Researchers using PET imaging found that in the process of smoking a cigarette, smokers' brains gradually take up nicotine. This finding is in contrast with the previous belief that it takes only seven seconds for nicotine to be absorbed by the brain. "Knowing the levels of nicotine that are really getting to the brain gives us clues as to which receptors are more likely to be important for the dependence-producing effects of cigarette smoking," a researcher said.

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