Specific Brain Injury Stops Smoking Addiction

From the New York Times:

Scientists studying stroke patients are reporting today that an injury to a specific part of the brain, near the ear, can instantly and permanently break a smoking habit. People with the injury who stopped smoking found that their bodies, as one man put it, “forgot the urge to smoke.”

Oddly enough, the part of the brain in question is the insula, otherwise known as one of the part that makes you a spendthrift or a tightwad. It’s the same part that lights up when a price is too high. The insula is crazy!—MEGHANN MARCO

In Clue to Addiction, Brain Injury Halts Smoking

RELATED: It’s Science: The Brains of Tightwads Function Differently Than Spendthifts


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  1. gwai lo says:

    Quick, someone punch me in my insula.

  2. Scazza says:

    So in otherwords…

    You have to make a choice, be a thrifty person who can spot a good deal, but be addicted to ciggs, or get hit in the head, and be a sucker for every high priced gouging of prices, but be relieved of the addiction to smoking.

    Damn, god really knows how to fuck with our minds…

  3. When will the first surgeries to stop smoking will start to appear?

  4. spanky says:

    I dunno, Moonshine Mike, but I’m keeping an eye on instructables.

  5. guroth says:

    What else are these people losing along with the urge to smoke?

  6. Good thought Spanky, we’ll put it on the RSS field.

  7. faust1200 says:

    What good news! It only takes killing off a part of your brain to quit smoking. Hey you chemists at Phillip Morris… High five!!

  8. If I remember correctly after reading this elsewhere (and it makes sense), the insula controls all addictions — alcoholism, drugs, gambling, etc. (Being addicted to nothing must be extremely weird, as I bet we’re all addicted to something in some way.)

    Anywho, using my 1984 special insight into the future, imagine if in 2107, a punishment for drunk drivers or pedophiles would be to have this part of their brain injured?

  9. Takkun says:

    I’m sure as research continues they’ll be able to focus in on the exact area of the brain in which drug use becomes a factor and damage exclusively that area, thus protecting enjoyable addictions such as playing video games and reading consumer blogs.

  10. synergy says:

    I could go all scientific on y’all, but I’ll spare us.

    Needless to say I’ll go the 5-y.o. route: I TOLD y’all so!

  11. OnoSideboard says:

    Um, no thanks. I like my insula the way it is. Black with tar!

  12. Coronagold says:

    So, do you speak all cutesy wootsey afterwards like in Cute Overload or what?

  13. Celeste says:

    “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.”