Smoking

| 46 Comments

Read this article on smoking and the brain:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marina-picciotto/smoking-in-movies-think-smoking-looks_b_810561.html

Summarize the article. What are your thoughts on this piece? What is most interesting to you? Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that. What did you learn? How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article? What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?

Provide a list of proper M&E terms that you used in your blog post.

Photo credit: smoking and sad girlby *hidlight (http://hidlight.deviantart.com)

46 Comments

Summarize the article. What are your thoughts on this piece?

This was not all that informative of an article, and they said so themselves with how frequently they used the phrase “as we all know”. They threw out some statistics at you, like half of all smokers try to quit but only 5% actually do, it is the leading preventable cause of death in most countries, and (here’s a shocker) it’s addictive. They even concluded the article by saying that smoking is addictive and we still don’t know how to help people quit. They referred to an article in a neuroscience journal, which I attempted to read, but to no avail. Although the restricted access prevented me from peering inside the article, I can make a pretty good guess at what they were talking about. They mentioned that when watching people smoke in movies, the brain areas responsible for the physical action of smoking become more active in the observer. Admittedly, I am making an assumption, but I believe they are referring to the already well known mirror neurons, or ‘empathy neurons’, that show activation in the observer’s brain mirroring, to a lesser extent, the areas active in the observed person’s brain. These mirror neurons apply to all behavior, not just smoking, but as I said, I can only assume that is what they were referring to. I thought this article was a huge letdown, as they opened with a reference to a neuroscience article and followed through with tedious regurgitated facts about how smoking is still bad for you.

What is most interesting to you?

I thought it was interesting that smoking prevents wounds from healing, and is actually one reason for poor outcomes of surgery.

Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that. What did you learn?

I clicked on the link provided in the article regarding the healing problems caused by nicotine. The article said that the wounds don’t heal as well when nicotine is present because of the vasoconstriction associated with smoking. Vasoconstriction is simply the narrowing of blood vessels, which in turn, raises blood pressure. This reduces the amount of blood that gets to the wound, which causes the wound to heal more slowly, as the blood cells are not carrying enough oxygen (or other essential nutrients) to the damaged tissue for normal recovery.

How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article?

Chapter 3 talked about addictive drugs, such as nicotine, as being particularly reinforcing because their chronic usage leads to hypersensitivity of dopamine stimulation. This means that smoking (or chewing, or whatever gets that nicotine up to your brain) sensitizes the brain regions involved in reward to dopamine stimulation to a greater degree than naturally occurring stimuli. The book says that this hypersensitization can last for years, which helps explain why over 50% of ex-smokers relapse within a year.

What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?

According to the article, and the horrific statistics that it provides, the motivation to quit smoking must be substantial for the behavior to be terminated. There was no helpful advice to quit smoking. They offered the suggestions of cognitive behavioral therapy, quitlines, nicotine patches, and medications, but still said that the success rate is moderate at best. The book described prescription drugs that take away some of the enjoyment out of smoking, but even those drugs don’t offer much help with the cravings. It would appear that the only effective way to quit smoking is to die. Although, it may be easier to simply not start smoking, but I’m not one to tell you how to live your life.

Terms: motivation, mirror neurons, hypersensitivity, dopamine, nicotine

It is a widely-held belief that smoking is a “bad habit.” Most people state that smoking is bad for you because of the myriad of diseases and cancers it has caused. Also, most people recognize the addictive power smoking tobacco has over its “victims.” However, the author of this article wanted to stress another reason why smoking is dangerous, especially when watching the act of it in movies for people who are trying to quit. The author found that watching people smoke in movies makes brain areas responsible for the well-known bodily movements of reaching for a cigarette and moving it up for a drag more active, which could contribute to a relapse of ex-smokers. In her article, the author’s main point is to stress the fact that we still don’t have a sure way of helping people stop smoking. Our bodies’ combined response to the content of cigarette smoke and the physical act of smoking that leads to changes in our brain activity that makes people relapse by increasing their urge to smoke both have made it incredibly difficult for people (in particular ones’ who have tried to quit already) to stop smoking.

My thoughts: I, too, have always heard that smoking is a bad habit. And I truly believe it as I have lost some of my relatives to lung cancer caused from excessive smoking. I’ve heard before that it is addicting due to the nicotine in the cigarette. (I wouldn’t know, though, as I’ve never tried it.) But I never knew the negative impact watching people in movies had on ex-smokers. (To be honest, I didn’t even know there was an impact.) I’ve seen countless movies with people who are smoking in it (Grease, for example), and it’s never created an urge to reach for a cigarette. I now understand that is because my body has never experienced the movement and pleasure of smoking before. It makes sense as to why ex-smokers would want to reach for a cigarette because their brain is becoming active and wanting to “re-live” the movement and pleasure of smoking again. And I can say I’ve been a victim before of my brain telling me to do something and my body following through despite what I told myself (i.e. eating more jellybeans when I told myself no more).

What I found most interesting in this article was the reasoning behind why researchers are now making the statement that smoking in movies is destructive for ex-smokers who are trying to maintain their abstinence from smoking. I’ve heard the argument before that smoking in movies by famous actors/actresses glamorizes the deadly habit, especially for kids. But I’ve never heard that watching people smoke in movies activates certain areas of the brain, causing the brain to urge the body to reenact the physical movements of smoking that the body is so used to and has experienced pleasure in the past. Once again, it shows the power the brain has over the body.

I decided to read further into the new medications that have been used to reduce the effect environmental cues associated with nicotine reinforcement have on smokers and ex-smokers’ ability to stop (or to continue to refrain from) smoking. The reason I chose to look into these medicines is because of their influence on the brain and its functioning; as I stated in my Chapter 3 response, I am incredibly fascinated by the brain and how it influences our behaviors, emotions, and motivation. Bupropion is one of the new medicines that has been shown through research to reduce cravings in response to smoking-cues and to reduce activation in areas of the brain that are associated with cravings (such as the prefrontal cortex & amygdala). I also learned about the other treatment, varenicline, that has become a first-line smoking cessation medication. Using a perfusion fMRI, researchers were able to view how the brain responds to smoking and non-smoking cues. They found that smoking cues activated brain areas involved in drug-motivation, such as the ventral striatum and medial orbitofrontal cortex, and also elicited reports of cravings. After receiving the medication, researchers found decreased brain activity in those regions and in self-reported cravings. These two medications have given hope to people who have taken the challenging steps toward abstaining from smoking where they now don’t have to worry as much about the effect seeing others smoke has on their progress towards cessation.

Chapter 3 was beneficial in understanding why experiencing smoking cues (such as viewing it in a movie) can cause ex-smokers to relapse. In the chapter, I learned about the strong power the brain has in influencing our behavior, motivation, and emotion. For example, when an event doesn’t unfold as expected (such as when your body wants a cigarette but you don’t have one handy), the hippocampus acts in a “not-okay” mode. This then generates an anxiety-ridden motivational state that takes control of your behavior in order to eliminate the anxiety (such as taking a drag off a cigarette). Also, I learned about the hormone dopamine, which is also related to the urge to reach for a cigarette. People have many choices throughout the day; part of the “want” to pursue one course of action over another is regulated by information provided by dopamine output from the ventral tegmental area. The VTA releases dopamine into the prefrontal cortex, causing the individual to want to reach for a cigarette because, in the past, he or she experienced the reward of “good feelings” after having taken a hit. The body wants this experience again, causing a relapse from the ex-smoker.

In summary, everything I have read about today has made me understand the complexity involved in trying to stop smoking. Yes, it is a bad habit. I don’t believe there is any debate on that. However, it isn’t as easy as some have termed it. That so-called “willpower” that it takes to stop requires a lot more effort as it requires fighting against the natural functioning of the brain. The brain acts and we normally don’t have control over it. Thankfully, with the technology and resources our doctors and researchers have today, we have made tremendous progress of understanding why people relapse and have provided medications for them to decrease the chances of relapsing.

Terms used: Hippocampus, dopamine, prefrontal cortex

Summarize the article. What are your thoughts on this piece? What is most interesting to you? Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that. What did you learn? How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article? What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?

This article really looked into smoking and how this habit is very negative but hard to eliminate. In the article it talked about relapse in smoking, and it said that relapse could occur while a previous smoker is watching a movie. This can be true because the habit of smoking has an affect on some ones brain. This can cause a person who is just watching a movie of someone smoking remember the sensation they felt when they smoked, causing them to relapse.
This article also talked about how smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S, but twenty percent of American smoke. The problem with smoking is that 50% of smokers who try to quit the deathly habit usually can’t. The article tells us that only 5% are successful each year when trying to quit. This statistic really caught my attention, so I decided to look more into it.
When you start smoking, the chances of you becoming addicted are extremely high because of the nicotine. In our brain we have the limbic system, which is in control of incoming sensory stimulation. Nicotine will go into our system causing our brain to release dopamine, which is a rewarding feeling. This is why oat can be so hard to quit the nasty habit. We as humans are controlled by reward and cigarettes can give a smokers body the feeling of sensation!
This article really made me aware of how our brain can be altered to believe that something bad can make us feel good. We need to be careful on what we insert in our bodies because our brain can tell us bad things make us feel good.
The motivation to quit smoking could be a lot of health concerns but if dopamine is continuously being released and our limbic system and giving us the feeling of sensation when you see, taste, or picture a cigarette it can motivate us to continue using.
Limbic system, dopamine, addiction

Summarize the article. What are your thoughts on this piece?

“Smoking in Movies: Why Your Brain Thinks It's Cool” is an article about how addictive smoking can be. It mentions that people who smoke in movies make it seem ok for other people to start or to continue smoking. For ex-smokers, seeing movies with people smoking in them can trigger a relapse to have them to start smoking again. This relapse is triggered by stimulating areas of the brain that make people want to smoke such as seeing or smelling the cigarettes. This new study is another explanation, other than nicotine, that makes smoking addictive and hard to quit.
My thoughts on this are, for one, it opened up a new explanation for me about how just seeing the act of smoking actually stimulates areas of the brain that make you want to smoke. I always thought that it was the nicotine. It also seemed to have a lot of information that was pretty much common sense today, like people smoking in movies may make it look cool, or that smoking is addictive and hard to quit. There was also statistics that showed that smoking is one of the “leading preventable causes of death in most countries” with links to the CDC website. These statistics did help get their point across how bad smoking can be. Overall, I thought the article had one interesting thing in it, that being the information about certain areas of the brain being stimulated to cause people to smoke again.

What is most interesting to you?
Learning about how the physical attributes of seeing people smoke make smoking addicting and cause ex-smokers to start again. I also thought it was interesting to learn how smoking can also slow down the healing process of individuals. I speculated that this is another reason why smoking can be fatal.

Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that. What did you learn?
I wanted to learn more about how smoking slows down the healing process of individuals. I searched for articles and found one that went into depth about how smoking hurts bones. The article is titled “Smoking Hurts Bones” and is at this website, http://orthopedics.about.com/. There was one study where researchers looked at patients with wrist injuries. Between the smokers and non-smokers, 98% of non-smokers wrists healed completely while 68% of smoker’s wrists healed. There was also information on why bones are affected by smoking. The article explained that nicotine constricts blood and other nutrients that flow to the bones by 25%.

How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article?
In chapter 3, it mentioned certain areas of the brain that stimulate behavior, like the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hypothalamus. So when the article on smoking mentioned how seeing the act of smoking in movies make ex-smokers or young kids start thinking about smoking, it made more sense to me because they were being stimulated by what they were seeing. The nicotine chemical also made more sense after reading the third chapter because it explained how chemicals also affect the brain like when people take in nicotine, the brain makes dopamine and that makes people feel happy.

What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?
The motivation to quit smoking depends on the person. Nicotine however makes this difficult for most as it stimulates the prefrontal cortex of the brain that regulates emotion.

This article was all about smoking and the effects it has on people. There is nicotine in cigarettes which causes smoking to be addicting. Some people don't believe the nicotine is truly addicting because they don't want to believe it, they want to believe that it is all psychological. The article talked about how many movies have scenes with people smoking cigarettes. This is controversial because many times in movies the actors/actresses are portrayed as "cool" while smoking. When kids watch these movies they look up to the actors/actresses, which make them want to be cool and try smoking as well. Smoking has a lot to do with your brain because when you become addicted it is something that is so automatic your brain stimulates you to just pick up a cigarette and smoke. It also talked about how so many people try to quit but not very many people are successful with it. This is because the nicotine is so addictive and their brains drive them to continue smoking as a routine.

This article was very interesting because it is so true. I have known many people who have smoked a majority of their lives and they want to but they just can't. Their brain does not motivate them enough to quit smoking because they are so addicted and they don't have the drive or the incentive to quit. I did not know that smokers have a harder time recovering from surgeries and other illnesses, so that was interesting to me! I also agree with the fact that movies and other media make smoking seem like a "cool" thing to do. I think it's important for kids to get knowledge on the effects of smoking at an early age so when they do see movies and other media about smoking they can decide for themselves the truth about smoking.

I would like to find out more information from people who smoke that are trying to quit. What kind of thoughts go through their minds while trying to quit? What is their strategy for trying to quit and trying to get their mind off of smoking? What made them realize they wanted to quit? All of these questions are interesting to me to find out because the people who do try to quit have the motivation and the drive to do so. I also would like to hear about the differences in thoughts between people who quit and relapsed, and people who quit for good. What were the different thought processes between the two types of people?

I learned a lot about how the brain effects every situation in our lives. Smoking becomes so natural for the people who do it that their brain just stimulates the smoking process. It takes a lot of motivation to quit and I learned about how your brain has to encourage people to take that path as well. It was interesting to me to learn about how people are still trying to discover the ways to help smokers quit other than nicotine patches and things like that. What can people do to get smokers brains on a different path and not be stimulated to naturally pick up a cigarette.

Reading chapter three helped me understand this article because in the chapter it discussed how each part of the brain has a different function and motivates us in different ways. Many people smoke for the feeling it gives them which is stimulated by the brain. Some people may think it's worth it but others try to find the motivation to quit smoking because they know it is bad for them. It's hard for people to quit who are addicted and have been smoking for awhile because it's such a natural thing for them.

I have learned from this article and the chapter that it is extremely hard for people to quit smoking. I wish there were a way that I could help people quit smoking but like the article stated there are no known ways to help smokers overcome this bad habit. Smokers have to be motivated and have to learn about the consequences smoking causes. They have to have the drive for themselves to make their brain rather stimulate the need for something else rather than a cigarette.

List of terms:
Psychological, stimulates, motivate, drive, brain

The main focus in this article was to acknowledge that smoking tobacco is addictive even though major tobacco companies state otherwise. This article discussed the facts about how harmful smoking tobacco can be and once addicted nearly impossible to quit. It even stated that smoking had the highest death rates than any other cause of death in the U.S. It also explained a few different techniques and therapies used to help the 50 percent of US adult smokers who try to quit each year, however only 5 percent actually succeed. The brain plays a big part in this failure to quit because even watching a movie where people are smoking can cause areas in the brain related to addiction to activate causing a relapse.

