Still Craving? Try a Puzzle


Smoking is undoubtedly amongst one of the hardest habits to kick and with so many trying to curb their cravings during the quitting process, could the answer be right in front of you? A new study has suggested that practicing self-expanding activities like puzzles and other hobbies may help to successfully alleviate cravings and potentially make it easier for smokers to quit.


According to medical daily, a team of researchers from a collection of universities including the American Cancer Society, Stony Brook University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of Georgia recently released a report that highlights the effects that engaging in self-expanding activities have on the brain. In the study, participants were assigned the task of completing an array of random expanding and non-expanding activities and games with their partners. Throughout the study an fMRI monitored their brain activity. The expanding games offered many new choices while providing participants with targets and being more exciting than the non-expanding games.


Amazingly, the results revealed that participants who were involved with the self-expanding games were actually able to significantly reduce their craving for nicotine. Researchers believe this was due to the fact that the activities “activated the major reward region of the brain” that is associated with the body’s addictive behaviours. In addition, this study is known to be the first of its kind to use the technology of brain imaging to produce evidence that engaging in self-expanding activities, including solving puzzles and games, can help to diminish nicotine cravings.


Dr Arthur Aron, Research Professor from Stony Brook University, said “This suggests such activities may be a major new route to help people reduce the desire to smoke.” This study also proposed that the activities used could be a potential substitute for the ‘rewards’ the brain associates with nicotine.


Dr Aron concludes by saying “In addition to the importance of this work for smoking cessation, this was also the first brain-imaging study to demonstrate that one’s romantic partner, an effect shown in many behavioural studies to be very beneficial to relationships, but now supported by brain research.”


While we here at Cloudstix recognise that electronic cigarettes are not a licensed smoking cessation tool, we still support smokers in their journey to give up the habit and offer a safer alternative to those who don’t want to give up nicotine entirely. If you’re interested in buying an electronic cigarette starter kit but you are struggling to find the right one for you or if you’d like a bit more information on the devices, please do not hesitate to get in touch either by calling us on 0845 257 6543 or by emailing us on We aim to deal with your enquires as quickly and as efficiently as possible. We look forward to hearing from you!


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