Learn to facilitate mindfulness as a behavioral intervention to help your patients quit smoking
by Rachael Joyner, DNP, FNP-BC, APRN
Mindfulness as a means to treat issues such as anxiety or eating disorders has received some big press in recent years. A study published in JAMA last year, evaluated Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) compared to a popularly prescribed, first-line medication for anxiety, escitalopram. In this randomized controlled trial of 276 adults with anxiety disorders, the mindfulness intervention was found to be as effective as the medication with fewer adverse events.
Other studies have shown the benefit of applying mindfulness to smoking cessation, including a novel approach called Mindfulness Training for Smokers (MTS), an 8-week group intervention that uses mindfulness to help participants quit smoking. In a study of the intervention, 39% of participants remained abstinent from tobacco six months after completing the group. For context, people who make a typical “cold turkey” quit attempt have a less than 5% chance of success.
Though larger, more rigorous trials are needed to offer a firm conclusion on the impact of mindfulness on smoking cessation, these initial trials are promising.
The Duke-UNC TTS team is now offering a new, in-person training (Feb. 22-23, 2024, Durham, NC) that will teach participants to facilitate the Mindfulness Training for Smokers (MTS) group intervention in any practice setting. Learn More >>
What is mindfulness anyway?
Mindfulness is a practice of paying attention to thoughts and emotions, as well as physical sensations, in the present moment and accepting these without judgment or rejection.
Why does mindfulness work as an intervention for smoking?
For most people, smoking is an automatic habit.
Mindfulness teaches people to pay attention to their smoking.
Individuals learn to use that attention to manage smoking triggers, negative moods, and other symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.
Mindful smoking, mindfulness of triggers and urges, mindful walking, and mindfulness meditation are all practices used to help with smoking cessation.
If we’ve piqued your interest and you want to learn more, check out our upcoming Mindfulness Training for Smokers – Facilitator Training on February 22-23, 2024. This in-person training in Durham, North Carolina, will be hands on and experiential, allowing participants to learn and practice mindfulness skills with our experienced instructors. Earn 9.25 CE hours through Duke Continuing Education and receive an MTS teacher training certificate.
To learn more or to register for this new mindfulness facilitator training visit https://www.dukeunctts.com/mts-facilitator-training.
Rachael Joyner, DNP, FNP-BC, APRN, is a family nurse practitioner with the Duke Smoking Cessation Program. She holds a National Certificate in Tobacco Treatment Practice and received her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from the University of Florida. She loves working collaboratively with patients to help them become tobacco free.