I thought this piece was pretty informative. I never would have thought that just by watching people smoke in a movie a former smoker might reach for a pack of cigarettes and relapse all because a certain area in their brain was activated that drives the urge to smoke. I agree with this article that smoking in movies shouldn’t be so common because teens and young adults are easily persuaded into thinking it’s an ok thing to do, which can ultimately lead to a higher number of teens who smoke.

I found it very interesting that of the 50 percent of people who try to quit smoking each year, less that 5 percent actually succeed. This is a very few number of people who are actually able to quit smoking and not relapse. This shows that quitting an addiction is not just about how motivated you are but also has to do with functions and neurotransmitters in your brain. This is because the nicotine sensitizes the brain structures to dopamine stimulation so in order to feel pleasure, an addict must smoke. Even with multiple kinds of therapies to help individuals quit, people are still unable to succeed and end up relapsing.

In the article it stated that tobacco smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. with about 443,000 deaths per year. According to the Centers for disease Control and Prevention, that's more deaths each year than AIDS, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined. I think it’d be interesting to look more into these numbers and see just how much higher the death rates from tobacco smoking are compared to each other single cause of death. I also think you could look more into the death rates from tobacco smoking and see how many of the individuals diagnosed with lung cancer continued to smoke because they were so addicted or just because they didn’t want to stop smoking compared to those individuals who quit smoking once diagnosed. I believe this could also be a reason why the death rate is so high because some people just choose not to quit, therefor allowing themselves to become another statistic.

Before reading this article I never knew just how serious nicotine addiction was and how hard it was to overcome. After reading all the facts this article stated, especially the one stating that more than 50 percent of smokers try to quit each year, but less than 5 percent of all smokers succeed, I realized that nicotine has become one of the most addicting substances today. I also was very shocked to learn that smoking was the leading cause of death in the US, with about 443,000 deaths per year. I would have never thought doing something so little as picking up a cigarette, lighting it and taking a drag would be more harmful than anything else. This really opened my eyes to just how serious this problem has become.

Chapter 3 helped me understand this article a little better because it discussed how addictive drugs, nicotine being one of them, can negatively affect neurotransmitters in the brain. These drugs become potent reinforcers because their repeated usage produces hypersensitivity to dopamine stimulation. Therefore, these individuals must smoke more often in order to get the same stimulation or good feelings they would to the same occurring stimuli. This helps me understand the article and the facts about how many people relapse because this dopamine induced neural hypersensitization can last for years even after an individual stops smoking therefor they are unable to get the same pleasure out of stimuli that they would have if they were still smoking.

All this information from the textbook and the article helps me better understand the influence the brain and neurotransmitters, especially dopamine, have on addictions. I now realize that an individual needs more than just motivation to quit smoking considering this article listed multiple therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and nicotine replacement therapies, to help smokers quit yet 50 percent of ex-smokers still relapse within one year. This astonishing fact shows that no matter how much an individual may be motivated to quit smoking, there is no guarantee that they may actually succeed.

Terms: neurotransmitters, dopamine, neural hypersensitization, motivation, nicotine, addictions,

Summarize Article

The article was focused on looking at smoking and how it becomes addictive to many people. The article gives facts on smoking that seem to be a big problem. The article states the leading preventable cause of death is smoking in the United States each year more than 440,000 people. The article brings up that 50% of smokers decide to stop this addictive action of smoking but only 5% do succeed in stopping. The article's main focus was on the concept of smoking during movies can cause us to become addictive to the action of smoking and make it harder for people that do stop to keep that addictive drug out of their body's. It goes over the how the brain watches the smoking in the movie and this then activates the part of the brain that drive us to do the body movements.

What are your thoughts on this piece?

I thought the piece was interesting to think about, but I couldn't understand how watching a movie with smoking could cause someone to want to do that movement. I think of this article looking at it from a basis such as; when people come up with research on how kids that play video games with violence end up being more violent and in prison. This is something that some people do because they are put into a certain crowd that smokes or they are born into a family that is consistent smokers. I think it is a article with good facts and it also has some research that may be a little skewed one way.

What was most interesting to you?

The most interesting part of the article is the facts they give about smoking deaths and people who try and quit smoking. The numbers they give to the reader are mind blowing and hard to understand how they allow people to still buy this drug. The other thing I found interesting is that seven CEO's in 1994 said that nicotine is not addictive. I find that odd that we in today's society allow them to continue to lie about cigarettes.

Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that. What did you learn?

One aspect that I want to learn more about is the number of deaths from smoking tobacco. I am a baseball player and am more interested in learning more about how many people die a year due to chewing tobacco and it's addictive personality compared to smoking tobacco. I looked at some websites like http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco and found that more men die of tobacco use than women which may be from the use of chewing tobacco. I couldn't find a stat that stated how many deaths were caused by non-smoking tobacco, but I found out that 9 million Americans use non smoking tobacco today.

How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article?

Chapter 3 helps me understand more about the brain and how it becomes addicted to smoking tobacco. It helped me understand where and how we become addicted to the drug and the process that happens when you continue to do the same movement on a day to day basis you become addicted through the feeling they receive each time. The chapter brought up dopamine and how it stimulates your pleasure center or parts of your body and this is the same for parts of your brain used to the movement of smoking.

What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?

This article makes me a little angry that this drug can be sold to people today. The fact that only 5% of the 50% can stop smoking scares me that our brains can only be motivated for certain things even if we know it is killing us. The chapter helped teach me a lot about the brain and what parts of the brain we use for motivation to stop doing an act like smoking.

Terms: dopamine, nicotine, motivation,addiction

This article focuses on a study published in the The Journal of Neuroscience. According to this study, watching movies in which people are smoking triggers brain areas that drives the same movements people make while smoking. Meaning that the physical action of reaching for a cigarette and actually smoking it is so ingrained in people’s brain that when they see it in the movies, those same brain areas become active. It then goes on to talk about how not only is smoking in movies a bad influence on non-smokers, but that it could be activating former smokers to return to their old ways. The rest of the article reviews what we all already know: smoking is addictive, the CEO’s want us to believe it’s not, and that it is REALLY hard to quit. It closes by indicating that these new findings may help us to understand why ex-smokers, after possibly years of abstaining, return to their old destructive habits. While the title of this article caught my attention, I was not impressed how only roughly two paragraphs actually discusses the study that is mentioned in the title.
I thought this piece was interesting in that I think it’s crazy how much just watching someone else do something, can make us feel like we need to do it as well. Even if it is the one thing we have vowed and worked so hard to never do again. It makes me wonder if it only applies to smoking. Is the same true for other addictive behaviors such as drinking alcohol? I tried to find such information from a scholarly source and found none. I only found websites that said not drinking around an alcoholic is the nice thing to do and seeing drinking would make it harder for them. But no information I found gave a brain response like the one in this article.
So, instead I clicked on the link “activating brain areas linked to addiction,” to see which areas they were referring to in the brain. According to this link it was the activation in the mesolimbic and visuospatial neural circuits. It also discussed the dopamine reward circuits as discussed in Chapter 3. The study found that when shown smoking related images, an fMRI would show that these dopamine reward circuits would light up. Chapter 3 helped me to understand this because it featured a special section about addiction and its effect on a person’s hypersensitivity to dopamine stimulation. It also reads that it can last for years which perhaps would explain why even a former smoker would continue to have this reaction.
Overall, this information tells me that quitting smoking would require great personal motivation. In order to quit, a person would have to overcome what it has exposed its body and brain to. This is why it works for some pharmaceuticals to take the dopamine-related pleasure out of smoking and nicotine. This would take some of the liking out of smoking and nicotine and therefore decreases the full experience of the reward.
Terms used: dopamine, stimulation, motivation, reward, “liking,” addiction

The article discusses a couple of ideas that could make a lot of sense when thinking about why people start smoking in the first place and why they relapse during the first year of trying to quit. In my opinion, a lot of young adults and older kids start smoking because they see it in movies and think it must be “cool” if the celebrities are doing so. Moreover, many of them may start smoking to try and fit within their groups of friends who may smoke to show power or control in front of peers and younger kids. The habit of smoking can show maturity for doing so, it’s a way of standing out and trying to fit in, and it is a form of social acceptance. We can relate these aspects to motives and drives in the psychology field to start or to keep smoking.

The most interesting to me was the activation of brain areas which are linked to the physical action or habit of smoking. It is surprising to me that the action of bringing a cigarette to the mouth can increase the chances of smoking.

I wanted to learn more about the percentage of smokers in the US and in my country of origin, Brazil. Recent data showed that 15% of all adults in Brazil are smokers and 18% in the US. The number decreased for Brazilians after many preventing programs started since the year of 1988. I wanted to see what the difference was between countries but it didn’t seem to be that much more or less. A couple of the articles I read showed that most of the smokers follow under the 15-30 years old category which helps me assume that many of them might smoke because of peers’ influences or because they think it’s cool rather than having an addiction for a long period of time.

Chapter 3 can be related to this article because of the connection between parts of the brain and the hormones released through sensations/emotions. Dopamine and serotonin will cause the brain to generate good feelings. Smoking could cause the brain to release both and to create good feelings, making it an addictive habit, a motivated habit.

Therefore, the motivation to quit smoking may seem harder than it seems. As non-smokers may think that cigarette is a habit that can be stopped anytime, they don’t really fully understand the concepts of brain structures influencing the smoker to keep smoking.
There is a lot more behind the act of smoking than simply being addicted to nicotine. Their brain has gotten used to releasing the dopamine and serotonin making it a necessity for the smoker to get those same feelings again. Dopamine is considered a neural mechanism in the textbook. That mechanism transforms motivation into action.

Terms: Motivation, dopamine, serotonin, nicotine, neural mechanism.

This article was an interesting piece on the research surrounding quitting smoking. It is a widely accepted fact that smoking is both dangerous and a bad habit. There is also another notion that while we know nicotine is addictive you can quit smoking if you simply try hard enough.

This article brings attention to the fact that even though a smoker may have quit or is trying to quit there are environmental factors within our society that have been conditioned into a person that motivate them to continue to smoke, one of the examples given was smoking in movies. Research now indicates that simply watching someone else smoke can cause your brain to activate the pathways related to smoking causing individuals who have smoked to reach for a pack.

The article also gave some of the many dangerous consequences of smoking, possible therapies to treat the addiction, as well as presenting some statistics related to smoking deaths, number of smokers within the United States, relapse rates.

This piece was interesting to me but didn’t contain an abundance of new information for me. The concept of the brain being activated when watching an individual smoke is not that far from drug addicts saying they are triggered to use by simply visiting places they have used before. Some of the health risks were new to me and provide a lot of support for the reasoning that smoking should not be included in movies and why it is such a dangerous activity to partake in.

One fact that was very interesting to me was the statistics surrounding relapse. The article stated that out of the population 20% of all adults are smokers. Of those who smoke 50% will attempt to quit and sadly less than 5% will actually succeed at quitting. Sadly over 50% of those who actually do quit will relapse and be smoking again by the end of the year. Even with the multiple therapies and interventions available it saddens me that so many people relapse. It really does draw the attention to the fact that bad habits can certainly been due to factors other than poor will power or low motivation.

I did further readings on what types or methods are currently used/designed to prevent relapse. These interventions included behavioral interventions, psychopharmacological and pharmacotherapy. Behavior interventions are mainly designed to address the skills needed to prevent relapse. The research conducted provided no evidence that the behavioral interventions prevented relapse. The Pharmacological interventions used included varenicline, oral nicotine replacement therapy and bupropion.

The study results indicated that behavioral interventions used individually or in combination with pharmacotherapeutic methods showed what the researchers thought to be no benefit. Studies conducted on the extended use of bupropion also showed no effect. The researchers believe that varenicline is the only intervention that shows promise when being used as an extended treatment method. The researchers do mention that more research in the area of long term smoking cessation methods need to be done.

Chapter 3 provides a lot of information relevant to understanding why and how the individual may have urges after cessation of smoking occurs, how these urges may even prevent them from completing the cessation process and why they may relapse after cessation.
The neurotransmitter dopamine plays a large role in the motivation of an individual who is addicted. Dopamine is released from the Ventral Tegmental Area or VTA into other areas of the brain. When the individual receives a greater than expected reward there is an increased amount of dopamine released. This leads the individual to expect that the act of smoking will produce pleasurable results which is a portion of what gives each their drives to “want” to do something. The “liking’ part of each activity is thought to be hedonistic in nature. Addictive substances such as Nicotine alter brain structures making them hypersensitive to dopamine more so than naturally occurs within the body to other sources such as food. Currently these pharmacological therapies address the ‘wanting” part of the activity by taking some of the dopamine related pleasure out of the activity. This explains why out of the methods tested by the researchers many of the interventions showed little to no extended success. It also indicates that there is a lot more research that will need to be conducted on extended interventions for relapse.

This chapter has given me a much clearer understanding of the biological basis for many of our actions. Often people will make references to will power when talking about refraining from an activity or behavior. As was clearly indicated in chapter 3 this is not always the case because of the biological basis for motivation coupled with the fact that people are not always aware of the exact motivation for a behavior. In addition these biological processes may happen automatically without a conscious or directing thought from the individual. This is why for many people is can be so hard to quit smoking, it is not because they don’t want to, but perhaps there are more factors at work they are not aware of.

Terms used: Neurotransmitters, Dopamine, Ventral Tegmental Area, hypersensitivity, motivation

This article focuses on the addiction of smoking cigarettes and how quitting for good can be so difficult. The main reason the writer of this article believes many people relapse into smoking again, or even start to begin with, is because of smoking in movies. According to this article, watching actors smoke in movies activates the area of the brain that is active while smoking a cigarette. This can cause people who have previously quit smoking to pick up the habit again. Those who are smoke cigarettes know that quitting is a difficult task. The article states that 20% of American adults are smokers and that of the 50% percent of those who try to quit, only around 5% are successful. More than half of that 5% will relapse again. The study discussed in this article shows that seeing cigarette smoking in movies changes activity in the brain and causes the urge to smoke, triggering part of that 5% to relapse.

I feel that this article was very vague. It only discussed one study about the visual of cigarette smoking leading to the relapse of smokers who have quit. A majority of this article simply discussed the facts about smoking, such as the number of deaths caused by smoking as well as the percentages about quitting. As the beginning of the article states, “We all know it’s bad for you”. I feel that this article should have focused more on research rather than facts about smoking. The idea that smoking in movies can trigger a relapse is rather interesting to me. However, I feel this article could have been stronger in presenting this idea by discussing more findings from the study.

I found the most interesting part of this article to be how seven CEO’s of major tobacco companies have testified in front of congress that they believed smoking was not addictive. I wonder if any of these individuals are smokers and have ever faced the difficulty of quitting. I highly doubt they truly believe that smoking is not addictive and are only focused on their company looking good and making money.

