INTRODUCTION: Despite efficacious pharmacological and behavioral treatments, most smokers attempt to quit without assistance and fail to quit. Mindfulness practice may be useful in smoking cessation. METHODS: This ecological momentary assessment (EMA) study was a pilot parallel group randomized controlled trial of a brief mindfulness practice (Brief-MP) intervention on self-reported smoking behavior delivered to smokers on a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) in the field. Adult community smokers (N = 44) were randomly assigned to a Brief-MP (n = 24) or Control (sham meditation; n = 20) group. Participants were instructed to smoke as much or as little as they liked. Participants carried a PDA for 2 weeks and were instructed to initiate 20 minutes of meditation (or control) training on the PDA daily, completing an assessment of cognitive and affective processes immediately afterwards. Additionally, they completed assessments at random times up to four times per day. Primary outcome variables were negative affect, craving, and cigarettes smoked per day, all self-reported. RESULTS: Thirty-seven participants provided EMA data totaling 1874 assessments. Linear Mixed Model analyses on EMA data revealed that Brief-MP (vs. Control) reduced overall negative affect, F(1, 1798) = 13.8, P = .0002; reduced craving immediately post-meditation, (Group x Assessment Type interaction, F(2, 1796) = 12.3, P = .0001); and reduced cigarettes smoked per day over time (Group x Day interaction, F(1, 436) = 5.50, P = .01). CONCLUSIONS: Brief-MP administered in the field reduced negative affect, craving, and cigarette use, suggesting it may be a useful treatment.
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