Brain Training Might Just Help Smokers Quit


Cigarette smoking is one of the largest preventable causes of death in both the United States and Australia. Australian researchers have launched a new brain training program to help smokers get rid of the habit. The Inhibitory Smoking Training program, which is being studied at Deakin University’s School of Psychology in Australia, uses computer-based exercises to train smoker’s brains to stop smoking by reducing the impulse to smoke.

Researchers believe that the key to quitting is to retrain your brain. The training involves repetitively viewing and responding to different images. It really is quite simple. It is computer-based and takes just 10 minutes per day for two weeks.

According to Dr. Hayden, who is part of the research team, difficulty controlling impulses might be part of the reason why some smokers find it really difficult to quit. Recent advances in neuroscience make it possible to retrain people’s brain to improve impulse control. This training program aims to help people improve their impulses.

Training the brain in a similar way has already been found to be effective in helping people reduce the amount of alcohol that they drink and decrease unhealthy food intake. Researchers believe that this type of training can really help smokers quit for good.

The study is ongoing and the researchers are still looking for participants between the ages of 18 and 60 who smoke at least 10 cigarettes a day and want to quit. They are searching for participants located in the Melbourne metropolitan area. For more information about this study, contact the research team at inst@deakin.edu.au.