The aspect of the article I wanted to find out more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and how it is used for helping people to quit smoking. What CBT does is help to change the thinking patterns associated with smoking. There are several different techniques that are individualized to fit the needs of those quitting. For example, some programs focus on overcoming cravings and some focus on the social aspect of those who smoke. I also found information about CBT and learning from relapses. I felt this really related to the article we read.

Chapter three discusses the concept of addictions are how repeated usage causes dopamine stimulation. Dopamine generates good feelings. The use of nicotine causes hypersensitivity that is induced from dopamine and can last for years. This makes quitting extremely difficult. I feel that seeing people smoking in movies could cause them to remember the pleasant feelings they experienced while smoking and cause them to crave nicotine again and potentially relapse.

I feel that motivation to quit smoking depends on the individual. I feel that everyone can be addicted to the nicotine but those who manage to successfully quit have to find the motivation to overcome those cravings as well as other aspects of smoking. For example, as a previous smoker I know that a large part of quitting for me was not overcoming the cravings but to stop socially smoking. Social smoking for me was a way to make friends at the bar, meet new people, etc. I had to find motivation within myself to quit smoking and get out of the routine. I feel that for a lot of people, quitting smoking is not worth overcoming withdrawals and they do not have enough motivation to go through symptoms and give into smoking again.

Terms: motivation, dopamine, hyposensitivity, Cognitive Behavioral therapy

Summarize the article.

The article discusses how watching movies where smoking is present causes smokers to want to reach for one and take a drag. This is because the brain areas associated with the physical movements of smoking are being activated once smokers visually see someone smoking. In turn, this can contribute to a relapse by an ex-smoker. The article moves onto explaining how most of us know smoking is not just bad for us but also one of the leading causes of death. Smoking has even been shown to prevent healing. Even though we know about the addictive and deadly realities of smoking, about 20 percent of U.S. adults are smokers. Of those 20 percent, less than 5 percent are successful in quitting. This, unfortunately, means that our society is not doing enough to facilitate quitting for smokers. In the future, we need to conduct more research to aid smokers in their desire to quit smoking.

What are your thoughts on this piece?

First, I thought the article offered some fairly intriguing information. I have never heard before that seeing someone smoking in a movie can cause smokers or ex-smokers watching that movie to want to smoke. The brain’s involvement in this process is interesting, and I think research focused on finding more about these areas could eventually lead to more ideas on how to aid smokers in quitting. Personally, I have never experienced something like this. Watching someone eat a cookie, let’s say, has not immediately made me want a cookie. As I stated above, more research on this phenomenon of watching movies causing a greater desire to smoke needs to be done to find the full affect this truly has on smokers and ex-smokers. Another new, interesting fact was that smoking can inhibit healing. Again, I had never heard of this phenomenon and thought it gave another incentive to quit. While there were parts of this article that were engaging, other parts were unoriginal. We all know that smoking is addictive and harmful to our society. Many of the facts presented were following this strain of thought, which did not improve my knowledge on smoking, smoking behavior, or smoking cessation. This article would have been better if it informed us even more on how watching movies with smoking can cause smokers to want to smoke and how smoking prevents wounds from healing.

What is most interesting to you?

The most interesting piece of information in the article for me was that smoking can prevent wounds from healing. I had never heard of this before, and I am extremely curious as to why this happens. Smoking already has numerous detrimental affects, so this finding is just another reason why people should not even begin to smoke and another point in favor for smokers to quit. As the article discussed, quitting is not easy or simple, but because of the significant harmful affects that smokers experience because of this addiction, our society needs to support more research on ways that we can help smokers quit this harmful behavior.

Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that. What did you learn?

I decided to research more about how smoking prevents wounds from healing. I found that smoking can inhibit healing because of blood vessel constriction caused by the nicotine in tobacco. Also, nicotine contributes to platelets sticking together, which in turn increases the risk of the development of a blood clot. Besides this, the success rate of spinal surgeries for smokers is greatly reduced compared to those who do not smoke. For non-smokers, the success rate is between 80-85 percent, but for smokers, it is less than 70 percent. This is due to the vasoconstriction (constriction of the blood vessels) caused by the nicotine. The vasoconstriction causes there to be a decrease in healing as well a decrease in the quality of healing.

How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article?

Because I read chapter 3, I was more able to understand how certain areas in the brain may be associated with the desire to smoke when visually seeing someone else smoke in movies. The involvement of the brain is essential in motivation, so it is understandable that areas or chemicals in the brain could cause smokers to have a higher motivation to smoke. Dopamine would be a huge factor in this. For smokers, smoking has been associated with a rewarding event. Because of this, they feel a greater incentive to smoke. Smokers would feel pleasure from smoking, which reinforces their smoking behavior. This reinforcement and, in turn, increased motivation, would cause it to be more difficult for smokers to quit. Also, dopamine release could cause the activation of those brain areas that cause smokers to want to smoke while watching others smoke in a movie. Another way that I was better able to understand this article was with the knowledge that we can create positive associations with places where we did something that brought us pleasure. For smokers, this would be difficult because if they are in places they smoked often, they may feel an even greater desire to smoke. Watching a movie where someone is smoking could cause smokers to remember the positive associations they have for smoking, which would also increase their desire to smoke. Also, the chapter discussed the nucleus accumbens, which is involved in generating a “liking” reaction to different sensations, such as drugs that cause addictions. The “liking” facilitates the continuance of the addiction. This understanding of dopamine and its involvement in motivation and reward, the positive associations with places where the smoking behavior occurred, and the “liking” generated by the nucleus accumbens allowed me to more fully grasp how watching movies could cause smokers to want to smoke, as well as how easily smokers can become addicted.

What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?

All this information tells me that the motivation to quit smoking is not as simple as most of us believe. It is not as easy as saying that smokers just need the “willpower” to quit. This article and the information in the chapter describe how it is not that easy. Areas within our brain and the chemicals in our brain can cause us to still have a desire to perform a certain action because of the already ingrained motivation and reward that we have received from performing that action. Even if we do not want to do something, our brain is still programmed to enjoy certain activities. This was evident in the article. Watching movies with smoking in it can cause smokers and ex-smokers to desire to smoke because the brain recognizes the physical actions of smoking and triggers individuals to want to perform those physical actions.

Terms used: motivation, dopamine, incentive, reward, reinforcement, nucleus accumbens

Summarize the article.

The article discusses how watching movies where smoking is present causes smokers to want to reach for one and take a drag. This is because the brain areas associated with the physical movements of smoking are being activated once smokers visually see someone smoking. In turn, this can contribute to a relapse by an ex-smoker. The article moves onto explaining how most of us know smoking is not just bad for us but also one of the leading causes of death. Smoking has even been shown to prevent healing. Even though we know about the addictive and deadly realities of smoking, about 20 percent of U.S. adults are smokers. Of those 20 percent, less than 5 percent are successful in quitting. This, unfortunately, means that our society is not doing enough to facilitate quitting for smokers. In the future, we need to conduct more research to aid smokers in their desire to quit smoking.

What are your thoughts on this piece?

First, I thought the article offered some fairly intriguing information. I have never heard before that seeing someone smoking in a movie can cause smokers or ex-smokers watching that movie to want to smoke. The brain’s involvement in this process is interesting, and I think research focused on finding more about these areas could eventually lead to more ideas on how to aid smokers in quitting. Personally, I have never experienced something like this. Watching someone eat a cookie, let’s say, has not immediately made me want a cookie. As I stated above, more research on this phenomenon of watching movies causing a greater desire to smoke needs to be done to find the full affect this truly has on smokers and ex-smokers. Another new, interesting fact was that smoking can inhibit healing. Again, I had never heard of this phenomenon and thought it gave another incentive to quit. While there were parts of this article that were engaging, other parts were unoriginal. We all know that smoking is addictive and harmful to our society. Many of the facts presented were following this strain of thought, which did not improve my knowledge on smoking, smoking behavior, or smoking cessation. This article would have been better if it informed us even more on how watching movies with smoking can cause smokers to want to smoke and how smoking prevents wounds from healing.

What is most interesting to you?

The most interesting piece of information in the article for me was that smoking can prevent wounds from healing. I had never heard of this before, and I am extremely curious as to why this happens. Smoking already has numerous detrimental affects, so this finding is just another reason why people should not even begin to smoke and another point in favor for smokers to quit. As the article discussed, quitting is not easy or simple, but because of the significant harmful affects that smokers experience because of this addiction, our society needs to support more research on ways that we can help smokers quit this harmful behavior.

Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that. What did you learn?

I decided to research more about how smoking prevents wounds from healing. I found that smoking can inhibit healing because of blood vessel constriction caused by the nicotine in tobacco. Also, nicotine contributes to platelets sticking together, which in turn increases the risk of the development of a blood clot. Besides this, the success rate of spinal surgeries for smokers is greatly reduced compared to those who do not smoke. For non-smokers, the success rate is between 80-85 percent, but for smokers, it is less than 70 percent. This is due to the vasoconstriction (constriction of the blood vessels) caused by the nicotine. The vasoconstriction causes there to be a decrease in healing as well a decrease in the quality of healing.

How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article?

Because I read chapter 3, I was more able to understand how certain areas in the brain may be associated with the desire to smoke when visually seeing someone else smoke in movies. The involvement of the brain is essential in motivation, so it is understandable that areas or chemicals in the brain could cause smokers to have a higher motivation to smoke. Dopamine would be a huge factor in this. For smokers, smoking has been associated with a rewarding event. Because of this, they feel a greater incentive to smoke. Smokers would feel pleasure from smoking, which reinforces their smoking behavior. This reinforcement and, in turn, increased motivation, would cause it to be more difficult for smokers to quit. Also, dopamine release could cause the activation of those brain areas that cause smokers to want to smoke while watching others smoke in a movie. Another way that I was better able to understand this article was with the knowledge that we can create positive associations with places where we did something that brought us pleasure. For smokers, this would be difficult because if they are in places they smoked often, they may feel an even greater desire to smoke. Watching a movie where someone is smoking could cause smokers to remember the positive associations they have for smoking, which would also increase their desire to smoke. Also, the chapter discussed the nucleus accumbens, which is involved in generating a “liking” reaction to different sensations, such as drugs that cause addictions. The “liking” facilitates the continuance of the addiction. This understanding of dopamine and its involvement in motivation and reward, the positive associations with places where the smoking behavior occurred, and the “liking” generated by the nucleus accumbens allowed me to more fully grasp how watching movies could cause smokers to want to smoke, as well as how easily smokers can become addicted.

What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?

All this information tells me that the motivation to quit smoking is not as simple as most of us believe. It is not as easy as saying that smokers just need the “willpower” to quit. This article and the information in the chapter describe how it is not that easy. Areas within our brain and the chemicals in our brain can cause us to still have a desire to perform a certain action because of the already ingrained motivation and reward that we have received from performing that action. Even if we do not want to do something, our brain is still programmed to enjoy certain activities. This was evident in the article. Watching movies with smoking in it can cause smokers and ex-smokers to desire to smoke because the brain recognizes the physical actions of smoking and triggers individuals to want to perform those physical actions.

Terms used: motivation, dopamine, incentive, reward, reinforcement, nucleus accumbens

The article “Smoking in Movies: Why Your Brain Thinks It’s Cool” was about smoking and why smokers have a hard time kicking the habit. It discussed how hard it is for smokers to quit, especially with outside forces activating the need to light one up. Movies were discussed for the fact that some actors and movies in general make smoking out to be the cool thing to do. This leads non-smokers to curiosity as to just how cool smoking is and leaves them wanting to try it. Smokers are affected by movies with smoking too because of the simple action of someone reaching for a cigarette and leading them to think they should continue to do the same. Statistics were discussed concerning the fair amount of smokers who try to quit each year, and how few of them actually succeed. Also, even those few who try to quit will relapse within a year and are right back where they started. The closing of the article leaves us a little up in the air about smoking and how to quit as it states “we know that smoking is bad and that the nicotine in cigarettes makes them addictive, but we still have a long way to go before we know how to help smokers who want to quit” (Picciotto, 2011).

My biggest thought after reading this article was that it needs more information. It jumped around so often that I wasn’t even sure of what the main idea of the article was at times. Also, there was not much statistical evidence to fight for the ideas it seemed to be aiming at. It was interesting to know the amount of smokers who try to quit each year and how few succeed. However, I thought the end of the article was going to give more information on how we could get smokers to quit and not relapse either. I felt like I was left up in the air.

The portion of this article that was most interesting to me was the portion that discussed smoking as being the leading preventable cause of death in most countries, even above AIDS, motor vehicle injuries, murders, illegal drug use, alcohol use and suicides combined. You would think with this number being so high that more and more people would be motivated to quit and do whatever they could to keep their lives. This unknown force that continues to have its way with smokers must be pretty strong. Also, with this number being as large as it is you would think that by now we could have found a better, more sufficient way to help smokers who want to quit.

I clicked on the link within the article “activating brain areas linked to addiction” as I found this interesting after reading chapter 3 from our book too. I learned from this experiment and fMRI scanning that reward and attention circuits were activated in the brain by exposure to smoking-related pictures when shown to nicotine-deprived smokers. I also learned that in nonsmokers, no statistically significant differences in brain activation were found following smoking-related pictures or neutral images. In fact, in most of the regions of the brain that were studied both nicotine-deprived smokers and non-smokers both showed higher brain activity after the presentation of the rare targeted images than after the neutral images.

My understanding of concepts from Chapter 3 helped me to understand the article by providing more of an insight of where motivation stems from. Chapter 3 even had a section dedicated to addiction. In this section of the chapter they discuss how addictive drugs are potent reinforcers because the repeated usage produces hypersensitivity to dopamine stimulation. Nicotine as a drug would sensitize the brain structures to a high level and this reward would be through the roof. The drug will now produce this “feel good” sensation for years to come, which is why it is such a hard habit to break. The liking and wanting for nicotine is now so strong that no matter what level of motivation you have, it will not be easy to resist. Sometimes the brain outweighs everything and even prescription drugs cannot come to the rescue. This article has taught me that the best way to quit smoking is to never start, as it may not be a choice to stop again. Dopamine-induced neural hypersensitization is not something you want to mess with, as it will most likely have its way with you.
Terms used: motivation, fMRI, addiction, hypersensitivity, dopamine, reward, liking, wanting

Article Summary:

The majority of this article is about why smoking, and more specifically why smoking in the movies is bad. The article states that the original argument why smoking in the movies was bad, was because it made children think that smoking was a "cool" thing to do. According to this article new research has shown that smoking in the movies "cues up" areas of the brain that former smokers can recognize and it makes them far more likely to relapse. The areas of the brain that are associated with preforming the smoking ask are reactivated and this causes former smokers to be more likely to smoke. The article mentions that 50 percent of all smokers attempt to quit in a year and only five percent are successful. Smoking related fatalities are the number one related deaths in the United States. The article also talks about how nicotine is addictive; regardless of what the CEO's of any tobacco product company state. The article mentions that the addictive properties of nicotine can make smoking difficulty. This can be lessened with the help of nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine gum, patches, or other medications. Even with this therapy, it is likely that a smoker will relapse within a year.

