Saturday January 25, 2020

Sad People More Prone to Become Chain Smokers: Study

Participants had to abstain from smoking for at least eight hours (verified by carbon monoxide breath test)

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Smokers, Quit, Food
We found that the motivations for cigarettes, food and water do not interact very much. Pixabay

Sadness, and not all negative emotions, lead people to smoking and turn it into an addictive behaviour, a first-of-its-kind set of four inter-woven studies has revealed.

A team of researchers based at Harvard University discovered that sadness plays an especially strong role in triggering addictive behaviour relative to other negative emotions like disgust.

“The conventional wisdom in the field was that any type of negative feeling, whether it’s anger, disgust, stress, sadness, fear or shame, would make individuals more likely to use an addictive drug,” said lead researcher Charles A. Dorison, a Harvard Kennedy School doctoral candidate.

“Our work suggests that the reality is much more nuanced than the idea of ‘feel bad, smoke more.’ Specifically, we find that sadness appears to be an especially potent trigger of addictive substance use,” Dorison explained in a new report published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In the first study, researchers examined data from a national survey that tracked 10,685 people over 20 years.

They found that self-reported sadness among participants was associated with being a smoker and with relapsing back into smoking one and two decades later.

In the second study, the team tried to figure out whether sadness cause people to smoke, or were negative life events causing both sadness and smoking.

To test this, 425 smokers were recruited for an online study who watched video clips.

The findings showedthat individuals in the sadness condition – who watched the sad video and wrote about a personal loss – had higher cravings to smoke than both the neutral group and the disgust group.

Smoking
If you are a regular smoker, quit now as researchers have found that tobacco smoking may increase your risk of developing depression and schizophrenia. Pixabay

A similar approach in the third study measured actual impatience for cigarette puffs rather than mere self-reported craving.

Similar to the second study, nearly 700 participants watched videos and wrote about life experiences that were either sad or neutral.

Those in the sadness group proved to be more impatient to smoke sooner than those in the neutral group.

“The result built upon previous research findings that sadness increases financial impatience, measured with behavioural economics techniques,” the authors wrote.

The fourth study recruited 158 smokers to test how sadness influenced actual smoking behaviour.

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Participants had to abstain from smoking for at least eight hours (verified by carbon monoxide breath test).

They were randomly assigned to sadness or neutral control groups.

The results: smokers in the sadness condition made more impatient choices and smoked greater volumes per puff.

“We believe that theory-driven research could help shed light on how to address this epidemic,” Dorison said. (IANS)

Next Story

Vaping May not Help with Smoking Cessation: Report

The report found that smoking cessation could reduce the risk of many negative health effects, including reproductive health outcomes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and numerous cancers

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vaping
Many people may be vaping nicotine through e-cigarettes, smoking. Pixabay

The US government released on Thursday its first smoking cessation report in 30 years, showing that there is inadequate evidence to conclude that e-cigarettes help quit smoking.

It is difficult to make generalizations about efficacy for cessation based on clinical trials involving a particular e-cigarette, according to the report.

E-cigarettes have long been embraced as a less harmful way to satisfy smokers’ nicotine addiction, but all-time high youth vaping in the country has prompted calls for action to stem their use, the Xinhua news agency reported.

A total of 3.6 million middle and high school students report that they used e-cigarettes in 2018, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed premarket applications for all flavoured e-cigarette products that continue to be sold by Aug. 8, 2021.

The FDA suspended this month the sale of cartridge-based e-cigarettes in flavors other than tobacco or menthol.

American, Medical, Electronic Cigarettes
A man uses a vape as he walks on Broadway in New York City, September 9, 2019. VOA

Also, the report said cessation medications approved by the FDA and behavioural counseling could increase the likelihood of successfully quitting smoking, particularly when used in combination.

More than three out of five US adults who have ever smoked cigarettes have quit. However, less than one-third use FDA-approved cessation medications or behavioural counseling, the report said.

Cigarette smoking among American adults is at an all-time low (14 percent), according to the report. However, it remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. Approximately 34 million American adults currently smoke cigarettes.

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The report found that smoking cessation could reduce the risk of many negative health effects, including reproductive health outcomes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and numerous cancers.

“I’m calling on healthcare professionals, health systems, employers, insurers, public health professionals, and policy makers to take action to put an end to the staggering and completely preventable human and financial tolls that smoking takes on our country,” said Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams. (IANS)