A pilot study on mindfulness based stress reduction for smokers

Davis, James M; Fleming, Michael F; Bonus, Katherine A; Baker, Timothy B
January 2007
BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine;2007, Vol. 7, p2
Academic Journal
Background: Mindfulness means paying attention in the present moment, non judgmentally, without commentary or decision-making. We report results of a pilot study designed to test the feasibility of using Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) (with minor modifications) as a smoking intervention. Methods: MBSR instructors provided instructions in mindfulness in eight weekly group sessions. Subjects attempted smoking cessation during week seven without pharmacotherapy. Smoking abstinence= was tested six weeks after the smoking quit day with carbon monoxide breath test and 7-day smoking calendars. Questionnaires were administered to evaluate changes in stress and affective distress. Results: 18 subjects enrolled in the intervention with an average smoking history of 19.9 cigarettes per day for 26.4 years. At the 6-week post-quit visit, 10 of 18 subjects (56%) achieved biologically confirmed 7-day point-prevalent smoking abstinence. Compliance with meditation was positively associated with smoking abstinence and decreases in stress and affective distress. Discussions and conclusion: The results of this study suggest that mindfulness training may show promise for smoking cessation and warrants additional study in a larger comparative trial.


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