My Thoughts:

This article brings up a lot of very interesting points about smoking; such as, the fact that nicotine is addictive and without proper management of craving, smokers will likely relapse. It also points out that if a person does manage to quit the fight is not over. Within a year, most of the people who quit smoking relapse within a year, not to mention that in their life time that are still more likely to relapse too. I have had a few smokers in the family, some have manage to quit, others are still smoking, and some have even been on and off smokers. Typically if they get stressed out about work or other problems then they go back to smoking within a short period of time. I did not know that smoking in the movies affected the ability of former smokers to quit. That means that quitting is significantly more difficult for people if they happen to watch a lot of movies, or television shows with people who smoke in them.

My Second Article and What I Learned:

He article that I chose to read next was "Brain Imaging Studies Examine how Anti-smoking Medications May Curb Cravings". This article discussed two different medications: Buproprion and Varenicline. These two medications are suppose to have an effect on the brain to reduce he amount of response to the environmental cues linked to smoking. PET scans and fMRI were used to see what areas of the brain were active during a person's exposure to smoking environmental cues. It turns out that the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, ventral tegmental, and striatum are all active during this time. People treated with Buproprion showed a decrease in active in the areas of the brain such as the prefrontal cortex. They reported less craving and appeared to be more motivated not to smoke. The group that took Varenicline showed and increase in the are of the brain known as that lateral orbitofrontal cortex. This area has been shown to be related to resisting behavior, regardless of its reward.

What I learned about medications used to treat craving is that based on the research presented in this article, they do work. People have an actual biochemical response to taking these medications. The show inhibitory responses in the brain and allow for a person to more easily be able to quit smoking.

How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article?

After reading chapter 3 I had a better understanding about how the different areas of the brain respond to certain stimuli, and that emotions also have an effect on what the brain does. The body responds accordingly from the messages received by the brain. Addiction is difficult to handle due to the brain's ability to reward itself for doing something. Especially when the dopamine pathways in the brain can reward with both anticipation and with actual completion of the behavior. Also in the second article that I read the areas of the brain that were discussed were more easily understood due to the previous exposure to them in the textbook.

What does all this information teach me about the motivation to quit smoking?

The motivation to quit smoking has to be relatively high to be completed, without relapse. The brain becomes addicted to nicotine which makes the brain want to smoke more often. It sends neurotransmitters and hormones throughout the body causing craving. These cravings are difficult to deal with, but can be managed through behavior modifications, nicotine replacement, and through medications prescribed by doctors. All in all, smoking is a difficult habit to quit. It can be done, but it takes a large mount of motivation to do so.

List of Terms: Motivation, amydgala, prefrontal cortex, addiction, reward, dopamine, behavior, emotion, orbitofrontal cortex,

This article was all about how smoking is not as easy of a habit to break as one might suggest. Most people who are non-smokers have a tendency to make comments such as, “If you have enough will power; smoking should be an easy habit to kick”, this article is trying to point out that it doesn’t come down to the simplicity of will power. The article stated that over 50% of people will relapse within a year of quitting their bad habit. The article also pointed out that we are not entirely sure how to help people stop smoking and even the scene of someone smoking a cigarette within a movie can trigger someone to relapse. The fact that a simple scene on the big screen can trigger someone to want a cigarette is enough to prove that quitting smoking has to do with the addiction center within your brain. If smoking were not addictive a scene in a movie would rarely cause someone to continue a bad habit they have already dropped.

I found this piece to be interesting, and I feel as if I have learned this information all before. Although I have learned these things before it is still amazing to me just how dangerous smoking can be. Because smoking is preventable and still causes more deaths than AIDS, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined makes me realize there needs to be research done on smoking and how we can help people overcome it.

The part of the article that I found the most interesting is that 50% of ex-smokers relapse to smoking within a year. After researching relapse rates and why so many people tend to relapse within a year I came across an article about how to not relapse. The article gave two tips: “be a sponge” and “attitude adjustment”. When the article said “be a sponge” it was referring to taking in all the information you can on why you should quit smoking, and when the article said “attitude adjustment” it was referring to changing your attitude from bad to good. They thought a more positive attitude could retrain our thought process and help someone quit smoking. I found this article interesting because they based quitting strictly on attitude and knowledge, when the article that was given to us stated how they feel it is more than that because smoking, and primarily nicotine, activate brain areas that are linked to addiction.

Chapter three helped me understand this article because chapter three was based on how different parts of our brain motivate us. The brain is very complex and stimulates different emotions within us, for instance when someone smokes a cigarette the brain releases dopamine which then makes us happy. Just understanding the chemical nicotine and how it can make a person happy helped me better understand why it would be so hard for someone to quit smoking which helped me understand this entire article better.

This article helped me understand that the motivation to quit smoking is not based primarily on will power, but instead has much more complexity. If the ability to quit smoking was based on will power many more people would be able to quit, but so many people relapse within a year because the addiction to nicotine is much more than just a theory of enjoyment. Instead nicotine effects areas in the brain which release dopamine and make a person happy. In order for that person to continue getting that stimulation they feel the need to continue to smoke. So the motivation to quit smoking would be much more difficult to achieve than one may originally think.

Terms: dopamine, motivation, nicotine, addiction, stimulation, brain

This article explains the addiction to smoking cigarettes. A study has recently shown that watching movies where people are smoking can cause certain areas of the brain to be triggered forcing people to copy the movements of those who smoke and relapsing. Because of this, certain associations have been trying to stop the use of cigarettes in movies for a long time. The article then gives some statistics about smoking and we learn that tobacco smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in most countries with 443,000 per year in the US. Smokers also lack the ability to heal wounds and have poorer outcomes from surgeries. 20 % of all US adults smoke with 50% of them trying to quit every year but less than 5% of them are successful. Finally, the article gives examples of ways that are thought to help quitting smoking although there is still a long way to go.

After reading the article I didn’t really feel like I learnt anything new as I know it is a big problem in many countries. However, I always feel strongly about people smoking and it baffles me that people still do it knowing they could be so much healthier if they did quit.

I found it interesting that people who watch movies with people smoking in them are more likely to relapse. I’m sure many people who are trying to quit smoking don’t know this either which doesn’t help them.

I was more interested in looking at smoking and how the brain plays a role when people are trying to quit. After looking more into this I found that when a smoker smokes their cigarette, the nicotine sends messages to the brain releasing dopamine. This dopamine makes you feel good and therefore you want to smoke again and again to continue feeling this way. The brain “convinces” you to smoke again.

The concepts from chapter 3 helped me understand this as in chapter 3 it explained how dopamine makes you feel good and this is exactly how smoking makes people feel good- smoking allows dopamine to be released.

Therefore, all of this information shows me that people will have no desire to quit smoking due to the lack of motivation. People won’t be motivated to quit smoking when the feeling of smoking is so good to them.

List of terms:
Motivation, dopamine, brain.

Summarize the article. What are your thoughts on this piece?
This article didn’t really hit me with any new information. It was full of statistics and empty sentences. Everything this article was referring to or talking about, had already been said multiple times and it is information everybody has already heard. Yes, nicotine is addictive. Yes, smoking is a leading cause in deaths. The information that was given to us was all very general. It did not go into much detail when talking about different factors of smoking. When telling us the statistics, it basically just gave us the number but did not further expand upon the answer and back up the statistics. We all figure it should be common sense that smoking is not healthy for the body. Another thing that article talked about is how smoking in movies leads to bad outcomes. What it was saying is that it sets bad examples for kids and it is just a tease for people who already smoke or who have quit smoking. This article also talks about how the brains response to smoking has an effect on our behaviors. Finally at the end they had a very basic ended that did not really conclude anything new or exciting. Smoking is obviously a very unhealthy thing to do and there still is no special way to help people quit smoking.
What is most interesting to you?
What I found most interesting in this article is something I didn’t already know. I found out that smoking actually will prevent wounds from healing. On top of this, it has a chance of preventing successful surgeries. I found this interesting and wish they would have expanded upon this more.
Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that. What did you learn?
What I looked into was the idea that smoking leads to prevention of wound healing and possible bad outcomes of surgery. The article I looked into was linked to the article that I read. The article said that nicotine will diminish blood supply to the wound that the body is trying to heal due to constriction of blood vessels. The article went on to say that also due to nicotine there is increased platelet adhesiveness which can result in blood clots. Overall people who smoke have a slower recovery in healing wounds and recovering from surgery.
How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article?
Chapter 3 talked about different drugs and how they can be addicting. What chapter 3 followed up saying was that nicotine (or other addictive drugs) can be reinforcing because of the stimulation of dopamine. Chapter 3 also talked about relapsing so it helped me further understand what the article meant and proved the article’s statistics to be true. Smoking sends your brain different responses and can cause different behavior outcomes. Also I learned more information about the hormone dopamine. In the past, if your body thinks you are being rewarded because of the “feel good” hormone, it is likely to want to get that same feeling and therefore will do what you did in the past to get the same feeling. An example of this would be nicotine. The article and chapter 3 backed up each other on a lot of information.
What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?
What this article says is that in order to quit smoking, you have to really want it and commit to it, but even then it may not be enough. The article never offered any helpful advice to help quit smoking. The article actually ended saying that there is no easy way to help smokers quit. They mentioned the ideas of gum, patches, medications, therapy and other ways but that is not proven to help everyone. Even when people try to quit smoking and are successful at it eventually relapse because the need for nicotine is that strong.
Dopamine, nicotine, stimulation, motivation

The article we were assigned to read for this weeks blog pertained mainly to the addictions of smoking cigarettes. It is common knowledge that smoking activates areas in the brain linked to addiction. This article brought up the point that even watching people smoke in movies teaches the body movements of smoking which makes these associated areas in the brain more active. This can lead to physical habits that may cause people to pick up another cigarette or even relapse. The article goes on to write about the statistics of smoking, such as the 443,000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone attributed to cigarettes. This is more that AIDS, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murder combined.

Overall I thought the article was pretty straightforward. It had some basic information and statistics on smoking that I had seen before, as well as some new research. I had heard the number of deaths attributed to smoking before, but reading the last part about the higher deaths than all those others combined surprised me! Learning about the possible affects of watching people smoke in movies was also new to me. It makes sense that watching people smoke would cause people to want to smoke, but I had never heard about the affects of the specific body movements of smoking, so that was interesting.

The most interesting thing I got from this article was that smoking prevents wounds from healing and is a major reason for poor outcomes of surgery and fractures. I wanted to learn why this was the case, so I did some additional research on this topic. After looking up some more information I discovered that the three components of cigarettes responsible for this are nicotine, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen cyanide. The nicotine is a vasoconstrictor that reduces nutritional blood flow to the skin resulting in impaired healing of injured tissue. Carbon monoxide diminishes oxygen transport and metabolism and hydrogen cyanide inhibits the enzyme systems necessary for oxidative metabolism and oxygen transport at the cellular level. These three components of cigarettes combine to reduce the speed and efficiency in which wounds heal.

My understanding of chapter three helped me to picture what is going on inside the brain at a functional and cellular level. The external stimuli of watching someone smoke in movies triggers certain chemical reactions in the brain resulting in the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine. This can cause the person to become emotional and motivated to smoke a cigarette in order to release more dopamine and feel its pleasurable effects. This makes it hard to quit smoking cigarettes, when your motivation may be inhibited by just viewing the action alone.

This article helped me to understand that it sometimes takes more than willpower alone to quit smoking. The article stated that of the 50% of people that try to quit smoking, 5% actually succeed. Also, despite all the therapy options, 50% will relapse back into smoking. Even something as small as seeing someone else smoke can have a huge affect on a person motivation to smoke.

Terms: Brain, Motivation, Emotion, Neurotransmitter, Dopamine, External Stimuli, Trigger, Nicotine

Summary:

The article was pretty generic, and the stats in it are ones that you could easily find on Google. The statistics were basically just given and not really discussed and when reading this it was all stuff that I already knew about from previous classes, like high school health class.

Most Interesting:

The most interesting fact out of the article, to me, is the small percentage of people who successfully quit smoking in the small percentage of those who even try to quit.

Learn more about:

I wanted to look to see why people who are successful in quitting succeed when others, who want to quit just as bad, fail. When looking up information about this topic, I found that the dopamine that is released from the nicotine is what is the addictive quality of smoking. In the article I found, the more healthy hobbies that also produce the dopamine the smoker picks up the more likely they will successfully quit smoking. Since dopamine is a feel good neurotransmitter, the more hobbies that make the smoker feel good the more probable their quitting will be from smoking.

Understandings help:

My understandings of how the brain works is helpful because of the discussion in the chapter about addictive drugs and the stimulation of dopamine. With this discussion in the chapter, it helped me to understand what the article I found, when it was talking about the effects of dopamine on the smoker and how different hobbies can help or hinder the quitting process.

Terms: stimulation, dopamine, nicotine

Summarize the article. - The article about smoking in the movies was about how the act of smoking can trigger a physical response from ex-smokers. We all know that smoking is bad for you but also think that it is just a bad habit people can quit whenever they want. Although there are numerous ways for smokers to quit, just seeing the act portrayed in the movies can make an ex-smoker pick up the habit again. The article talks about the physical act as well as the brain activity when a person sees another person smoking. They also stated that CDC and ALA have been trying to ban smoking from the movies for years now and this study may help.
What are your thoughts on this piece?- I thought the article was very eye opening in the fact that smoking in movies triggers not only a brain response but a physical habit response as well. I guess when you think about it, when you see commercials of other people eating, it makes you hungry. Why wouldn’t seeing others smoking make you want to pick up the habit. I wonder if like the food companies trying to make us eat, the tobacco companies are trying to make smokers continue their habits.
What is most interesting to you? The whole article to me was very interesting but what shocked me the most was the fact on the amount of deaths. Smoking alone kills more each year than AIDS, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders COMBINED. That seems crazy to me. How can such a small thing kill so many people? Why is it still being made?! To make things worse, smoking can prevent wounds and bones from healing.
Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that - I chose to click the linked article about using cognitive behavior therapy to quit smoking.
What did you learn? I learned that many people struggle with trying to quit smoking and most have self-defeating thoughts such as “why stop now when the damage is already done” and “I can’t quit or I will gain weight.” Cognitive behavior therapy is a technique which focuses on pin-pointing those negative thoughts and developing new ones. The idea is to alter one’s thought process or negative thought patterns in order to learn how to deal with stress or those self-defeating, unhealthy thoughts.
How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article? –While reading this article, I began to notice key words that I remember from our book about the brain. Like we learned, the brain is not only a place for thought but is also a place of motivation and emotion. Once we understand how the brain is connected, we can begin to use it to our advantage which is in the form of cognitive behavior therapy. From the book, it talks about what each part of the limbic system is important and responsible for approach, avoidance, and arousal. The amygdala is responsible for detecting and responding to threatening or emotionally significant events in our life as well as avoidance. In CBT, the therapist must identify what the person is avoiding and replacing with smoking whether that be stress, money issues, or family issues. Then they must change the way the anterior cingulate cortex controls the day to day mood and making choices. The client will begin to identify when they are making unhealthy choices and realizing why. The orbitofrontal cortex will then begin to identify the better options when making decisions and the medial forebrain bundle with realize and release positive feelings. Finally, the prefrontal cortex will begin to learn the response which gives them a positive outcome which is related to being goal oriented and outcome seeking.
What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking? – All of these information teaches me that getting the motivation to quit is all about changing the way you think and look at it. If you can begin to change one way of thinking, it begins to spark a chain reaction as your whole brain begins to follow. As I stated above, once the cognitive behavior therapy begins to change just one way you look or think about something, the rest of your brain will begin to follow the lead. I think in order to quit smoking, people need to take a different approach of it instead of for health reasons or because someone told them too. They should find the true meaning behind where and why they started smoking in the first place or why their behavior has remained constant.
TERMS: brain activity, motivation, emotion, cognitive behavior therapy, limbic system, approach, avoidance, arousal, amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, medial forebrain bundle, positive, prefrontal cortex, behavior

Summarize the article.

