I came across an interesting article recently that had interesting implications for women who want to quit smoking. This study‘s results seem to suggest that women may achieve greater success in quitting smoking if they time their quitting during certain points of their menstrual cycle. Smoking for everyone is hard though. Some people only take nicotine gum to help them quit, whilst others prefer to try vaping as an alternative to smoking.
Basically, the researchers were expanding upon data they had discovered with their animal models. Previous data had illustrated that periods of low progesterone:estrogen ratios had a higher likelihood of being pushed into addictive behavior. On the other hand, periods with higher progesterone:estrogen ratios seemed to be protective against addictive behaviors. I’d be surprised to see the effect of a vapable CBD e-liquid and its affects on the cannabinoid receptors and what impact it has on addiction. In my personal experience with this e-liquid on my journey quitting smoking (marijuana) I found CBD extremely helpful.
The researchers then applied this to women. Essentially, their results suggest that progesterone may play a protective role over engaging in addictive behavior. This is an interesting finding! It first illustrates that there is a degree of neural plasticity during the menstrual cycle. Exactly how progesterone is causing this type of disposition is unclear. However, if this truly is a useful mechanism, it will be interesting if physicians can somehow take advantage of this to promote smoking cessation. We all know how bad smoking is; in fact, I wrote a recent article detailing my thoughts on how we can better promote smoking cessation. If you are thinking of stopping smoking though, there are many alternatives that people are doing. For example, many people are using nicotine patches or nicotine gum. Many people have also decided that they would switch to vaping instead of smoking. And they want to buy in store to see the product in person but doesn’t know where to go because they’ve never done it before then they can visit sites that carry out reviews on stores to find the best ones near them.
These results also make me wonder if they are applicable to men. Could synthetic progesterone or intracranial progesterone be useful in promoting smoking cessation in men as well? Additionally, what is it about progesterone that makes it so protective? Research can be fascinating at times!