Magnetic Stimulation May Help to Quit Smoking

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-11_3b3c7e7cc6.jpgImage Source/Digital Vision/Getty Images (NEW YORK) -- Nicotine gum and e-cigarettes are a couple of methods smokers use to try and wean themselves off cigarettes. But when you come right down to it, there’s nothing like good, old-fashioned high-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation to kick the habit. Okay, so even if it’s not a tried-and-true method just yet, researchers at Ben-Gurion University in Israel believe that magnetic brain stimulation could be a very effective tool in the battle to give up nicotine.

As daunting as it sounds, the technique is noninvasive while sending signals to the brain that reduce the craving to smoke. In a study of 115 people who smoked at least a pack a day, those who received the heaviest doses of magnetic stimulation along with a visual cue of a lit cigarette had better success in quitting and after six months, a third of that group was still smoke-free.

Interestingly, magnetic brain stimulation is used in the U.S. to treat depression but the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t yet approved it as a smoking cessation method.

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