Scientists at the University of Copenhagen studied the immediate reaction in
the brain after quitting smoking.
The study finds that smokers may find it easier to kick the butt if they
stop smoking gradually than if they quit abruptly.
Brain scans showed that the brain's oxygen uptake and blood flow decreases
by up to 17 per cent immediately after people stop smoking.
Professor Albert Gjedde, neuroscience researcher at the Department of
Neuroscience and Pharmacology said that, "Regular smokers experience an almost
dementia-like condition in the early hours after quitting, as suggested by
brain scans. This can be quite an unpleasant experience, and is probably one of
the reasons why it can be very difficult to quit smoking once and for all."
"Smokers drift back into abuse, perhaps not to obtain a pleasant effect -
that ship has sailed - but simply because the withdrawal symptoms are
unbearable," the professor added.
They also compare the nicotine in tobacco smoke with other pharmacologically
"After a period of time, many users of medicine will no longer experience an
effect from treatment. However, the consequences of discontinuing treatment
could still be overwhelming if the withdrawal symptoms are very unpleasant,"
The research was published in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow &