Mindfulness training for smoking cessation: Results from a randomized controlled trial

Judson A. Brewer, Sarah Mallik, Theresa A. Babuscio, Charla Nich, Hayley E. Johnson, Cameron M. Deleone, Candace A. Minnix-Cotton, Shannon A. Byrne, Hedy Kober, Andrea J. Weinstein, Kathleen M. Carroll, Bruce J. Rounsaville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

283 Scopus citations


Background: Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the world, and long-term abstinence rates remain modest. Mindfulness training (MT) has begun to show benefits in a number of psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety and more recently, in addictions. However, MT has not been evaluated for smoking cessation through randomized clinical trials. Methods: 88 treatment-seeking, nicotine-dependent adults who were smoking an average of 20. cigarettes/day were randomly assigned to receive MT or the American Lung Association's freedom from smoking (FFS) treatment. Both treatments were delivered twice weekly over 4 weeks (eight sessions total) in a group format. The primary outcomes were expired-air carbon monoxide-confirmed 7-day point prevalence abstinence and number of cigarettes/day at the end of the 4-week treatment and at a follow-up interview at week 17. Results: 88% of individuals received MT and 84% of individuals received FFS completed treatment. Compared to those randomized to the FFS intervention, individuals who received MT showed a greater rate of reduction in cigarette use during treatment and maintained these gains during follow-up (F= 11.11, p= .001). They also exhibited a trend toward greater point prevalence abstinence rate at the end of treatment (36% vs. 15%, p= .063), which was significant at the 17-week follow-up (31% vs. 6%, p= .012). Conclusions: This initial trial of mindfulness training may confer benefits greater than those associated with current standard treatments for smoking cessation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-80
Number of pages9
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Addiction
  • Behavioral treatment
  • Mindfulness
  • Nicotine dependence
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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