer Risk, Study Suggests
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dr. John ... to learn more about hair loss treatment with the Capillus272™ Pro laser therapy cap. ... solution for thicker and fuller hair, without the need for surgery, prescription pills, or ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... TX (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... For ... the companies’ “ Two Organizations, One Beat ” campaign. The partnership between the two ... services to aid in MAP International’s cause. , MAP International was founded in 1954 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals who would like to become more proficient ... attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) CE course. Courses will be held ... the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. Iacobelli and Dr. D’Orazio are proud ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... The McHenry County ... recent successful appellate decision obtained by Attorneys Francisco J. Botto and Alex C. Wimmer. ... Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n, 2015 IL App (2d) 130884WC. , According to court documents, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... SCOTTSDALE, ... facial plastic surgeon specializing in both surgical and non-surgical treatments, announced the expansion ... at Hobgood Facial Plastic Surgery. , Highly trained and nationally recognized for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets ( ) ... Care Market by Type (Dressings, Therapy Devices, Active Wound ... Out-Patient Facility), and Geography - Global Forecast to 2020" ... --> --> The purpose of this ... of the global advanced wound care market. It involves ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... of the "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type ... Pharmaceutical Industry, Academics, Clinical Diagnostic Labs), Application ... Forecast to 2020" report to their ... announced the addition of the "Radioimmunoassay ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), ... the March of Dimes cheered today,s signature into ... Act of 2015 (S.799), which takes much-needed ... exposed to drugs, such as opioids, and to ... three organizations have worked together leading advocacy efforts ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: