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Friday, October 17, 2008

Low-nicotine - more puffs per minute

Low-nicotine cigarettes are used by some smokers as a first step to slow down their deathly addiction. Researchers doubt that strategy.Light cigarettes contain less nicotine compared to regular cigarettes, but deliver nearly as much of a nicotine punch to the brain. Even this smaller amount engages a significant percentage of the brain's nicotine receptors, leading to a rush of the chemical dopamine and gives smokers a pleasurable feeling. De-nicotinized cigarettes contains only a trace of nicotine, but even these release enough nicotine to engage an effective amount of the brain's nicotine receptors, according to Dr. Arthur L. Brody, a UCLA psychiatry professor. Participants were examined with positron emission tomography scans of their brains after smoking regular, light, and de-nicotinized cigarettes. The study was published online in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology.

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