Can't Quit Even If I Wanted To

By R.C. Goode

Joseph Difranza has reported a possible explanation as to why it is so difficult to quit smoking, even when a smoker no longer gets pleasure from smoking. Biological evidence shows that when an individual smokes a cigarette, the nicotine level rises in the blood. This excites a group of cells in the brain. This group of cells is called the CIC or the Craving Inhibitory Centre. Then, the CIC sends the electrical inhibitory message that it has got the nicotine it needs, to another group of cells in the brain. This group of cells is called the CGC or the Craving Generation Centre.

Once the CGC gets the inhibitory message concerning the rise in nicotine levels, then the craving to smoke gets quenched, temporarily. Afterwards, when the inevitable decline of nicotine levels in the blood begin, then the craving to smoke starts again. The craving for cigarettes can be observed within just two weeks of an individual smoking a mere 2 cigarettes a week. For this reason, Professor Difranza supports anti-smoking programs, especially programs directed towards young people.

Heart disease is related to smoking. Regular exposure to smoking diminishes the quality and duration of life. There are people who recognize this information, and want to quit smoking, but have not been able to quit. Of those who make the attempt to quit the smoking habit, more fail than succeed.

Difranza JR, Hooked From The First Cigarette. Scientific American, 2008 May.

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