In Brief: Mindfulness training helps people quit smoking

Published: January, 2012

Multiple options exist to help people stop smoking, from nicotine replacement therapy to psychotherapy and self-help programs. But for the most part, the success rates of these programs are discouraging. Most people addicted to cigarettes have to make several quit attempts before they can finally kick the habit.

Even then, they may have trouble staying abstinent. Environmental cues and triggers — such as the smell of a cigarette or the pressures of a stressful day — can induce powerful cravings, including recollections of the pleasures of smoking, that a person may find hard to resist. That's why most tobacco cessation programs encourage people to avoid triggers, reduce stress, and find alternatives to cigarettes.

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