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Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Can Text Messages kill Smoking in Pakistan?

Recent research conducted by Dr. Berkman in California has shown that text messages may help smokers quit the addiction, predominantly if they are personalized to the individual; the study was conducted on 27 heavy smokers.
In the study, a well-designed MRI was used to determine the brain sections most dynamic in controlling desires to smoke, which examiners described as "a conflict that comprises of a sequence of temporary willpower encounters." The study establish that participants who had the most movement in the key sections of their brains during testing were also the most likely to struggle with their aspiration to smoke, something that was acknowledged in their responses to future text messages.
The researchers sent text messages to the participants to remind them about the program in which they were indulged (quit smoking). In the text message they inquired about the number of cigarettes they smoked between two consecutive text messages. The study continued three weeks in which every day every contestant received eight inquiry text messages and they had to reply the message by giving them the answers like how many cigarettes they smoked and about their mood. In the text message the researchers also give simple activity to the participant like water your plant, play with your dog, and do some cooking just to keep them busy which really help them to quit smoking.                       
After that MRI scans forecasted an individual's capability to control their responses to desires, the investigators ventured that it may be possible to customize smoking termination programs for an individual's own capability to control their addiction.
"We are really enthusiastic about this consequence because it means that the brain initiation we see in the scanner is predictive of real-world consequences across a much lengthier time span than we thought," Dr. Elliot Berkman, a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, said in a university news release.
The study appeared online this March 2011 in the journal Psychological Science.
In the study, Berkman and coworkers experienced whether short text messages could be used to track smokers' efforts to control their smoking desires. The participants were sent eight text messages per day for three weeks prompting them to document their ongoing smoking desires, cigarette use and temper.
The investigators established that text messaging is at least as effective as more expensive and harder-to-use handheld strategies used to gather such data.
"Text messaging may be an ideal delivery mechanism for tailored interventions because it is low-cost, most people already possess the existing hardware and the messages can be delivered near-instantaneously into real-world situations," Dr. Berkman said.
Well it is all about the study of Berkman but according to me we can’t implement this idea out here in Pakistan because we do not take our text messages seriously (ask Zubeda Apa and Ahmad Faraz). But there is a perfect strategy which pops up in my mind that it might be helpful if someone’s GF or BF texted him/her again and again to remind him/her to quit smoking (believe me girls are very good at it ;-))
Jokes apart it all depends on one’s will and determination, if someone decides that he/she really wants to quit smoking he/she can do it by making his own strategy there is no need to follow a specific predefine exercise or anything. It’s all depends on you it is an old saying that where there's a will there's a way.   ;-)       
Whew, all that writing has got me craving for a smoke.

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