Light power studied to help smokers quit

April 21, 2010 2:28:57 PM PDT
Sitting in front of a light helps many people with winter depression.

Now, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center want to know if light will also help people stop smoking.

They are looking for volunteers for a study using a light box.

Studies show that light resets normal body rhythms and the brain chemical melatonin, which tend to be disrupted in smokers.

Amy Lazev, Ph.D., the lead researcher, says, "We know that light is effective for depression, cognitive difficulties, and sleep problems. And these are problems many smokers experience, both in day-to-day life and especially when they are quitting smoking, and going through nicotine withdrawal."

Volunteers in the study are asked to sit in front of the box for 45 minutes every morning for 5 weeks.

They'll also get 4 counseling sessions - 1 in person, and 3 by phone.

Dr. Lazev says for most volunteers thus far, this study isn't their first effort to quit smoking.

"Many of the people in our program have tried many different things in the past. They're tried the nicotine replacement and the medications, and they haven't been able to successfully quit," she says,

To get more information, call Project LIFT toll-free at 1-866-526-6422.