This Is The Best Way To Quit Smoking
If you’re a smoker trying to quit, boy do you have options. Patches, chewing gum, lollipops and even lasers! But if you’re overwhelmed with choice, maybe try nothing at all. Hi aware citizens, Trace here for DNews. Now smoking is bad for you it causes cancer and a gazillion other diseases. You know that. We know that. This is your life and we’re not going to tell you what to do.
But we are going to tell you the science behind quitting if you or someone you know is trying to give up the habit. Now before we breakdown the options, we have to first understand why it’s so difficult to quit in the first place. One word: nicotine. It’s what’s naturally found in tobacco and as addictive as heroin and cocaine. When inhaled, nicotine travels quickly to the brain. There, it releases dopamine and other feel good chemicals into brain cell receptors.
This creates more and more nicotine receptors in the brain. When these receptors are starved of nicotine you go through intense withdrawal, which can lead to depression and tension, until you get your next fix. So the trick may be to gradually giving your brain less and less nicotine, which is where the highly advertized treatment of nicotine replacement therapy comes into play. We’re talking about patches, chewing gum, lozenges, inhalers and even nasal spray and lollipops. But do these methods actually work?.
Let’s take one of the most popular methods, the patch. This is typically a reservoir of nicotine sandwiched between an occlusive and permeable adhesive layers. Stick it on your skin and the nicotine slowly leaches through the layers of your dermis, to the hypodermis, which contains blood vessels needed to bring the drug into the bloodstream. This happens at a much slower rate and at a lower concentration than smoke inhalation. Different patches contain different amounts of nicotine, slowly ridding your body’s dependence of the drug.
But is it effective? Well, one study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health looked at 787 adults who had recently quit smoking. They were surveyed three different times over the course of six years and asked questions about what type of nicotine replacement therapy they had used, the duration of the therapy, if they had consulted a professional, and their current smoking habits. During each one of those checkins around a third of the participants had relapsed. This led researchers to conclude that â€œusing nicotine replacement therapy is no more effective.
In helping people stop smoking cigarettes in the longterm than trying to quit on one’s own.â€� What about alternative ways to quit smoking? Some people have tried acupuncture and hypnosis, but based on some of our last tutorials, it’s a little up for debate on whether that works or not. And others have even tried lasers. Yes, lasersâ€¦ well, lowlevel lasers therapy. The company Innovative Laser Therapy claims that an hour of therapy is all you’d need.
To quit your addiction. The lasers target specific points in the body that the company alleges are related to addiction, claiming it relieves withdrawal symptoms and prevents cravings. Owner Frank Pinto explains, â€œThe laser basically stimulates the nerve endings to tell the brain to release a flood of endorphins.â€� But â€œbasicallyâ€� isn’t science. And though there have been a few studies to determine its validity, they are few and far between with inconclusive results.
A simple way to break a bad habit Judson Brewer
When I was first learning to meditate, the instruction was to simply pay attention to my breath, and when my mind wandered, to bring it back. Sounded simple enough. Yet I’d sit on these silent retreats, sweating through Tshirts in the middle of winter. I’d take naps every chance I got because it was really hard work. Actually, it was exhausting.
The instruction was simple enough but I was missing something really important. So why is it so hard to pay attention? Well, studies show that even when we’re really trying to pay attention to something like maybe this talk at some point, about half of us will drift off into a daydream,.
Or have this urge to check our Twitter feed. So what’s going on here? It turns out that we’re fighting one of the most evolutionarilyconserved learning processes currently known in science, one that’s conserved back to the most basic nervous systems known to man. This rewardbased learning process is called positive and negative reinforcement,.
And basically goes like this. We see some food that looks good, our brain says, quot;Calories! . Survival!quot; We eat the food, we taste it it tastes good. And especially with sugar, our bodies send a signal to our brain that says, quot;Remember what you’re eating and where you found it.quot;.
We lay down this contextdependent memory and learn to repeat the process next time. See food, eat food, feel good, repeat. Trigger, behavior, reward. Simple, right? Well, after a while, our creative brains say,.
quot;You know what? You can use this for more than just remembering where food is. You know, next time you feel bad, why don’t you try eating something good so you’ll feel better?quot; We thank our brains for the great idea, try this and quickly learn that if we eat chocolate or ice cream when we’re mad or sad, we feel better.
Same process, just a different trigger. Instead of this hunger signal coming from our stomach, this emotional signal feeling sad triggers that urge to eat. Maybe in our teenage years, we were a nerd at school, and we see those rebel kids outside smoking and we think,.