Nicotine addiction and stop smoking aids to consider
Nicotine addiction is all in the mind, a study suggests, but keep stop smoking medical supplies online close at hand just in case. Scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas found that there might be a sort of Tinkerbell effect at play when it comes to craving relief. That is to say, smokers not only had to smoke a cigarette with nicotine, but they also had to believe that the cigarette contained nicotine in order to satisfy cravings. No word on whether they had to clap as well.
The researchers conducted a series of experiments with 24 chronic-smoking nicotine addicts aged 30 to 50 years old. Each of the participants visited the lab four times after avoiding cigarettes and from midnight of the – most likely sleepless – night before. On each visit the participants bummed a cig and were subjected to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). On the first visit, the participants believed the cigarettes contained nicotine, but received a placebo; on the second, they believed the cigarette was nicotine-free but received a nicotine cigarette; on the third, they believed the cigarette contained nicotine and received a nicotine cigarette; on the fourth, they believed the cigarette was nicotine free and they received a placebo; and on the fifth, they begged for more free cigs while the scientist explained that that part of the study was over.
Surely, it was all done in the name of science, but you really have to wonder about the ethics of a clinical trial in which scientists enable chronic smokers to smoke, even if it’s just a couple of cigarettes. In any case, the cravings did not go away when the nicotine-containing cigarette was presented as nicotine-free. “These results suggest that for drugs to have an effect on a person, he or she needs to believe that the drug is present,” assistant professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, head of the Computational Psychiatry Unit at the Center for BrainHealth and study co-author Xiaosi Gu said.
“Our research group continues to provide evidence that beliefs can be as powerful a physical influence on the brain as neuroactive drugs.” Which is all well and good, but just in case nicotine addiction is not a Jedi mind trick, smokers who want to kick the habit should go ahead and order some smoking cessation medical supplies online, such as those available at Discount Medical Supplies.