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Smelling pleasant odours such as chocolate could help reduce your cravings for a cigarette, according to a study.
Researchers asked smokers to rate their urge to light up on a scale of one to 100, while they were exposed to an array of smells.
Something - Peppermint - Cravings - Smells - Memories
Those who smelt something nice, such as peppermint, saw their cravings drop the most, possibly because these smells are tied to memories.
Researchers led by the University of Pittsburgh hope their findings could now form part of more effective ways to quit.
Dr - Michael - Sayette - Study - Lead
Dr Michael Sayette, study lead author, said: 'Even with nicotine replacement, relapse is common.
'New interventions are urgently needed to help the millions who wish to quit but are unable.
Odours - Smoking - Routines - Method - Cravings
'Using pleasant odours to disrupt smoking routines would offer a distinct and novel method for reducing cravings and our results to this end are promising.'
The study involved 232 smokers, aged 18 to 55, who were not trying to quit at the time and were not taking nicotine any other way, such as through gum or vaping.
Hours - Experiment - Pack - Cigarettes - Lighter
They were asked not to smoke for eight hours before the experiment and were told to bring a pack of their favourite cigarettes and a lighter with them.
When they arrived, the smokers rated a number of different odours that are generally considered pleasant. These included chocolate, apple, peppermint, lemon and vanilla.
Chemical - Tobacco - Brand - Cigarettes - Odourless
They also smelled an unpleasant chemical, tobacco from their preferred brand of cigarettes and one odourless 'blank'.
The volunteers were then asked to light a cigarette and hold it in their hands but not smoke it, for the study published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.
Seconds - Participants - Urge - Scale - Cigarette
After ten seconds, the participants rated their urge to smoke on a scale of one to 100 before extinguishing the cigarette and putting it in an ashtray.
The participants then opened up a container that either contained the smell...
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