Nonjudging facet of mindfulness predicts enhanced smoking cessation in Hispanics

Psychol Addict Behav. 2015 Dec;29(4):918-23. doi: 10.1037/adb0000087. Epub 2015 May 11.


Although most smokers express interest in quitting, actual quit rates are low. Identifying strategies to enhance smoking cessation is critical, particularly among underserved populations, including Hispanics, for whom many of the leading causes of death are related to smoking. Mindfulness (purposeful, nonjudgmental attention to the present moment) has been linked to increased likelihood of cessation. Given that mindfulness is multifaceted, determining which aspects of mindfulness predict cessation could help to inform interventions. This study examined whether facets of mindfulness predict cessation in 199 Spanish-speaking smokers of Mexican heritage (63.3% male, mean age of 39 years, 77.9% with a high school education or less) receiving smoking cessation treatment. Primary outcomes were 7-day abstinence at weeks 3 and 26 postquit (biochemically confirmed and determined using an intent-to-treat approach). Logistic random coefficient regression models were utilized to examine the relationship between mindfulness facets and abstinence over time. Independent variables were subscales of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (Observing, Describing, Acting With Awareness, Nonjudging, and Nonreactivity). The Nonjudging subscale (i.e., accepting thoughts and feelings without evaluating them) uniquely predicted better odds of abstinence up to 26 weeks postquit. This is the first known study to examine whether specific facets of mindfulness predict smoking cessation. The ability to experience thoughts, emotions, and withdrawal symptoms without judging them may be critical in the process of quitting smoking. Results indicate potential benefits of mindfulness among smokers of Mexican heritage and suggest that smoking cessation interventions might be enhanced by central focus on the Nonjudging aspect of mindfulness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mindfulness*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Prognosis
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*