This article is mainly about smoking especially when it is portrayed in movies. According to this article, there are many ways smoking can affect people negatively. Some examples are watching it in movies and wanting to smoke again if that person had previously smoked before, just wanting to smoke because it looks cool, kids watching it and thinking it's a cool thing to do, as well as psychological reasons because of how the brain reacts when watching people smoke in movies. The article also talks about how it can be addicting and how the majority of people who try to quit, don't. This article argues whether or not smoking should be in movies and how addicting it can be.

What are your thoughts on this piece?

I feel as if they should ban smoking in movies unless the movie is specifically about smoking. When watching someone else smoke, especially in movies where it looks "cool" it gives people ideas. These ideas could affect someone for the rest of their life as well as shorten it and cause multiple complications such as lung cancer. Motivating people to do something that is bad for them should not be acceptable in my opinion. This type of addiction is not safe especially since it will mess with dopamine levels in the brain. When it is the leading preventable cause of death in most countries, we do not want to influence people to smoke.

What is most interesting to you?

The part I found interesting was how in 1994, the CEO's of seven tobacco companies stood up in front of Congress and said they believed nicotine was not addictive. I find it pretty ridiculous and sad at the same time.

Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that. What did you learn?

The part of the article I chose to find more information about was the different behavioral therapies that are used to help people quit smoking. The one I am most interested in is the nicotine patch. Based on information I have found, I learned it is a patch that actually puts nicotine into the body and is used as a nicotine replacement therapy. The first study done on these patches was in 1984 and they found it actually reduced the smokers craving for cigarettes which in return could help them quit smoking. Today there have been studies conducted claiming that nicotine patches could help relieve the symptoms of post-surgical pain as well as treaty early dementia. One bad thing about these patches is that they contain cancer causing agents and therefore could be dangerous.

How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article?

Chapter 3 talks a lot about how the brain deals with motivation and emotion therefore cravings, appetites, needs, desires, pleasure, and other emotions also come from the brain. This article talks about smoking which can be considered a craving, type of appetite, need, desire, and pleasure as well. Therefore these two tie in very nicely because we learned in chapter 3 about how the brain deals with cravings and smoking would be a perfect example. I now understand why the brain would be in charge of all those areas. The brain is such a powerful part of our body. No matter how bad someone wants to quit smoking, it is extremely difficult to stop because the craving, addiction, and desire of the brain take over.

What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?

The motivation to quit smoking is very difficult because of the way our brain reacts to addictive substances. The article does not talk about this but based on what I have learned from chapter 3, the chemical dopamine plays a huge role in smoking as well. Also the brain is the main controller of the person’s needs, desires, pleasures as well as the rest of our motivation and emotions therefore it takes over and even if one does want to quit, it is very hard to do so when the brain is so powerful.

Terms: motivation, addiction, dopamine, behavioral, therapies, desire, emotion

Summarize the article. What are your thoughts on this piece? What is most interesting to you?

This article talks about smoking and the addiction that comes with it. Smoking can be very addictive. Movies are shown that portray smoking to be 'cool' because the actors who are smoking, are typically ones we deem as 'cool'. Some viewers who have a smoking addiction see the actors smoking and may in turn feel the urge to smoke because of what they are viewing. Other viewers, who may not be smokers, may pick up smoking because they see their favorite actor doing it and think it is cool. It also states the number of people who die every year due to smoking. Those numbers include people who smoke and people who experience secondhand smoke.

What are your thoughts on this piece? What is most interesting to you?

I think the article was pretty interesting and seems pretty accurate. I am not a smoker but I know smokers and I have seen how addictive it can be. After reading this article, I still would not smoke. But it is merely a personal preference. To me, I viewed many movies with smokers in them but that never appealed to me. I never tried smoking and never had an urge to try it. That however, could come from my past family experiences with smoking. I had seen firsthand, at the age of 8, lung cancer taking my grandfather's life. My mother discouraged smoking my entire life, but she also discouraged drinking, yet I drink but do not smoke. I do not think that young viewers may always see it as 'cool' if they see their favorite actors and actresses doing it, but some may. It does give you a bit of an eye opener at the amount of lives it claims every year and how addictive it can be. I can definitely see smoking being addictive. If you think about yawning for instance, when I see a person yawn what do I do? I yawn. Even currently the mere talk of yawning is causing me to yawn. If some smokers see another smoker or person do even the mere motion of smoking, I can see that causing their brain to trigger a response that they need a cigarette. I found that to be most interesting. I never thought in much detail about that. I have an addiction to chapstick. I know that is weird but if I see someone applying chapstick, lick their lips, or anything related to their lips, I typically feel the need to apply chapstick or at least make sure my lips are moistened enough. If smokers are like that with cigarettes, I can see it being an addiction.

Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that. What did you learn? How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article? What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?

I wanted to learn more about the deaths of smoking. I thought it was interesting that it is preventable but causes so much death. I also found it interesting that there are a good portion of people who do not smoke, die from secondhand smoke. If people are able to stop themselves from smoking, they would save their lives, reduce the damage to their lifespan, and possibly save other lives by not smoking around them. For me, knowing what exactly causes the addiction, or having an idea of what causes this addiction, would help me understand why people may continue smoking. Even with the knowledge of death and other factors in mind, people may continue smoking. I do not condone smoking but if a person wants to smoke, I am not going to say anything to them. I feel they know what they are doing and it is their choice whether to continue or not. If they choose to stop, of course I would encourage them and support them, if they choose to continue, then it is their choice. I am not going to make them feel like a bad person for doing it. I also feel that, though you may die of lung cancer or I may die of lung cancer, I could very well die from a car accident or being murdered before that happens. For me, the motivation could be there to quit but it seems that other things in the body may be stronger than the motivation to quit and that is why many people do not quit or relapse when they try to quit.

I forgot the TERMS: Smoking, Addiction

Summarize the article.

This article was about a recent study that uncovered yet another reason why it isnso difficult to quit smoking. The study showed that watching a movie or show in which people smoke can activate the parts of the brain that are connected with the physical movements of smoking. The researchers hypothesize that this may be a relapse trigger for smokers who are trying to quit. This research builds on previous research that showed watching others smoke In movies activates the parts of the brain that are associated with addiction.

What are your thoughts on this piece? What is most interesting to you?

I haven't seen a new article about the dangers of smoking in a long time, but it never ceases to amaze me how strong a hold nicotine has on addicts. I felt that the title of the srticle was just plain misleading, the author didn't mention anything about activation in the parts of the brain connected with coolness. In fact the study she was reporting on had almost nothing to do with desire to be cool motivating people, it was a movement that was performed so many times that even watching someone else do it made people want to follow those movements. I thought that the study itself was intersting though. It's easy to say that watching cool people smoke makes kids want to smoke more, but it's another thing to watch a FMRI of an addicted brain observing someone else smoking.

Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that. What did you learn?

I was interested to learn that there is a drug that works by making the brain less responsive to smoking cues. I looked at the study they referenced in the article and found out that the medication is actually one of the most common prescribed to smokers. I was surprised I hadn't heard of these types of medication before, because I saw one article that said they had been in use for more than 20 years. It kind of sounds like a miracle drug, so I wanted to find out more about its effectiveness. I found an article by John Stapleton et al from 2013 that did a test comparing the results of nicotine replacement therapy, the medication on its own, and a combination of the two. I was suprised to read that they found no significant difference between the three alternatives.

How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article? What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?

The parts of the brain that were activated by viewing images of smoking were many of the parts of the brain discussed in chapter three that had to do with positive motivation, it was interesting to see a real world example of how powerful the motivations from these parts of the brain can be. The areas discussed in the smoking article are activated by dopamine. This is why it's so difficult for smokers to quit, because nicotine activates the more powerful reward centers of the brain.

The article in title summarizes a study that was performed that studied the addiction of smoking. As we all know, smoking has been known to be addicting, but this article suggests a more specific explanation of addiction. The author talks about how just watching people or actors on t.v. smoking causes higher brain activity in areas that are linked to addiction. Whether or not that is specifically the nicotine working on our brains or if it's something deeper. It shows that even if we aren't smoking or consciously craving tobacco, that our brains are subconsciously stimulating the areas to tell you you want that cigarette. The author indicates that medical institutions know this are pressuring the ban of cigarette smoking in movies. This will lose it's appeal to children and hopefully cause less people to smoke.

One aspect of the article that I am interested in is exactly how nicotine effects the brain and causes it to send signals to crave another cigarette. I found that nicotine, like many drugs sends a signal to the brain to release dopamine. This dopamine is what essentially gives an individual pleasure and makes them want more of what gives them that response. As individuals continue to smoke the dopamine response lessens with each cigaratte, causing an individual to smoke more to continue to get that strong response. Upon that initial release of dopamine, there is a refractory period in which, there little to no dopamine being produced in the brain. This causes individuals to want to have another cigarette so they can hopefully get another rush of dopamine to feel better. This is what causes addiction. Knowing that with the next cigarette, you will get that next rush of dopamine and be happy for awhile. Individuals must think about what is better for me in the long run versus what makes me feel good now.

Terms: Addiction, Nicotine, Dopamine, Brain

Summarize the article.
The article discusses the facts about smoking and trying to quit smoking. It goes in to larger detail about how hard it is to quit smoking and various facts about how small of a percentage actually quit smoking. Also, it goes above the whole chiche on how smoking "looks cool" and just because it "looks cool" is the reason people are doing it. In this article, it shows real statistics on that it is more than just "looking cool" but there is something within ourselves that drives us to smoke when we see others smoking.
What are your thoughts on this piece?
I think this piece has a lot going for it. Starting off, I think that it is a good length that actually have people read the entire thing and get the facts they need. Also, I think it has interesting facts and is not just preaching that "smoking is bad". This article shows more compassion for those who do smoke, and explaining how it's "not that easy". I can also relate to the fact that I have loved ones that smoke and I have asked them numerous times to stop and showed them numerous ways. It actually brings me comfort knowing they are not alone in the "losing battle". I was actually disappointed in the fact that it did not bring a solution, but I completely understand the fact that it is hard to come up with a solution for this.

What is most interesting to you?
The most interesting fact was about the movies, and how when we see one person smoking we feel the same to repeat the actions. I thought of when someone itches their nose and someone else instinctively itches theirs, or yawning, or even switching crossed legs. I never thought that this situation occurred, but it makes complete sense.

Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that. What did you learn?
I want to learn more about the visual concept and smoking. How when one sees another in a movie smoking that they desire to do the same physical thing. I would like to see if that occurs on the street, in a friend environment, or even in a smoking household. I would want to learn if this occurs if someone sees only one person smoking or if multiple people have this affect. Also, I would want to learn if this is why young kids started smoking not because it was cool, but because of watching them made them physically want to.

How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article?
The concepts of chapter 3 were brought in by the addictive parts, motivation parts, and even emotional parts. Its obvious that the addictive parts are throughout the brain and in the dopamine system. I was piecing together the fact that nicotine calms a person down and that this is related to sensory information of the septa-hippocamal circuit. If the nicotine hijacks the receptors to calm the "not-okay" mode, and it takes control over the behavior kind of like an antidepressant. Once that is hijacked the endorphins are released, anxiety levels lower, and a positive counter-feeling is on the rise. Basically, understanding the way people become addicted to nicotine, or drugs.

What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?
This teaches me that the motivation to quit smoking must be huge. The fact alone that less than 5% of smokers (50% of 20% of the people in the US) is proof enough that it is a hard habit to quit. This also teaches me that one must be extremely dedicated, hard working, and use "mind over matter" a lot. Lastly, it teaches me that just because someone isn't quitting smoking "cold turkey" does not mean that they are not trying.

In the article titled, “Smoking in Movies, Why your Brain Thinks its Cool?” Dr. Marina Picciotto discusses the effect of seeing individuals in cinema smoking. Picciotto discusses how simply seeing someone smoke in a film can cause an individual who has previously quit smoking feel the urge to smoke. The article states, “The physical habit of reaching for a cigarette and moving it up for a drag is learned so well that watching people smoke in the movies makes brain areas responsible for those movements more active, which could contribute to relapse.” I thought this particular quote was particularly interesting as when talking about addiction the primary focus is on the addictive quality of nicotine. It is a common saying that humans are creatures of habit. Habit is a strong motivational factor that is not usually thought about when thinking about motivation. Habit plays a role in our daily lives and greatly affects our daily behavior.


One aspect of the article that I found very interesting was that smoking affects how a wound heals. While I knew about all of the other health risks, I had not previously heard about this serious risk. In an article from UW Health, it explains, “Smoking causes blood vessels to become smaller. The smaller vessels have a hard time carrying oxygen, nutrients, and healing factors to the wound. This can cause the wound healing process to take longer.” I did not realize that smoking had this much affect on the body.


My knowledge from chapter three helped me to better understand this article because of the information I gained on the reward system and dopamine. Smoking is an activity that triggers the reward system and causes the body to release dopamine. This pleasurable experience becomes routine and the pleasure motivates us to continue this behavior. It is hard to quit smoking as the body grows use to this dopamine and is motivated to continue to seek it.

Motivation, dopamine, addiction, reward system

Summary:
This article talked about a new item of research that came out that shows that seeing smoking in others activates a part of your brain that is responsible for the physical actions of smoking. This article specified movies as that smoking in others. With that portion of the brain turned on to a heightened awareness, relapse could be prevalent. The article also went on to explain that organizations like the American Lung Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had called for the elimination of smoking in movies because of the long-held argument that children who see smoking in movies will view the action as “cool” and want to do it more. Lastly, the article gave base information on some negative effects of smoking.

What are your thoughts on this piece?
I find this piece incredibly interesting. While I knew children seeing smoking in movies was harmful due to the influence of the showbiz industry, I was not aware that simply watching smoking would cause such a reaction. Yet, once I think about that, I realize I may have had an inkling of such a notion. As a former smoker, it still gives me cravings to smoke when I see others smoking. It fascinates me that this may be a documented normality and that there is a reason behind it.

