Alternative Therapy: Yoga Intervention in Enhanced Smoking Cessation

Good news for people who want to quit smoking, epidemiological studies suggested strongly that yoga intervention may have a profound impact in smoking cessation.

Yoga, the ancient practice for harmonized external and internal body well beings, through breath control, meditation, bodily movement and gesture… has been best known for people in Western world and some parts in Asia due to health benefits reported by various respectable institutes’ research and supported by health advocates.

According to the joint study led by the Alpert Medical School of Brown University in examine the smoking-relevant characteristics of individuals enrolling in an 8-week randomized controlled trial, for testing yoga as a complementary treatment to standard smoking cessation, on the sample of 55% female, 86% non-Hispanic white, with a mean age of 46 years,

1. Males smoked more cigarettes/ day than females and had lower motivation to quit smoking

2. Females were more likely to smoke for weight control, social and mood-related reasons, and had higher expectations for the efficacy of yoga

3. Age was negatively associated with the presence of other smokers in the household, and smoking in response to negative moods

4. And Age was associated to more willing in quitting

After taking into account for other con-founders, researchers said,”both males and females were interested in a program offering yoga as a complementary therapy for smoking cessation”.

The results indicated that yoga may be considered as an integrated form of exercise to assist smoking cessation.

Further discussion of smoking quitting, in a study to examine the rates of cessation among women randomized to either a novel, 8-week Yoga plus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) smoking cessation intervention versus a Wellness program plus the same CBT intervention, scientists showed that after 8 weeks period.

1. Innovative treatments are needed to address barriers as mentioned in the above study for a successful smoking cessation among men and women.

2. Yoga may be effective complementary treatment for smoking cessation

3. Yoga can offer an alternative to traditional exercise for reducing negative symptoms that often accompany to smoking cessation and predict relapse to smoking among recent quitters.

The results of finding suggested that Yoga plus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are the better choice to improve smoking quitting outcome, in compared to yoga alone or standard treatments.

Additional analysis of the effect of yoga intervention in smoking cessation, researchers at the University of Cincinnati, conducted a review of literature published of database from MEDLINE (PubMed), EBSCOHOST, PROQUEST, MEDINDIA, CINAHL, Alt HealthWatch, and AMED between 2004 and 2013, suggested that 10 studies satisfied the criteria and guidelines selected have produced the following results:

1. Yoga participation expressed a significant effect in improved quitting smoking rates in majority of studies

2. Yoga-based interventions hold a promise for stop smoking

Unfortunately, all these studies also expressed some limitations including short follow-up measurements and short duration of intervention, Dr. Dai CL, the led author concerned

The finding evidences suggested that yoga adapted to smoker age, gender… and used in conjunction with standard treatment may have a profound effect in enhanced smoking cessation in a short-term period.