Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hidden cues that make smokers light up

15.01.2004


Smokers trying to kick the habit for 2004 are probably finding it much harder than they expected. New research by University of Sussex psychologists reveals that smokers subconsciously react to all sorts of visual cues that encourage them to light up.

It’s not just the obvious sight or smell of a cigarette that sparks off the behaviour. The researchers found that neutral images can also set off the craving.

“The implication of these findings is that cures for smoking should be focussing on ways to control a person’s reaction to cues that signal the availability of cigarettes,” says Dr Lee Hogarth, who carried out the research with Dr Theodora Duka and Dr Anthony Dickinson. “In particular, treatments should attempt to block the capacity of the stimulus to grab the smoker’s attention.”



Previous research has shown that smokers engage in smoking behaviour when they see something or someone that indicates cigarettes are available. They are also faster at identifying smoking related words than neutral words and have a better visual memory for smoking-related stimuli.

The Sussex team, whose research was published in the journal Psychopharmacology, set up an experiment that involved showing smokers two patterns at random on a computer screen. One pattern (S+) led to the smoker being able to take two puffs of a cigarette. The other pattern (S-) would elicit instructions to blow into a carbon monoxide monitor.

In a later stage of the experiment smokers were presented with the two patterns together. By monitoring the smokers’ visual response, it was found that the smokers paid more attention to the S+ pattern – which had previously given them access to tobacco - than the S- pattern. At the same time, a skin conductance test also revealed that physiological changes took place in smokers when the S+ pattern was shown.

Dr Duka, whose work has also involved looking at alcohol and drug addiction, says; “One way to help people cure their addiction is to do a reverse of this – to create thought-blocking to prevent the smoker from paying attention to the stimulus. We could probably set up something in a laboratory, but it would be extremely hard to do this beyond a laboratory setting where there are any number of different visual cues.”

Jacqui Bealing | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sussex.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>