Authors: Maglione MA, Maher AR, Ewing B, Colaiaco B, Newberry S, Kandrack R, Shanman RM, Sorbero ME, Hempel S.
Title: Efficacy of mindfulness meditation for smoking cessation: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Summary: Although there is an enduring presumption that meditation can help people with addiction, few papers have demonstrated significant effects during randomised controlled trials. This study searched five databases in order to produce a meta-study of relevant research. Ten randomised controlled trials investigating the effect of mindfulness for tobacco smoking cessation were identified. The studies had a total of 1192 participants with individual sample sizes from 27 to 412. The studies had a balance of genders (4) or more males than females (6). The average age of participants in the studies was between from 21.5 to 45.9 years and all the research was carried out in the United States of America. The meditation interventions varied from durations of 1 day to eight weeks. Five studies used only mindfulness as the intervention (monotherapy), three used a combination of mindfulness and nicotine replacement, two studies allowed the participants to augment mindfulness therapy with nicotine replacement if desired.
The meta-review found only one study could be rated as good, four were described as fair and the remaining five adjudged to be poor. The point was made that eight of the studies did not disclose if the experimental assessors were ‘blinded’ to participant intervention. Four studies failed to report cessation outcomes and only one reported an a priori power calculation. The headline finding was that mindfulness did not offer significant increases in smoking cessation compared to other interventions. The study highlighted a number of methodological weaknesses in the reported research but acknowledged the preliminary nature of understanding in this area.
5 thoughts on “Can mindfulness help you to stop smoking?”
Just another good reason why I’m glad I don’t smoke. I enjoy your blog Stephen, keep up the helpful information and meditation and mindfulness! In Gassho, Shokai
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Although these are preliminary studies, I’d expect to see evidence of an effect if secular mindfulness was able to support people trying to stop smoking. Strange, most people who meditate for any length of time tend not to smoke or give up. I think this is one of several areas where this is little theoretical or operational similarity between traditional meditation and modern therapeutic versions.
Good wishes to all
Maybe if we spend more time meditating throughout the day we won’t have time to smoke? Or do any one of our other bad habits we’ve acquired over the years? Such as drinking too much coffee and tea and eating to many salty snacks? Hmmmmmmmm