Development of two novel treatments to promote smoking cessation: Savor and retrieval-extinction training pilot clinical trial findings

Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2024 Feb;32(1):16-26. doi: 10.1037/pha0000644. Epub 2023 Mar 13.


Despite decades of progress, cigarette smoking remains a significant contributor to disease burden. This effect is especially pronounced for specific priority populations, such as individuals who live in rural communities, in that the burden of tobacco smoking is greater among these groups than in urban areas and the general population. The present study aims to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of two novel tobacco treatment interventions delivered through remote telehealth procedures to individuals who smoke in the state of South Carolina. Results also include exploratory analyses of smoking cessation outcomes. Study I evaluated savoring, a strategy based on mindfulness practices, alongside nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Study II evaluated retrieval-extinction training (RET), a memory-modification paradigm alongside NRT. In Study I (savoring), recruitment and retention data showed high interest and engagement in the intervention components, and participants who received this intervention decreased cigarette smoking throughout the course of the treatment (ps < .05). In Study II (RET), results showed high interest and moderate engagement in treatment, although exploratory outcome analyses did not demonstrate significant treatment effects on smoking behaviors. Overall, both studies showed promise in generating interest among individuals who smoke in participating in remotely delivered, telehealth smoking cessation interventions with novel therapeutic targets. A brief savoring intervention appeared to have effects on cigarette smoking throughout treatment, whereas RET did not. Gaining insight from the present pilot study, future studies may improve the efficacy of these procedures and incorporate the treatment components into more robust available treatments. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2024 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy
  • Pilot Projects
  • Smoking Cessation* / methods
  • Tobacco Products
  • Tobacco Use Cessation Devices