Background: Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the world, and long-term abstinence rates remain modest. Mindfulness training (MT) has begun to show benefits in a number of psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety and more recently, in addictions. However, MT has not been evaluated for smoking cessation through randomized clinical trials.
Methods: 88 treatment-seeking, nicotine-dependent adults who were smoking an average of 20cigarettes/day were randomly assigned to receive MT or the American Lung Association's freedom from smoking (FFS) treatment. Both treatments were delivered twice weekly over 4 weeks (eight sessions total) in a group format. The primary outcomes were expired-air carbon monoxide-confirmed 7-day point prevalence abstinence and number of cigarettes/day at the end of the 4-week treatment and at a follow-up interview at week 17.
Results: 88% of individuals received MT and 84% of individuals received FFS completed treatment. Compared to those randomized to the FFS intervention, individuals who received MT showed a greater rate of reduction in cigarette use during treatment and maintained these gains during follow-up (F=11.11, p=.001). They also exhibited a trend toward greater point prevalence abstinence rate at the end of treatment (36% vs. 15%, p=.063), which was significant at the 17-week follow-up (31% vs. 6%, p=.012).
Conclusions: This initial trial of mindfulness training may confer benefits greater than those associated with current standard treatments for smoking cessation.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.