Don’t rush to kick the smoking habit

New research [1] into smoking has shed some light into what exactly makes it so difficult for some smokers to kick the habit, and in turn provides an important piece of advice for those trying to quit.

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have found that smoking initially increases brain activity, which may be the habit-forming stimulus that hooks many smokers. But as smokers continue to puff the cancer sticks, tissue in the brain quickly adapts to the stimuli and that initial “brain surge” disappears.

Unfortunately by the time that happens, most smokers are entrenched in the habit. And when they stop smoking, the brain’s oxygen uptake and blood flow decrease by 17 percent immediately. Brain scans reveal regular smokers can experience something akin to a dementia-like condition. This unpleasant experience is likely why so many find it difficult to break the smoking habit.

The researchers concluded that smokers seemingly need to continue smoking just to keep their brain functioning normally. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to put an end to this extremely unhealthy habit. With time smokers can become less dependent on smoking, but researchers can not say exactly how long it may take for a former smoker’s brain to regain its normal energy consumption and blood flow.

This finding suggests that a gradual approach to quitting smoking may lessen the worst withdrawal symptoms and allow more smokers to successfully kick the habit.

[1]  Smoking normalizes cerebral blood flow and oxygen consumption after 12-hour abstentionJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism


Kellye Copas

By Kellye Copas

Staff writer Kellye Copas has several years experience writing for the alternative health industry. Her background is in non-profit fundraising, copywriting and direct mail and web marketing.