If you want to quit smoking, you already know to stay away from smokers. In fact, now there’s proof that even looking at people smoking can keep you from quitting.
A new study published this year in a medical trade magazine called Psychopharmacology looks at what happens when ex-smokers even look at photographs of someone smoking.
The study’s researchers did brain scans of smokers after they were shown a photograph of other people smoking. The brain scans were done either 24 hours before they quit or 24 hours after they quit.
What the brain scans showed was increased activity in those parts of the brain that make us crave things – like a cigarette if we’re addicted to them.
So if you’re trying to quit, don’t be around smoking. Don’t even look at pictures. But that’s not always possible. So you’re going to also have to re-train your brain not to respond. It’s like breaking any bad habit. Use your willpower. Use your intelligence. Know that it takes time for cravings to go away.
To help yourself, stay away from drinking coffee if you have always had a cup of coffee with a cigarette. Drink tea, or drink a cola. Chew carrots. Keep a drinking straw at your desk and “inhale” if you must. It’s harmless, and it can wean you from nicotine.
I quit, and I’m no superwoman. I just did it. You can, too!
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