What is most interesting to you?
The most interesting aspect would be that so many aspects of the brain are involved in the addiction to smoking. I knew that nicotine gave a craving for nicotine, but I really didn’t know much else. I didn’t know that the addiction went so much deeper and into so many parts of the brain. It’s depressing to know that smoking and the brain form such a deadly pair in so many ways.

Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out
some more information about that. What did you learn?
Well, I learned that big-name companies would do anything to protect their company, including blatantly lying in front of the U.S. Congress. I chose to actually watch the men mentioned in the article telling Congress in 1994 that they did not believe nicotine or cigarettes were addictive. They were adamant in their responses. The segment was followed by a statement from the Surgeon General in 1988 stating that cigarettes were as addictive as heroin. This means that the addictiveness of nicotine was a known fact. This makes me think about the motivations of tobacco executives. They seem to be motivated by the external motivation of money and success. It’s sad to see that this motivation is strong enough to put lives in danger and lie about that very danger.

How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article?
The part of the chapter that helped me understand this article the most was the part about addiction. With reading that section, I learned about the fact that drugs create a heightened sensitivity for the neurotransmitter called dopamine in cigarette (among other drugs) users. This is part of what creates addiction. This concept helped me have background knowledge as to why smoking was addictive. Also, in Chapter 3, it was explained that seeing and anticipating pleasurable activities (known as incentive) also creates a spike in dopamine which helps to support the main concept of smoking in movies being harmful.

What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?
This information teaches me that the motivation to quit smoking is a two-way street. Society, in general, stresses the dangers of smoking, and spends a lot of time, money, and effort convincing everyone that smoking has a multitude of negative effects. At the same time, your body is being motivated by chemicals in the cigarettes to continue smoking. This means that forces all around are working against each other when it comes to smoking.

Terms: External Motivation; Addictive; Dopamine; Incentive; Sensitivity; Neurotransmitter

Summarize the article. What are your thoughts on this piece? What is most interesting to you? Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that. What did you learn? How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article? What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?

This article pretty much reiterates how bad smoking is for people, with statistics like it is the leading preventable cause of death in most countries and is attributed to more deaths than AIDS, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined. The article also mentioned smoking prevents wounds from healing. The main purpose of the article however is to show how addictive tobacco is, specifically while watching movies of people smoking. This is because seeing people smoke activates approach-oriented structures of the brain linked to addiction. It also activates the brain areas responsible for movements, reaching for a cigarette and moving it to your mouth, created by previous repetition.

My thoughts on this piece, was it was pretty poorly written. I think for the most part it was pretty broad. The article mentioned how seeing someone smoke activates brain areas linked to addiction. It does not go into what parts of the brain these are, or what is actually fueling this wanting emotion. The article also kind of overstates the basic knowledge of how cigarettes are bad for you and are addictive.

I did find it interesting, however, how much watching people smoke in a movie can affect someone’s motivation to smoke. I connect this to the reading when it talks about how social context can provide a natural stimulation for motivation and emotion in the brain. I just thought it was the smell, or for some people the drinking/social environment of it. With only 5% of people being able to quit on their own, it really shows how strong our wanting emotion can be, and how easy it can be activated. I also think this has a lot to do with the power of advertising, which is also something of interest to me.

The aspect that I wanted to learn more about was how much of the 20% of the USA adult population that smokes is in our generation. I want to know more about this because I feel there is a more negative view on smoking now then there was when my parents were my age. I found that there isn’t much of a difference: (ages 18-24 = 17.3%), (ages 25-44 = 21.6%), and (ages 45-64 =19.5%) of there respective age group smokes. Even though tobacco companies have limited with advertising, and other restrictions have been implemented throughout this time. This just shows how strong addiction is, and how little it needs to continue to motivate an individual to continue a behavior.

The concepts in chapter 3 helped me understand this article because it explained what is happening when the article says, “how watching movies activates brain areas linked to addiction.” This is caused by nicotine making the brain hypersensitive to the neurotransmitter dopamine. This can be in effect for years, after it happens. This means our brain links smoking to the positive feelings dopamine creates. Dopamine is also connected body’s muscular/motor system, so this might have something to do with when the article talks about watching someone smoke might effect our movements associated with the goal of smoking.

This information shows me how hard it is to overcome the motivation of smoking. This is because even though people may not like smoking, the want still remains. One reason for this is because dopamine is released in the anticipation of the reward, increasing the urge. We also learned how emotion often overpowers cognitions. This reading really showed me how powerful or emotional and motivational functions can really be.

Terms:

Approach-oriented structures, emotion, motivation, stimulation, wanting/liking, hypersensitive, neurotransmitter, dopamine

Summarize the article. What are your thoughts on this piece?

The article talks about the importance of not only to give a good example or to be a good role model, but most importantly to prevent ex-smokers from becoming a smoker again, This after new research study published by The Journal of Neuroscience where it explains that some areas in the brain get triggered by showing scenes with people smoking on movies possibly leading to relapse.

It also talks about why is smoking bad for you from a health perspective and that smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in most countries, approximately about 443,000 deaths per year all this only in the united states. The article gives statistics about smokers (20%), smokers that are willing to quit (at least more than 50% of those 20%), and successful quitters (5%), the numbers are shocking. There are several things a smoker can do to improve his success when quitting smoking, such as quitlines, behavioral therapies, nicotine patch, or medicines.

I think that this article could be much better if there was more explanation and facts rather than repeating other people founds. I am certain there is a lot of room for improvement in this article, but I also think that It touches a lot of topics and very important facts in a short, easy, friendly reading article. I liked the fact that it was very straightforward and clear.

What is most interesting to you? Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that.
A lot of facts in this article are things that I already knew, but the topic that caught my attention was to find out about the quitlines, I know there are telephone numbers you can call for help for many problems you might experience but I did not think that it might be as effective as it shows to be when trying to quit smoking. Seattle’s Health department and Free and clear are a phone based tobacco treatment program, It mainly gives patients 30 minutes counseling session by phone followed by a free 2 week supply of nicotine replacement, and it has proved to be successful by nearly doubling the number of callers in aditton to doubling their quiting rate among smokers.

What did you learn? How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article? What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?
I have learned that it is not just a bad habit, it is in the brain, there are more complex variables when it comes to quiting smoking, reading chapter 3 made me realize almost instantly that it was because of the release of dopamine that quiters might have a lot of trouble finding motivation for quitting

Provide a list of proper M&E terms that you used in your blog post.
Dopamine, motivation, brain,

Summarize the article.
The article basically stated that when you watch movies with smoking, seeing that act ignites a part of your brain connected to the motion of smoking, making you want to smoke. The article proceeded to recite statistics, like more than 50% of people try to stop smoking, but only 5% succeed. It concluded that information was still needed to actually help smokers stop.
What are your thoughts on this piece?
I thought this article was an okay introduction, but that is lacked a lot of information. The article did not mention whether or not the American Lung Association or the Center for Disease Control and prevention got their way, and smoking is now on the way to being banned from movies. Nor did it mention how the information from this study will help stop smoking in the long run. I was not impressed by this piece.
What is most interesting to you? Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that. What did you learn?
The part I found most interesting and desired to know more about was the reference to CEOs of multiple tobacco companies stating they did not find nicotine addictive. I found a news article from the New York Times, published in April 1994, covering this meeting. Despite their claims that nicotine is not addictive, the executives with children admitted they would rather their children did not smoke. If nicotine is not addictive, why would they be uncomfortable if their kids smoked? I did some further research, and according the Wikipedia page over nicotine, nicotine raises the level of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, so as to give a feeling of relaxation. This causes the addiction to nicotine, because as we learned in Chapter 3, dopamine gives way to positive feelings in a person. Positive feelings lead to approach motivation, which over time repeats until the desired goal or rewarding event happens.
How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article? What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?
Understanding how dopamine works, which I got from chapter 3, as well as my research helped me understand this article better. Before I knew nicotine was an addictive drug, but know I why and why it is so hard to succeed in not only ridding your system of it, but keeping it out of your body for good. All this information has shown me that is takes dedication, stubbornness, and a lot of motivation to quit. Smoking is a hard habit to break, only 5% of smokers who try to quit (50% of 20% of U.S. population) succeed. I cannot imagine what that must feel like, to have that desire and motivation to drain your body of something that, chemically speaking, makes you happy, or at least have positive emotions.
Addiction, Neurotransmitters, Dopamine, Positive Emotions, Approach Motivation

Summarize the article.

This article talks about how there is more to smoking than just the act itself. By watching people around you and in the movies smoke, you are more likely to smoke or if you are trying to quit, you are more likely to go into a relapse. It also states some startling facts on how smoking is the leading cause of death in a lot of countries, out of the 50% of people who try to quit every year, only 5% succeed and despite all of the evidence showing that smoking is super addictive, tobacco companies are still trying to say that nicotine is not addictive.

What are your thoughts on this piece?

I know a lot of people who have tried to quit smoking and have succeeded but at some point in time, they have picked it up again. This article shinned a different light on the subject and makes a lot of sense to me because the people who went back to smoking told me that it was hard because they would watch other people do it and that just made them want to smoke more. It makes sense that smoking changes brain activity and the aftershock is still there even years after quitting because the temptation for smoking is everywhere in the movies, in the street, in gas stations and in various media sources. This makes it almost impossible, for a person who has stopped smoking, to completely forget about it.

What is most interesting to you?

I thought the most interesting fact was that just by watching people smoke, the area of the brain linked to those motions activated. I also think the fact that smoking changes your brain activity has a major part in why the brain is activated after people have stopped smoking.

Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that. What did you learn?

I wanted to learn more about which parts of the brain were activated while smokers watched movies where the actors smoked and I found that smokers had more brain activity in the parietal lobe in the intraparietal sulcus which is linked to motor movement. There was also activity in the parts of the brain that control coordination and perception of actions. I also learned that nicotine affects the hypothalamus and many of the other areas associated with the reward center of the brain which is why smoking causes a change in brain activity.

How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article?
The concepts of chapter three helped me understand that there is a biological side to motivation and for smokers, changing the way the rewards circuit works is part of what has to happen for them to quit.
What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?
The motivation to quit smoking takes a lot more than just putting down the cigarettes. It takes a full blown rewiring to the way you think and the way your brain works. By smoking, your needs change and smoking is added to one of the needs for survival in your mind. Quitting smoking might not only take just motivation but it could take therapy as well.
Terms.
Parietal lobe, intraparietal sulcus, hypothalamus, reward circuit, motivation, needs.

Summarize the article.

This article talks about how there is more to smoking than just the act itself. By watching people around you and in the movies smoke, you are more likely to smoke or if you are trying to quit, you are more likely to go into a relapse. It also states some startling facts on how smoking is the leading cause of death in a lot of countries, out of the 50% of people who try to quit every year, only 5% succeed and despite all of the evidence showing that smoking is super addictive, tobacco companies are still trying to say that nicotine is not addictive.

What are your thoughts on this piece?

I know a lot of people who have tried to quit smoking and have succeeded but at some point in time, they have picked it up again. This article shinned a different light on the subject and makes a lot of sense to me because the people who went back to smoking told me that it was hard because they would watch other people do it and that just made them want to smoke more. It makes sense that smoking changes brain activity and the aftershock is still there even years after quitting because the temptation for smoking is everywhere in the movies, in the street, in gas stations and in various media sources. This makes it almost impossible, for a person who has stopped smoking, to completely forget about it.

What is most interesting to you?

I thought the most interesting fact was that just by watching people smoke, the area of the brain linked to those motions activated. I also think the fact that smoking changes your brain activity has a major part in why the brain is activated after people have stopped smoking.

Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that. What did you learn?

I wanted to learn more about which parts of the brain were activated while smokers watched movies where the actors smoked and I found that smokers had more brain activity in the parietal lobe in the intraparietal sulcus which is linked to motor movement. There was also activity in the parts of the brain that control coordination and perception of actions. I also learned that nicotine affects the hypothalamus and many of the other areas associated with the reward center of the brain which is why smoking causes a change in brain activity.

How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article?
The concepts of chapter three helped me understand that there is a biological side to motivation and for smokers, changing the way the rewards circuit works is part of what has to happen for them to quit.
What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?
The motivation to quit smoking takes a lot more than just putting down the cigarettes. It takes a full blown rewiring to the way you think and the way your brain works. By smoking, your needs change and smoking is added to one of the needs for survival in your mind. Quitting smoking might not only take just motivation but it could take therapy as well.
Terms.
Parietal lobe, intraparietal sulcus, hypothalamus, reward circuit, motivation, needs.

The article describes the effect on the brain of viewing movies in which the actors are smoking, specifically on those who have smoked before. It explains the results of a study in which participants watched movies where actors were smoking. When viewing the familiar movements of a smoker in the process of smoking a cigarette, the participants’ brains activated in the areas that would be necessary to make the same movements themselves. Finally, the article explains that while almost everyone knows that tobacco use is harmful and nicotine is addictive, about one-fifth of American adults are smokers. While half of that group is actively trying to quit at a given time, only about 5 percent will be completely successful. Cultural influences like smoking in the movies may contribute to that problem.
I found the article a little hard to follow. The research presented was interesting and the author pointed out a potential problem with smoking being portrayed in the media. I’ve heard current and former smokers complain about the smell of smoke or a pack of cigarettes as a strong temptation to light up. Some have revealed behavioral triggers, such as drinking, that drive them to smoke. But I’d never heard of watching someone smoke as a trigger to light up oneself--it would likely be a more subtle cue.
One of the things I wondered about was whether it was becoming more popular to show smoking in tv and movies again (a la Mad Men) and whether there are any bans on it. I found this article:
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/smoking-in-films-light-up-camera-action-9059744.html
which explains that, in Wales at least, actors may not smoke on camera. Not surprisingly, Disney also does not depict smoking.
We learned a bit about addiction and the brain in Chapter 3, specifically how dopamine release, incentives, and rewards work together to regulate behavior. The smell of cigarette smoke, or, according to the article, the familiar motions of a smoker, must be the incentives that trigger dopamine release in the brain, initiating preparation to smoke and wanting to smoke. In the section “Liking and Wanting” (p. 67), the text explains that the brain “wanting” something and “liking” it come from different mechanisms. It gives nicotine addiction as an example of wanting without liking, which does not provide the full experience of reward.
Everyone knows that nicotine is addictive and that many people who smoke want to quit. But the information from chapter 3 and the article provide more insight into the challenges smokers face in getting their brains to cooperate with their quitting goals.
Terms: dopamine, incentive, reward, behavior, wanting, liking, addiction, goal

The article talks about many reasons why smoking is addictive. Naturally, there are biological factors as to what makes smokers keep smoking, however there is also a habitual factor to it. The study discussed in this article found that for those who have stopped smoking successfully even for years, when back in a situation where they used to smoke may give in and pick up where they left off. As it happens, watching someone in a movie or on television who smokes activates many of the same areas in the brain, and lead to someone becoming a smoker once more.
The most interesting piece of information I learned in this article, was the main point. That people who used to be smokers may become smokers again simply by observing others who smoke. What is especially interesting is that these people who are being observed smoking aren’t in any way tied to the ex-smokers. Once I read this I immediately thought about mirror neurons, and I assume that this is the main basis of what’s going on here. Of course mirror neurons are most likely used for learning and forming habits. So it would be appropriate for one to assume that when an ex-smoker was watching someone else smoke on television, their mirror neurons responded as if they were smoking themselves and the same pleasure feelings and rewards were flooding into their memories causing them to reach for a cigarette.
I chose to look more into what helped people quit smoking, and I found that just as most people are social smokers, so it happens that they are also social quitters. One study mentioned in the article I read discovered that when a few people within a social sphere decided to quit smoking, not only were they more successful with the support and help of another person, but the rest of that social sphere quit smoking as well. Not only were people who were directly within that social sphere, but also sub groups of that sphere were seen quitting, and in one year the percentage of adult smokers in the US fell from 45 to 21.
Chapter three talked about many aspects of the brain that could be helpful and hurtful in the cessation of smoking. For example dopamine could be a contributing factor as it is the pleasure neurotransmitter of the brain. When people smoke the dopamine neurotransmitter is activated in their brain and they feel pleasure from it. This could be an example of either intrinsic motivation or stress relief from what I understand from the discussion in class. In total, I’ve learned that not only does smoking have addictive qualities but it is also partially a bad habit.

