Coping with Cigarette Cravings: Comparison of Suppression Versus Mindfulness-Based Strategies
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- Rogojanski, J., Vettese, L.C. & Antony, M.M. Mindfulness (2011) 2: 14. doi:10.1007/s12671-010-0038-x
Mindfulness- and acceptance-based therapies have been explored within the context of addiction treatment, with some preliminary success. The current empirical study investigated the effectiveness of a brief suppression versus mindfulness-based strategy for coping with cigarette cravings. Participants (N = 61; M age = 40.34 years, SD = 12.42) were randomly assigned to using one of the two coping strategies to help them manage cravings during an experimental cue exposure to cigarettes. Participants completed self-report measures of self-efficacy, craving, negative affect, depression, and nicotine dependence before and after the cue exposure and at a 7-day follow-up assessment session. Participants in both conditions reported significantly reduced amount of smoking and increased self-efficacy in coping with smoking urges at the 7-day follow-up. However, only participants in the mindfulness condition demonstrated reductions in negative affect, depressive symptoms, and marginal reductions in their level of nicotine dependence. These findings suggest that, although both conditions were associated with improvements on smoking relevant outcomes, only mindfulness had beneficial effects on reported nicotine dependence and emotional functioning over the course of the study. These findings provide preliminary support for the use of mindfulness-based strategies for coping with smoking urges, as these strategies appear to provide some additional benefits not obtained when coping with smoking cravings through suppression.