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|From: Joel||Sent: 12/17/2003 8:17 AM|
| Sometimes the triggers don't make so much sense, at least on the surface. The trick is just to always have your guard up, being prepared daily for anything. For no matter how long you are off smoking, triggers can and will occur. Sometimes triggers will be obvious and easy to identify, like running into an old friend who is a chain smoker and you always smoked with them in the past. Sometimes they will be less obvious though, like when it is an old friend who has always been a non-smoker. Whenever you were with them in the past, you too would never smoke because they were around. So why would they make you think of a cigarette? |
Well, before you would ever go to see them, you would smoke a few extra cigarettes just to be able to stay with them a little longer. Or more likely, the trigger wouldn't happen when you first see them, but rather as soon as they would leave. More accurately, it would hit as soon as you were out of their line of vision. In the past, that is when you would instantly light up. Even though you never smoked in their presence, you were still a smoker when with them. This association will last until these initial first encounters with them breaking the pattern and mindset that you are a smoker in this particular circumstance.
As more and more time passes, experiences like this become more sporadic. But keep focused daily. When you wake up say today is another day you will not smoke. So if these rare occurrences happen, you are ready. And again at the end of the day congratulate yourself for another victorious day without smoking.
Hang in there and don't let the triggers get you. Make each one just another learning experience. The lesson, no matter what triggers a thought, to beat it, Never Take Another Puff!
Online link to this study abstract
Limbic Activation to Cigarette Smoking Cues Independent of Nicotine Withdrawal:A Perfusion fMRI Study
Neuropsychopharmacology. March 21, 2007 [Epub ahead of print]
Franklin TR, Wang Z, Wang J, Sciortino N, Harper D, Li Y, Ehrman R, Kampman K, O'brien CP, Detre JA, Childress AR. Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Exposure to cigarette smoking cues can trigger physiological arousal and desire to smoke. The brain substrates of smoking cue-induced craving (CIC) are beginning to be elucidated; however, it has been difficult to study this state independent of the potential contributions of pharmacological withdrawal from nicotine. Pharmacological withdrawal itself may have substantial effects on brain activation to cues, either by obscuring or enhancing it, and as CIC is not reduced by nicotine replacement strategies, its neuro-anatomical substrates may differ. Thus, characterizing CIC is critical for developing effective interventions.
This study used arterial spin-labeled (ASL) perfusion fMRI, and newly developed and highly appetitive, explicit smoking stimuli, to examine neural activity to cigarette CIC in an original experimental design that strongly minimizes contributions from pharmacological withdrawal. Twenty-one smokers (12 females) completed smoking and nonsmoking cue fMRI sessions. Craving self-reports were collected before and after each session. SPM2 software was employed to analyze data.
Blood flow (perfusion) in a priori-selected regions was greater during exposure to smoking stimuli compared to nonsmoking stimuli (p<0.01; corrected) in ventral striatum, amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, hippocampus, medial thalamus, and left insula. Perfusion positively correlated with intensity of cigarette CIC in both the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (r(2)=0.54) and posterior cingulate (r(2)=0.53).
This pattern of activation that includes the ventral striatum, a critical reward substrate, and the interconnected amygdala, cingulate and OFC, is consistent with decades of animal research on the neural correlates of conditioned drug reward.
PMID: 17375140 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]