Terms: mirror neurons, pleasure feelings, memories, dopamine, neurotransmitter, intrinsic motivation, stress relief

The article Smoking in Movies: Why Your Brain Thinks It’s Cool explains how movies, or any other situation associated with smoking, can cause an ex-smoker to relapse, and why quitting isn’t as easy as wearing a nicotine patch. Quitting an addiction such as smoking takes more than just willpower to overcome the habit, therapy is also important in the process, and yet this still may result in a relapse. The article reports that even though most people know cigarettes are harmful, some will still pick up the habit because of the way smoking is portrayed in movies.

I thought this article was enlightening on why smoking is such a difficult habit to quit, explaining that smokers want (or need) to continue smoking, but they may not necessarily like it. I was also shocked to read that CEO’s from several tobacco companies claimed that they “believe nicotine is not addictive”. It’s hard to believe that they actually think nicotine is not addictive, and this shows that these people don’t care about the well being of others and they are more worried about their sales.

What I found most interesting in this article is that smoking is the “leading preventable cause of death” in the United States, even surpassing alcohol/drug use, car accidents, and murder/suicide combined! It’s ridiculous that tobacco products containing nicotine are legal when they are causing more than 400,000 deaths per year in the United States.

I would like to learn more about how smoking affects healing wounds and surgery outcomes, as addressed in the article. The hyperlink in this paragraph took me to the Live Strong website. There, I was able to read more about these interesting side effects. One fact that I particularly found interesting was that smokers have below a 70% chance of surgical success after undergoing spinal surgery, whereas nonsmokers have a 80-85% surgical success rate. Smokers have less of a chance to recover after surgery because nicotine in the bloodstream results in delayed and a lesser quality of healing.

Chapter three in the textbook helped me to realize the difference between liking and wanting when it comes to addiction. Smokers may want to smoke because they are addicted to the nicotine and their body needs it, but they may not like smoking, so it is less rewarding. The textbook also notes that the dopamine stimulation from addictive drugs is greater than naturally occurring rewards, making the craving even more powerful. The article was easier to understand why it’s difficult to quit smoking after reading this chapter.

The article reiterates how most people know that smoking is harmful and that many people attempt to quit, but a large percentage are unsuccessful. This taught me that quitting an addiction, such as smoking, is more difficult than I imagined and it goes beyond being motivated and having the willpower to kick the habit.

Terms:
Addiction, dopamine, motivation

Summarize the article:
• The article addresses smoking in the movies and research on smoking. It was generalized that smoking is bad for you and that many people believe smoking to be a “bad habit” that a person can quit with enough willpower. The article notes that not only does smoking in movies activate areas of the brain linked to addiction, these movies with smoking in scenes also activate areas of the brain that drive body movements smokers make hundreds of times a day while puffing on a cigarette.

• The physical habit of smoking (i.e., reaching for a cigarette, lighting it, and taking a drag) is so well learned that watching people smoke in a movie activates the areas of the brain responsible for those movements, which can contribute to relapse in ex-smokers. The biggest argument is that movies making smoking look “cool” which can entice kids to start smoking. The addictive qualities of nicotine added to the behavioral habits that develop along with the drug make it difficult to successfully quit. It is estimated that 20% of U.S. adults are smokers, despite knowing the health risks and addictiveness of nicotine. Of that number, 50% attempt to quit smoking each year with less than 5% being successful. Despite the different therapies available to assist nicotine users, more than 50% of smokers that quit relapse within one year. The body’s combined response of the physical act and cigarette smoke has been shown to lead to changes in brain activity in recent studies.

What are your thoughts on this piece?
• This wasn’t something new to me and I can easily agree with the article due to personal experience. I myself, have a nicotine addiction and can fully attest to the fact that it is not only the drug that has me ensnared, but the behavioral actions learned through lighting up combined with whatever tasks I am completing while smoking that contribute as well. Specific actions or scents and sometimes-even colors can trigger my “need” to have a cigarette.

What is most interesting to you?
• I noticed that the article mentioned adult smokers and did not mention young adult smokers in the provided statistics.
• I also found it interesting that there may be new medications found to reduce cue-induced cravings that are often the downfall to those quitting smoking. Media is full of behavioral cues that can cause the cue-induced craving by someone simply driving in a vehicle in a tv show. The reason I say this is that is one place that I will smoke when on a drive to or from somewhere when I am alone. Seeing this on tv or in a video clip triggers a craving.

Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out some more information about that. What did you learn?
• I chose to learn more about anti-smoking medications that may curb cravings. (http://phys.org/news/2011-01-brain-imaging-anti-smoking-medications-curb.html) I learned that there are two medications (bupropion and varenicline) that may be associated with how the brain reacts to smoking cues. The article stated that Nicotine smokers that while viewing cigarette-related cues exhibit activation in the following areas of the brain: prefrontal cortex (attention), amygdala (emotion), reward (ventral tegmental area), and motivation (striatum).

• Both medications were found to reduce cue-induced cravings and reduced activation in craving-related areas of the brain. Studies also found that individuals with psychiatric illnesses were the most unsuccessful with smoking cessation.

How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article?
• Both articles deal with the brain and how smoking alters areas of the brain when stimulated by smoking cues. Our text explains that nicotine is a psychostimulant that causes dopamine-induced neural hypersensitization. Once this has occurred, the effects can last for years. Smoking cessation drugs, such as bupropion and varenicline, are somewhat helpful in removing some of the “liking” of nicotine, however, much of the “wanting” remains. I can attest to this as I have taken bupropion in efforts to quit smoking and have yet to be successful because my “wanting” is quite strong. Wanting a cigarette precedes the reward of having a cigarette.

• I had quit smoking when I was pregnant with my children as they were my motivation to quit so that I would not harm them while they were in utero. Unfortunately I began smoking again after I had returned to work as it was the only time I would get breaks. As smoking is not permitted around my children, breaks at my house became instituted so that we [my husband as well] could smoke outside away from our children. The book is absolutely correct that people can want something without actually liking it. It is tied into the Dopamine Release and Incentives we read in the text. The smell or sight of a cigarette triggers dopamine release in anticipation of myself having a cigarette. Dopamine has the primary motivational function of pleasure and reward.

• The article about medications for smoking cessation explain areas of the brain that are activated when seeing visual cues of smoking; prefrontal cortex (attention), amygdala (emotion), reward (ventral tegmental area), and motivation (striatum). In stressful situations, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocorical system reacts releasing cortisol. According to the text, excessive coritsol has been linked with poor intellectual functioning to name one of the side effects. I believe this would contribute to the poor decision making of lighting up a cigarette in that situation. The negative affect also associated with the release of cortisol can also explain why motivation to quit smoking would suffer in those instances so smokers resort to something that gives them pleasure.

What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?
• It is best to quit with the help of a smoking cessation medication as well as some kind of Cognitive/Behavioral therapies. With the support group one has through the therapy and the reduction in cue-induced cravings, an individual is more likely to be successful in his/her goal of quitting smoking. As the effects of nicotine can last for years, it is a good idea to continue with both of the therapies for the designated length of time recommended by your doctor or therapist. Wanting something does not necessarily mean you like something. This is often the reason you hear smokers say that they hate smoking but cannot quit.

Terms: prefrontal cortex, amygdala, reward, motivation, addiction, dopamine, liking, wanting, cortisol, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical system


This was a factual article about smoking and how the habit is very hard to get rid of. The article talked about common relapse is and how it can occur. 50% of those who are ex smokers still relapse back to smoking within just a year. According to the article, something as simple as a smoking scene in a movie can cause an ex smoker to crave a cigarette and relapse. Watching someone smoke triggers brain areas that are linked to addiction as well as to the physical habits of smoking. The article makes a point that smoking is not just some “bad habit that you can quit if you have willpower”. It is much more complicated than that, and there are still questions as to how we can help smokers quit indefinitely.
This article was pretty short, but I think that it made its point. The facts that were included were interesting and memorable, and there were also attached articles throughout the piece for more information.
Something that stood out to me and was interesting was the fact that smoking can cause poor outcomes in surgery and can prevent wounds from healing properly. I’ve never heard that about smoking so it was interesting. I decided to learn a bit more about it, so I went to the attached article. Smoking can prevent wounds from healing because the nicotine often constricts blood vessels. Spinal surgeries have an 85% success rate for nonsmokers, while smokers have just a 70% success rate. I always knew smoking was not good for your health, but I never knew that it affected things like surgeries and healing wounds. It was interesting to learn more about that.
The concepts from chapter 3 helped me understand this article because chapter 3 was about specific areas in the brain that motivate us to do certain things. It also talked about addictions, which is tied to smoking and relapses in ex smokers. The chapter also discussed dopamine and the pleasure parts of our brain. This helped me understand why smoking is so hard to quit permanently.
This article taught me that the motivation to quit smoking is much harder and more complicated than it seems. A smoker’s brain gets used to the pleasure received from smoking, which is why it is so addictive. There are so many things that can stimulate the brain and trigger a relapse. I know that there are many programs offered to help people quit smoking, but I know now how hard it is to be motivated to quit.
Terms: dopamine, motivation, addiction, stimulation

Summarizing and thoughts of article:

This was a short article about how bad smoking is and how tough it is to break the habit. Scenes from movies with smoking in them may activate areas in the brain linked to the physical habits of smoking leading ex smokers to grab for a pack of cigarettes. It also shows that quitting is not as easy as having strong will power. Quitting an addiction such as smoking calls for more than just will power to quit but how some therapy could possibly help. Even with the help of therapy it is still tough and someone still has a high chance of relapsing. The article was short but it made its point.

Thoughts on article:

I thought this article was short, an easy read, but to the point. Breaking a habit such as smoking is very tough and you need more than just simple will power to truly break the habit. I was actually surprised to hear about the CEO's saying that they believe that nicotine is not addictive. It's crazy to think that there are some who will say that but then again I do understand why they do, it is all about making money when it comes down to all things and that is exactly what those CEO's want more of.

Most interesting to me:

What I found most interesting in this article was the part about there being 443,000 deaths per year attributed to smoking in the U.S. alone. It is the leading preventable cause of death in most countries. That's more deaths each year than AIDS, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined. That fact right there made me really think about how big of an addiction nicotine is.

What I want to learn more about:

Another section that I was very interested about and wanted to read more about was the part about how smoking prevents wounds from healing and is a major reason for poor outcomes of surgery or fractures. After clicking this hyperlink I then was able to read more about this topic. What I learned was that when it comes to wound healing nicotine contributes to increased platelet adhesiveness which, because of the increased tendency to stick together, increases the risk of thrombotic occlusion, or the development of blood clots. Another thing that stuck out to me and was interesting as well was that for smokers contemplating or undergoing spinal surgical procedures, studies suggest an 80-85 percent surgical success rate for nonsmokers, while success rates fell to under 70 percent for smokers. That right there is kind of shocking.

How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article?

After reading chapter three in the textbook, it helped me understand addiction on the basis of enjoying something and craving something. People who smoke may not enjoy smoking but their body is so addictive to the nicotine that their body craves for it. Also, dopamine stimulation from addictive drugs is greater than naturally occurring rewards, making the craving even more powerful. After reading this article and rereading the part about dopamine, it made things a little easier to understand.

What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?

It teaches me just how truly addictive nicotine is and how difficult it is to quit smoking. You need more than just will power and motivation. You actually need the help of a type of therapy to even begin to help break the addiction of smoking.

Terms:

Addiction, Motivation, Dopamine,

In the article Smoking in Movies: Why your Bring Think’s it’s Cool, is about smoking and why smoking is such a hard habit to break. One of those reasons it’s so hard to break is because of the movies we watch where people smoke, it activates brain areas that drive the body movements a smoker makes hundreds of times a day while puffing on a cigarette. That physical habit is learned so well that it can contribute to relapse. Movies also could lead to those non-smokers into thinking that smoking is cool and trying it. Statistics were even brought up in the article about death and attempting to quit. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in most counties, in the US it attributes to 443,000 deaths per year. That’s more than AIDS, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined per year. The article also talks about how 20 percent of US adults are smokers, more than 50 percent try to quit each year but only 5 percent succeed, then 50 percent of ex-smokers still relapse within a year. Finally, in the article it talks about how CEO’s of tobacco companies testified before congress and said, “I believe nicotine is not addictive.”
My thoughts on this piece was that the title really wasn’t fitting. They only talked about the correlation to smoking and the movies for a brief period of time. Then the rest of the article was all over the place. I know that they were trying to grab our attention with terrifying statistics by also giving us the facts. It just didn’t seem to flow. There wasn’t many statistics on movies and smoking. I feel like the article was just trying to prevent smoking.
What was most interesting to me was what the CEO’s said. There were CEO’s of seven tobacco companies that testified before congress. The got up one after the other and said, “I believe nicotine is not addictive.” It shocks me that this could be true due to the fact that if their product had no addictive quality to it then it wouldn’t keep selling. Or it makes me wonder where they are getting their studies from that show the nicotine itself doesn’t have any addictive qualities to it.
In the article I chose to look at cognitive behavior therapy. It’s a short term therapy that helps you focus on issues surrounding smoking to help you quit. While most smokers believe you smoking helps relieve your stress and that may not be the real root of your smoking addiction. Cognitive behavior therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on identifying negative thoughts and developing new ways of thinking about situations. It helps those trying to quit to talk about their issues and learn ways of coping with feelings on the current problems, not the past.

