Can love help you quit smoking?



Looking at a picture of a romantic partner reduces cigarette cravings.

Via Kevin Lewis at

Love is often said to be like a drug, and new research suggests that it might actually be a good substitute. Heavy-smoking young men who reported being in a loving relationship but who had abstained from smoking for at least eight hours had their brains scanned in an MRI machine while viewing images of their female partner or a female acquaintance, alongside an image of a cigarette. For those with moderate cravings, the image of the partner curbed activation in areas of the brain associated with addiction, while the image of the acquaintance stimulated it.

Xu, X. et al., “Intense Passionate Love Attenuates Cigarette Cue-Reactivity in Nicotine-Deprived Smokers: An fMRI Study,” PLoS ONE (July 2012).

Join 25K+ readers. Get a free weekly update via email here.

Related posts:

10 things that will change the way you think about love

What predicts whether men and women will fall in love?

Could love be classified as a mental illness?

Posted In:
Post Details