19-09-2022 | ORIGINAL PAPER
What Happens When You Smoke a Cigarette Mindfully? A Deductive Qualitative Study
Gepubliceerd in: Mindfulness | Uitgave 10/2022Log in om toegang te krijgen
The mindful smoking exercise instructs participants to pay attention to a range of experiences while smoking a cigarette with the expectation that it will modify the often automatic process of smoking. Given its theoretical value, mindfulness- and acceptance and commitment therapy–based smoking cessation interventions have usually included a mindful smoking exercise. However, its utility has not been empirically examined. Through qualitative analyses, the current study examined smokers’ lived experience with mindful smoking during an 8-week telehealth group–based smoking cessation and alcohol modification trial.
Participants were smokers who were present in group during the mindful smoking exercise. The recordings of sessions and follow-up interviews in which discussion on mindful smoking took place were transcribed and hand-coded for qualitative analysis. A thematic content analytic approach was used to identify themes.
Participants (N = 20) were 75% female (mean age = 49.75, average cigarettes per day = 16.35). Identified themes mapped onto both the theoretical rationale for mindful smoking (e.g., attention/awareness, decentering, similarity/difference between mindful versus automatic smoking) and cognitive-affective-behavioral responses (e.g., unpleasant/pleasant experience, shifts in desire to smoke, cognitive reappraisal). The most prominent themes were attention/awareness, similarity/difference between mindful versus automatic smoking, and unpleasant/pleasant experience. Dynamic interplay between themes was also observed and representative quotes are included.
Our findings indicate that intentionally paying attention to smoking led to the reporting of a heightened awareness of automatic behavior accompanied by noticing unpleasant aspects of smoking, potentially facilitating change in one’s relationship to smoking. Theoretical implications of mindful smoking in the context of addiction are discussed.