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Quit Smoking Tip – Sunflower Seeds

September 4th, 2007 · No Comments

According to Martha Ashelman, author of Stop Smoking Naturally, research has shown that carrying raw or shelled sunflower seeds are particularly good for people trying to wean themselves from cigarettes. Every time you feel the desire to smoke, it is suggested that you go through the process of breaking seeds open and popping them into your mouth to munch on until the desire subsides.

Sunflower seeds contain compounds that mimic some of the effects of nicotine and can offer smokers some of the gratification they seek. They tend to have a mildly soothing sedative effect on the nervous system. They also trigger the release of glycogen from the liver, producing a temporary increase in brain activity and they raise the level of adrenal hormones in the body.

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Tags: Smoking - Nicotine Addiction

Fruits, Veggies and Dairy May Help Smokers Quit

April 25th, 2007 · No Comments

This information was recently released from Duke University:

Smokers reported that consuming milk, water, fruits and vegetables worsened the taste of cigarettes, while consuming alcohol, coffee and meat enhanced their taste, according to the researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

The findings could lead to a “Quit Smoking Diet” or to development of a gum or lozenge that makes cigarettes less palatable, said lead study investigator Joseph McClernon, Ph.D., an assistant research professor of medical psychiatry at the Duke Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research.

“With a few modifications to their diet — consuming items that make cigarettes taste bad, such as a cold glass of milk, and avoiding items that make cigarettes taste good, like a pint of beer — smokers can make quitting a bit easier,” McClernon said.

The findings appear in the April 2007 issue of the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research. The research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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Tags: Drug Addiction Alternative Treatment · Smoking - Nicotine Addiction

Brain Scans Reveal Cause of Smokers’ Cravings

April 24th, 2007 · No Comments

This information about smokers cravings was recently released from Duke University:

Brain scans of smokers studied by the researchers revealed three specific regions deep within the brain that appear to control dependence on nicotine and craving for cigarettes. These regions play important roles in some of the key motivations for smoking: to calm down when stressed, to achieve pleasure and to help concentration.

“If you can’t calm down, can’t derive pleasure and can’t control yourself or concentrate, then it will be extremely difficult for you to break the habit,” said lead study investigator Jed E. Rose, Ph.D., director of the Duke Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research. “These brain regions may explain why most people try to quit several times before they are successful.”

In this study, the researchers manipulated the levels of nicotine dependence and cigarette craving among 15 smokers and then scanned their brains using positron emission tomography, or PET scans, to see which areas of the brain were most active.

Three Regions of the Brain are Important for Smokers

Three specific regions of the brain demonstrated changes in activity when the smokers craved cigarettes versus when they did not.

One region that lights up, called the thalamus, is considered to be the key relay point for sensory information flowing into the brain. Some of the symptoms of withdrawal among people trying to quit stem from the inability to focus thoughts and the feeling of being overwhelmed, and could thus be explained by changes in this region, according to the researchers. The researchers found that changes in this region were most dramatic among those who said they smoked to calm down when under stress.

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Tags: Drugs and Brain Disorders · Smoking - Nicotine Addiction