According to the leaders of a new study out of the University of Montreal, women often have a harder time quitting smoking than men, and sadly, the number of young female smokers is rising.
However, the study has come across some information that may potentially make it easier for women to quit smoking – synching the smoke-free start date with her menstrual cycle.
To arrive at this conclusion, researchers recruited 34 men and women who smoked over 15 cigarettes per day. The nature of the experiment, to test cigarette craving response, was having each participant look at pictures of neutral images, or images designed to trigger a craving, and measure their brain response.
While viewing the pictures, each participant was scanned by an MRI.The women in the study were scanned during various phases of their menstrual cycles.
On their results, lead researcher Adrianna Mendrek stated:
“Our data reveal that uncontrollable urges to smoke are stronger at the beginning of the follicular phase that begins after menstruation. Hormonal decreases of oestrogen and progesterone possibly deepen the withdrawal syndrome and increase activity of neural circuits associated with craving… Taking the menstrual cycle into consideration could help women to stop smoking.”
So, if this pattern is found to be consistent in further research with larger study groups, the ideal time for a women to quit smoking would seem to be just after ovulation. Right after her period would likely be the worst time. However, the researchers caution that there may be social factors at work influencing the results, and that more research needs to be done.
Ladies, if you’re still smoking, whether you decide to try this trick or not, please quit as soon as possible: your life depends on it.
-The Alternative Daily