It can help smokers as they quit, but meditation may not have the same benefits for some mental illnesses as it does for addictions.
Meditation is well known for its ability to relax and calm the mind, and in recent years, studies document that such mindfulness can also curb the cravings associated with addictions. In the latest study investigating the effects of meditation on smoking cessation, researchers found that smokers who meditated were 60% less likely to smoke than those who were simply taught to relax various part of the body. The meditation involved listening to music and focusing just on the present moment. Both groups took classes nightly for half an hour over the course of 10 days.
While the study involved only 27 smokers, these participants did not join the study with the intent of kicking their habit. And the smokers were unaware of how much they had cut back — they reported smoking the same amount, but breath measures showed that they actually used fewer cigarettes. When questioned, they realized that they had indeed lit up less — some found more cigarettes left in their packs than they thought they had. (MORE)