As practitioners, we’re always on the lookout for material which helps us strengthen the left pre-frontal cortex’s important role in stopping smoking. And the past week has seen some good news for people looking to give up.
Nature has just published a report, based on findings of researchers at UCL, which clearly shows the key benefits of stopping.
In brief, the team took cells from smokers’ airways and found that they contained around 10,000 genetic mutations – all caused thanks to the effects of tobacco. These corruptions to the cells are what, ultimately, leads to cancer.
The research team, however, found that certain cells remain unscathed by the effects of smoking as they effectively hide away from the genetic mutations which are caused by the habit itself.
The BBC reported that it was as if the cells retreated into their own version of a ‘nuclear bunker’ to effectively wait it out. When the person stops smoking, the cells leave the ‘bunker’ and start to grow and replace damaged cells in the lungs.
The study reported that an incredible 40% of a former smoker’s cells looked just like their equivalents in someone who never smoked.
From our point of view, it really helps to provide this type of positive motivational material to someone looking to quit – especially as this research clearly shows that simply stopping really does give someone’s airways a chance to repair.
Crucially, the team is continuing its research to see how much of the lungs are actually repaired as the initial findings are more focused on the major airways as opposed to the alveoli (which, in very simple terms, is the part of the lung which allows oxygen to be absorbed into the system).
It will certainly be a fascinating area of research to keep a look out for and also one which can only continue to benefit our clients and those people looking to quit the habit.