Sniffing pleasant aroma could reduce the urge of smoking

Researchers have discovered a unique method that can keep the smokers away from cigarettes. Inhaling a pleasant odour could well be enough to decrease the urge to smoke, at least temporarily, and could be used as a part of a smoking cessation plan, according to the findings. The research was published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. While smoking rates have fallen over the past 50 years, approximately 40 million Americans still smoke, according to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Most adult smokers want to quit and at least half report trying in the past year, yet half of those who try relapse within two weeks. The researchers recruited 232 smokers, ages 18 to 55, who were not trying to quit at the time and were not using any other nicotine delivery system, such as gum or vaping. They were asked not to smoke for eight hours prior to the experiment and were required to bring a pack of their preferred cigarettes and a lighter with them. Upon arrival, the people first smelled and rated a number of different odours generally considered to be pleasant as well as one unpleasant chemical odour, tobacco from the participant's preferred brand of cigarettes and one blank (no odour). They were then asked to light a cigarette and hold it in their hands, but not smoke it. After 10 seconds, the participants verbally rated their urge to smoke on a scale of 1 to 100 before extinguishing the cigarette and putting it in an ashtray. The participants then opened a container that held either the scent they had rated most pleasurable, the scent of tobacco or no scent and sniffed it once before again rating their urge to smoke. They continued to sniff the container they were given for the next five minutes, rating their urge to smoke every 60 seconds. The average craving score just after lighting the cigarette was 82.13. Regardless of what odour they smelled, all participants experienced a decreased urge to smoke after sniffing the container, but the average craving scores for those who smelled pleasant odours dropped significantly more.