Randomized trial comparing mindfulness training for smokers to a matched control

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2014 Sep;47(3):213-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2014.04.005. Epub 2014 May 2.


Smoking continues to take an enormous toll on society, and although most smokers would like to quit, most are unsuccessful using existing therapies. These findings call on researchers to develop and test therapies that provide higher rates of long-term smoking abstinence. We report results of a randomized controlled trial comparing a novel smoking cessation treatment using mindfulness training to a matched control based on the American Lung Association's Freedom From Smoking program. Data were collected on 175 low socioeconomic status smokers in 2011-2012 in a medium sized midwestern city. A significant difference was not found in the primary outcome; intent-to-treat biochemically confirmed 6-month smoking abstinence rates were mindfulness=25.0%, control=17.9% (p=0.35). Differences favoring the mindfulness condition were found on measures of urges and changes in mindfulness, perceived stress, and experiential avoidance. While no significant differences were found in quit rates, the mindfulness intervention resulted in positive outcomes.

Keywords: Freedom from smoking; Meditation; Mindfulness; Smoking; Tobacco.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation
  • Middle Aged
  • Mindfulness / methods*
  • Nicotine / therapeutic use
  • Nicotinic Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Patient Compliance
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Nicotinic Agonists
  • Nicotine