By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) – Teen smokers might crave nicotine in part because their brains respond differently than adults to seeing people light up, a small study suggests. To see if young minds might be hard-wired to desire cigarettes, researchers did magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of teens and adults – including smokers and nonsmokers – who watched videos of adolescents and young adults smoking. With teen smokers in particular, researchers saw heightened responses in brain regions rich in the neurotransmitter dopamine, a chemical that modulates pleasure and reward centers and helps regulate emotions.
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Teen smokers may be hard-wired to crave cigarettes