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Volume 177 , 1 August 2017, Pages 228-236 Cigarette smoking is associated with amplified age-related volume loss in subcortical brain regions Author links open overlay panel Timothy C.Durazzoab Smokers showed greater age-related subcortical brain volume loss than non-smokers. In these adults, 22–70 years of age, older smokers showed the most volume loss. Subcortical white matter (WM), thalamus, cerebellar cortex, and corpus callosum were most affected. Higher cigarette pack-years related to smaller volumes in several subcortical regions. Magnetic resonance imaging studies of cigarette smoking-related effects on human brain structure have primarily employed voxel-based morphometry, and the most consistently reported finding was smaller volumes or lower density in anterior frontal regions and the insula. Much less is known about the effects of smoking on subcortical regions. We compared smokers and non-smokers on regional subcortical volumes, and predicted that smokers demonstrate greater age-related volume loss across subcortical regions than non-smokers. Non-smokers (n = 43) and smokers (n = 40), 22–70 years of age, completed a 4 T MRI study. Bilateral total subcortical lobar white matter (WM) and subcortical nuclei volumes were quantitated via FreeSurfer.
Volume 177 , 1 August 2017, Pages 268-276 Reward-related frontostriatal activity and smoking behavior among adolescents in treatment for smoking cessation Author links open overlay panel Kathleen A.Garrisona One of the first longitudinal fMRI studies of smoking cessation treatment in adolescents. Adolescents show increased non-drug reward-related brain activity pre- to post-treatment. Increases in reward-related brain activity were associated with smoking abstinence. Tobacco use is often initiated during adolescence and continued into adulthood despite desires to quit. A better understanding of the neural correlates of abstinence from smoking in adolescents may inform more effective smoking cessation interventions. Neural reward systems are implicated in tobacco use disorder, and adolescent smokers have shown reduced reward-related ventral striatal activation related to increased smoking. The current study evaluated nondrug reward anticipation in adolescent smokers using a monetary incentive delay task in fMRI pre- and post- smoking cessation treatment (n = 14). This study tested how changes in neural responses to reward anticipation pre- to post-treatment were related to reduced smoking. An exploratory analysis in a larger sample of adolescents with only pre-treatment fMRI (n = 28) evaluated how neural responses to reward anticipation were related to behavioral inhibition and behavioral activation scales. Adolescent smokers showed pre- to post-treatment increases in reward anticipation-related activity in the bilateral nucleus accumbens and insula, and medial prefrontal cortex, and greater increases in reward anticipation-related activity were correlated with larger percent days of smoking abstinence during treatment.
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Published this week in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), the study titled "Tobacco Industry Research on Nicotine Replacement Therapy: 'If Anyone Is Going to Take Away Our Business It Should Be Us'" found that in 1987, three years after FDA first approved nicotine gum as a quitting aid, the tide had turned on the public perception of nicotine; and that by 1992, the tobacco industry had determined that patches and gum by themselves do not help smokers quit. For more than a decade, the companies did not act on this knowledge out of fear of FDA regulation. But once the federal agency started regulating cigarettes in 2009, they went all out in their bid to develop and sell NRT. The Tobacco Papers reveal that companies conjectured that their new nicotine products could successfully compete with pharmaceutical NRT and they set the goal of gaining market control of all products containing nicotine. "It was surprising to discover the industry came to view NRT as just another product," Dorie Apollonio, associate professor in clinical pharmacy and lead author of the study, was quoted as saying in a UCSF news release. "The tobacco companies want people to get nicotine - and they're open-minded about how they get it." Smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths every year in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and another 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. The costs of such illnesses total more than 300 billion U.S. dollars each year, when including both costs of direct medical care and lost productivity due to secondhand smoke exposure. Clinical trials show that NRT can help people quit smoking, but only if used in conjunction with counseling and in tapering doses.