Friday, May 18, 2007

Spirituality a Smoking Cessation Aid

Spirituality a Smoking Cessation Aid, Study Says
May 9, 2007

Most smokers say they would welcome ways to integrate their personal spiritual beliefs into their attempts to quit smoking cigarettes, and research suggests that a spiritual component could improve the odds of quitting.

Oregon Health & Sciences University researchers found that 78 percent of current smokers believed that incorporating spirituality into their quit attempt could be helpful. The finding echoed anecdotal reports by patients encountered by school researchers.

"We know that smoking-cessation medications coupled with behavioral interventions increase quit rates, but quitting is still difficult and some smokers need more support in order to quit successfully," said lead study author David Gonzales, Ph.D. By excluding spiriatuality from interventions, he added, "We may be missing opportunities to assist these smokers."

"Our findings suggest that although not all clinicians want to talk about spirituality with their patients, those who do feel comfortable doing so will likely find most patients who smoke are receptive," Gonzales said. "Asking smoking patients if they have a spiritual practice or belief may be important to their care."

The study was published in the February 2007 issue of the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Gonzales, D., et al. (2007) Support for spirituality in smoking cessation: Results of pilot survey. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 9(2): 299-303.


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