Meditation Could Cut Down Smoking

What are the most change resistant bad habits of humans in this century? Yes the list may be pretty long but two of them are probably the most significant- talking on a mobile phone while driving and smoking cigarette. Today we intend to discuss about the latter.

Smoking is a pathetically arrogant human habit which is probably the hardest thing to stop. Despite knowing about the negative health effects of smoking most smokers are unable to quit in time. Several methods from counseling by a health professional to nicotine patch are tried to help smokers stop smoking, however only few finally benefits. Initially many people thought that smoking habits will decline as people becomes more literate and informed, but that don’t seem to be true since the citizens of various developed nations are too smoking cigarettes in an alarming number.

Recently, few nations took initiative of including pictures of certain humans cancers on the cigarette packets along with the statutory warning, the existing smokers don’t tend to take this seriously even. Couple of years back an alternative to cigarette were seen in media, which was called electronic cigarette which was powered by battery and had water to produce steam flavored with nicotine.

However, they too were blamed to have certain harmful chemicals and other hazards. In recent past a developing nation thought of increasing the price of cigarettes to decrease its use, instead it increased the revenue of the state but people’s smoking taboo remained like their canine pets tail (which never straightens). Finally, attempts are made to help people by meditation or relaxing type exercises and a small number of individual showed positive response to it, which may be because meditation helps increase self-control of our own habits.

Hope someday we will succeed in battling our own bad habits for a better healthy life.

According to the report:

In the new study, researchers assigned 60 people — 27 cigarette smokers and 33 nonsmokers with an average age of 21 — to one of two groups. Each group went through five hours of training over two weeks in either mindfulness meditation or relaxation.

After the two weeks, the researchers gave breath tests to the smokers to see how much they\’d been smoking. There was no change for those who learned to relax, but the measurement fell by 60 percent in those who learned how to meditate.

Five smokers who learned about meditation talked to researchers four weeks after the study and said they were still smoking less. However, \”because the number was so small, we do not yet know exactly how long the reduction will last,\” the researchers said.

Posner said there are caveats to the research. The study is small, he said, and the participants were all college students. On the other hand, he said, most participants didn\’t know they were taking part in a smoking study.

If meditation is truly having an effect, what might be going on? Other research has suggested that meditation improves connections in the brain, he said. The new study found that the brains of the smokers who learned meditation techniques were more active in an area linked to self-control. Researchers also think reduction in stress may be an important reason meditation seems to provide medical relief.

Posner added that meditation, unlike drugs, doesn\’t appear to have any major side effects. There could be an expense: It may cost a few bucks to take a meditation class or learn from a book or online.

The study was published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

via Meditation Could Help Smokers Cut Down, Study Hints: MedlinePlus.