After reading chapter 3 I had a better understanding about how the different areas of the brain respond to certain stimuli, and that emotions also have an effect on what the brain does. The brain is very complex and stimulates different emotions within us, for instance when someone smokes a cigarette the brain releases dopamine which then makes us happy. Addiction is difficult to handle due to the brain's ability to reward itself for doing something. This article has taught me that the best way to quit smoking is to never start, as it may not be a choice to stop again.
TERMS: Cognitive behavior therapy, psychotherapy, stimuli, emotions, dopamine, addiction,

This article is about the (negative) effect smoking has on people, how the brain plays a role in addiction, and explains the struggles of what people go through trying to quit smoking. This article contains a lot of fascinating statistics about how bad smoking really is for a person's health which makes me wonder why smoking is even legal in the United States. This piece was interesting to me, and I enjoyed reading it to get a different perspective on the common relapse that happens with smokers trying to quit their bad habit. Honestly before reading this article and putting together that what happens in the brain is a big reason why people trying to quit smoking can't stop themselves from smoking, I didn't have a soft spot in my heart for people who are trying to quit smoking but can't stop. I have a better understanding now of why quitting is so hard; the craving of nicotine is wired in their brain and even little stimulants like seeing someone smoke on TV makes their brain trigger a desire for a cigarette. I know it has to be harder than I can imagine to overcome the desire for nicotine.

The most interesting thing I learned was that simply watching people smoke on TV or in movies makes brain areas that are responsible for the movements involved in smoking more active in people who smoke, which could contribute to relapse. My grandma used to smoke before she had children, and she told me a few years ago that to this day, if she smells smoke from someone smoking a cigarette, even after 50 years of quitting smoking, she still craves a cigarette. I'm going to ask her if seeing it on TV triggers her brain to crave a cigarette. That shows how addictive nicotine is.

I want to learn more about how we currently help smokers who want to quit since the success rate of stopping smoking is incredibly low and unsuccessful. I learned that behavioral therapy is common and specifically learned more about telephone helplines called quitlines. Every state in the United States has a Quitline that provides telephone-based smoking cessation services, ranging from a single counseling call to multiple counseling calls plus they offer free nicotine replacement therapy. This is one of the more successful therapies and is cost efficient.

Understanding the parts of the brain that are involved with motivation (and desire) helped me understand why quitting smoking is so hard. For example, the hypothalamus and medial forebrain bundle become activated and make a smoker want a cigarette because they both involve pleasure. The medial forebrain bundle is as close to the pleasure center in the brain as it gets so this area can reinforce needing and wanting cigarettes. Dopamine is also released when a smoker has a cigarette which reinforces the craving of nicotine because the dopamine makes them feel emotions like happiness. Overall, this information has taught me that motivation to quit smoking has a lot more to do with changing the brains reactions to stimulants that make the smoker crave nicotine than just having a strong willed mindset. It's not as easy as it seems.

Motivation, hypothalamus, medial forebrain bundle , behavioral therapy, dopamine, emotion

Summary:
The article was about smoking and how it is an addictive. Most people don't realize how addictive smoking is, and feel like it's just a bad habit anyone can quit when they really want to. Smoking is extremely dangerous for your body and kills a lot of people every year. There has been several groups of people trying to put an end to people smoking in movies. Even just watching people smoke stimulates an ex smokers brain and makes them want to reach for this cigarettes. Therapy can be really beneficial for people trying to quit smoking.

What are your thoughts on this piece?
I thought it was really well written and interesting. I liked how they included the part about how 7 different CEOs stood up and told congress that they believe "Nicotine isn't addiction", to me that just proves even further that they don't care about their customers, they just want their money. I also liked how the article didn't just stop at telling us that nicotine is really addictive, it went into detail and how different parts in smokers and former smokers brains get stimulated.The addiction is a lot deeper than someone just deciding they want to go smoke, their brain tells them they need to.

What is most interesting to you?
The part of the article that was the most interesting to me was that since their brains know the arm motion of repeatedly raising their cigarette up to their mouth and back down, even just having the smoker or former smoker just watch someone do it on TV was enough for their brain to stimulate. That is amazing to me, and really proves how much power the brain has, as well as how much power media has in our lives and decision making. Even though I have seen the statistic before, every time I see that smoking is the leading cause of preventable death it amazes me that more is not being done about it. I also thought it was really fascinating that smoking can cause wounds to take longer to heal and surgeries to not go as well.

Find out more about a topic in the article:
The topic I really wanted to find out more information about was how smoking affects healing. I clicked on the link provided in the article. The surgical complication from smoking that surprised me the most and that I thought was the most scary was how smokers have a much greater risk of developing blood cots, I didn't realize smoking had such an effect on your blood. It also really struck me that for a surgery that generally has an 80-85% success rate that the lone fact that you smoke decreases your success rate to 70%. To me that statistical alone shows how truly awful smoking is for your body, and how its affects on your body go far deeper than just your teeth and lungs.

How does chapter 3 help you understand this article?
Chapter 3 helped me understand this article because after reading the chapter I have a much better clearer picture of how the brain works. I also have a much greater understanding of how addiction affects the brain. Without the background knowledge of chapter 3 it would be easy to fall into the category of people that think anyone can quit smoking if they want as long as they have the willpower. Without the more completely understanding of addiction in chapter 3 I also wouldn't know the role dopamine plays in addiction, and how smokers brains literally crave cigarettes.

What does this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?
This new information helps me realize how hard it really is to quit. It helps me realize how much power the brain really has over our choices, and that while not in every case, a lot of times some sort of outside help is needed to quit smoking. One thing that can help you with the motivation to quit smoking is counseling. Talking to someone and having them help you get the help you need can be huge. Another way would be to try things like nicotine patches or gum, which would help you trick the brain.

Terms:
Dopamine, addiction, motivation, stimulation

This article speaks about how addictive nicotine and smoking can be. It talks about a new study that was conducted that's results attribute many smoker's relapses to watching smoking in movies. Interestingly, they found that just seeing the act of someone else smoking can rekindle the urge to do the same. I have spoken to many people that say they don't even like smoking but the action of lighting a cigarette and putting up to their lips is really what they need. This had never really made sense to me until this article was able to explain that the physical urge to light a cigarette is a learned behavior. Even after quitting smoking you might struggle to abstain from it due to seeing that action on T.V. Something that I started thinking about after reading this article is the subject of mirror neurons and if they possibly play a role in this phenomena. In this case if someone was smoking an observer may have the same neurons fire in themselves as if they themselves were smoking. That may raise the desire to actually be experiencing that behaviors, especially if it is a behavior that has been comforting to someone at one time.

After reading this article I wanted to learn more about what makes a cigarette so addictive. Nicotine is the base drug that makes smoking addictive. It causes the smoker to feel more alert and it also helps to relieve irritability that tobacco users often experience. My parents smoked when I was growing up and I remember always realizing that if they hadn't had a cigarette within a certain amount of time they would be very irritable and grouchy. This was interesting as a child because I knew that cigarettes were very unhealthy so on the one-hand I would constantly ask my parents to quit smoking but on the other hand I wasn't really prepared to deal with their moods due to not having cigarettes available.

I looked at another article because I wanted some more scientific information regarding the motivation it takes to actually quit smoking and not regain the habit. The article I found that often people feel that anyone can quit smoking if they are motivated enough. This article states that often that isn't true and many smokers need some form of extra help in order to knock the habit. The article stated that, "about 1/3 of smokers quit via treatment," (Hughes, John R.) rather than just on their own. Even more interesting to me is that they found if doctors took just 3 minutes of their time to educate their patients on the harms of smoking they were actually more likely to stop smoking. Interestingly many clinicians are worried to speak about smoking with their patients due to not wanting to embarrass them. Throughout this research I was most surprised about the power of words. I know I have met many people that I try to convince to stop smoking and it never seems to make a difference. After reading this it seems like just mentioning it every once in a while might actually stick with them and begin to motivate them to change. I was thinking about how simple words can help to counteract an addiction and I thought that if someone is told enough that smoking is bad it may cause a bit of a reverse affect. Smoking might begin to release less dopamine and begin to be a less enjoyable activity. Combining this advice with a smoker willingly going through another form of treatment such as counseling or using a medication (patch, gum, inhaler, etc.), may work together to help them successfully quit smoking.

Chapter 3 in our text was also able to give me some insight on addiction through the motivation sense. Nicotine is a very addictive drug and it reinforces our brains to want more because it causes hypersensitivity to dopamine stimulation. One particular area that nicotine sensitizes is the nucleus accumbens. This is the area of the brain often brought up when speaking about addiction but it does play a role in pleasurable activities such as food, sex, etc. Functional imaging studies have been conducted that show the nucleus accumbens can also receive a release of dopamine from an environmental cue much like the article spoke about. With all of these factors working together (T.V., environmental cues, dopamine dependency, etc.) it is no wonder that smokers struggle to successfully quit.
It seems to require a lot of motivation and persistence. It is not a one-stop-shop and it requires constant effort on the part of the person trying to quit. The statistics sounds disheartening but I really believe that with the right combination of treatment and encouragement working to slowly desensitizing the nucleus accumbens so that it isn't reliant on the dopamine, they could quit.

The Smoking in Movies article was brief and a bit vague but it sparked a lot of interesting thoughts and research. I feel like I learned a lot about the biological processes of addiction and how to overcome them in order to quit. I didn't realize how biologically based motivation is and understanding how our brain fuels our motivation has allowed me to understand subjects like addiction much better.

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/287555-overview

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nucleus_accumbens

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1494968/

Terms: nucleus accumbens, dopamine, desensitizing, persistence, effort, addiction, motivation, mirror neurons, functional imaging studies, environmental cues

This article was about how, even though it is common knowledge that smoking is addictive and that it is a leading cause of death, millions of people are till smoking today. The article discussed how actors smoking in movies makes former smokers fall off the wagon because seeing the actors smoke triggers the area of our brain that controls movement and makes former smokers want to do that action again because it was so programmed into their muscle memory.

Even though this article was informative, it did not seem like it was really teaching much that people did not already know. Outside of the section that discussed how watching someone smoke in a movie will make smokers want to go back to smoking, I already know the majority of the information in this article, and I believe most other people did as well.

What I found most interesting about this article was the fact that watching smokers on TV will make smokers want to smoke. While I understood from reading chapter three that the Hypothalamus was in charge of the urges, I did not make the connection that watching someone smoke would trigger it in other smokers. I also found it interesting that even though studies have shown that nicotine in cigarettes cause addiction, many tobacco companies have said that they do not believe that it causes addiction. While they are simply drying to save their skin, the evidence is right in front of them.

I would like to learn more about how watching people smoking would lead smokers to want to go smoking. I found it interesting that because of the muscle memory of bringing the cigarette to your mouth would cause the brain to make the smoker want to go and smoke. I learned several statistics that I did not know before reading this article. For example, I learned that over 50% of smokers try to quit every year but only 5% succeed, even with the help of medicine and behavioral therapy.

Having read chapter three, it helped me understand what the article meant when it was referring to certain parts of the brain controlling movement and addiction. For example, the hypothalamus, which is in control of the secretion of hormones in the body. Such hormones include dopamine which is our good feeling hormone. Addiction is caused by a hypersensitivity to this hormone. Therefore, when a smoker sees someone smoking, the hypothalamus is stimulated, and dopamine is secreted, and the smoker’s hypersensitivity to this hormone makes them addicted to smoking and they go for a cigarette. All of this teaches that quitting smoking takes more than just strong willpower. While willpower is important, the motivation to quit smoking is at battle with the body’s natural addiction to the nicotine in the tobacco.

Summary:
This article talked about a new item of research that came out that shows that seeing smoking in others activates a part of your brain that is responsible for the physical actions of smoking. This article specified movies as that smoking in others. With that portion of the brain turned on to a heightened awareness, relapse could be prevalent. The article also went on to explain that organizations like the American Lung Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had called for the elimination of smoking in movies because of the long-held argument that children who see smoking in movies will view the action as “cool” and want to do it more. Lastly, the article gave base information on some negative effects of smoking.

What are your thoughts on this piece?
I find this piece incredibly interesting. While I knew children seeing smoking in movies was harmful due to the influence of the showbiz industry, I was not aware that simply watching smoking would cause such a reaction. Yet, once I think about that, I realize I may have had an inkling of such a notion. As a former smoker, it still gives me cravings to smoke when I see others smoking. It fascinates me that this may be a documented normality and that there is a reason behind it.

What is most interesting to you?
The most interesting aspect would be that so many aspects of the brain are involved in the addiction to smoking. I knew that nicotine gave a craving for nicotine, but I really didn’t know much else. I didn’t know that the addiction went so much deeper and into so many parts of the brain. It’s depressing to know that smoking and the brain form such a deadly pair in so many ways.

Choose one aspect of the article that you want to learn more about and find out
some more information about that. What did you learn?
Well, I learned that big-name companies would do anything to protect their company, including blatantly lying in front of the U.S. Congress. I chose to actually watch the men mentioned in the article telling Congress in 1994 that they did not believe nicotine or cigarettes were addictive. They were adamant in their responses. The segment was followed by a statement from the Surgeon General in 1988 stating that cigarettes were as addictive as heroin. This means that the addictiveness of nicotine was a known fact. This makes me think about the motivations of tobacco executives. They seem to be motivated by the external motivation of money and success. It’s sad to see that this motivation is strong enough to put lives in danger and lie about that very danger.

How does your understanding of concepts from chapter 3 help you understand this article?
The part of the chapter that helped me understand this article the most was the part about addiction. With reading that section, I learned about the fact that drugs create a heightened sensitivity for the neurotransmitter called dopamine in cigarette (among other drugs) users. This is part of what creates addiction. This concept helped me have background knowledge as to why smoking was addictive. Also, in Chapter 3, it was explained that seeing and anticipating pleasurable activities (known as incentive) also creates a spike in dopamine which helps to support the main concept of smoking in movies being harmful.

What does all this information teach you about the motivation to quit smoking?
This information teaches me that the motivation to quit smoking is a two-way street. Society, in general, stresses the dangers of smoking, and spends a lot of time, money, and effort convincing everyone that smoking has a multitude of negative effects. At the same time, your body is being motivated by chemicals in the cigarettes to continue smoking. This means that forces all around are working against each other when it comes to smoking.

Terms: External Motivation; Addictive; Dopamine; Incentive; Sensitivity; Neurotransmitter

Leave a comment

Recent Entries

Welcome to Motivation & Emotion!
Familiarize yourself with the blog. You'll quickly notice that all of your assignments are listed here in chronological order. There are…
Using Movies
In time for Thursday's, please read the following link:http://www.psychologicalscience.com/kim_maclin/2010/01/i-learned-it-at-the-movies.html as well as the 3 resource links at the bottom of that…
Ch 1 & 2 Introduction and Perspectives
Read Ch 1 and Ch 2 in your textbook. Don't worry so much about your answers being beautifully written (yet!); focus on reading…