A New Way to Quit Smoking

To cope with humans health enemy number one, that is, along with obesity, among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the world, namely cigarettes, many methods had been adopted and put to the effectiveness test, from the nicotine patch to the e-cigarettes, but all of these are keeping a foot in the water and the other outside.

Judson Brewer, MD, PhD from UMASS Medical School has found a new way to deal with every kind of addiction, and which he shared on a Ted Talk. The concept of this method is based on cognitive control which allows smokers or any addicted individual to crack down the circle of his addiction by himself after recognizing the unpleasing experience that this addiction provides at the moment, and he calls this phase : Mindfulness.

Mindfulness

Prefrontal-cortex

This could be described as a high awareness state enabling us to analyze our own actions while doing them.

The best example given by Dr.Brewer ( after a biological example related to eating a chocolate cake) is the one of a teenager of his generation at the time when smoking was a cool stuff to do, and for some it’s stupidly still the case, that the circle of addiction looks like this :

See cool >> Smoke to be cool >> Feel good >> Repeat.

Mindfulness comes into play at the second stage while doing the action. In this example, it is at the moment of smoking and acknowledging the uncheerful disgusting experience of that action. He showed an actual experience of a smoker at the state of mindfulness, or more precisely : “mindful smoking”. The image bellow shows his reaction.

Smoking-Mindfulness-mindful

After this kind of reaction, quitting smoking is a natural following step. In this simple self-therapy, the addicted individual becomes an investigator, an inner scientist that uses curiosity to motivate him to spot the uncheerful action and entering the Mindfulness state to experience unpleasance that will result to a happy letting go of the addiction in question naturally.

smoking-study-statistics
Mindfulness Smoking Statistics