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Yoga as a Complementary Therapy for Smoking Cessation

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01809678
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : March 13, 2013
Last Update Posted : September 12, 2017
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Beth Bock, Ph.D., The Miriam Hospital

Brief Summary:
This study examines the efficacy of yoga as a complementary therapy for smoking cessation

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Tobacco Dependence Behavioral: Smoking Cessation Behavioral: Yoga Other: Wellness Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

Despite the existence of effective medications for smoking cessation, approximately 50-80% of smokers attempt to quit without using pharmacotherapy. Efforts to encourage medication use during cessation attempts have met with mixed success. Many do not use medications because of concerns about side effects, contraindications that make medication use inappropriate, and individual preferences for chemical-free quit attempts. This leaves many smokers seeking an effective alternative to assist them in attempting to quit smoking. Each year, over 41% of smokers report failed attempts to quit smoking. Thus, effective non-pharmacological interventions to increase rates of successful cessation are greatly needed.

Our research, and the research of other investigators, has demonstrated that traditional (Western) exercise (e.g., brisk walking, bicycling) improves smokers' ability to successfully quit. Exercise may help smokers quit by reducing concerns regarding post-cessation weight gain, and by reducing nicotine withdrawal and enhancing mood. Recent research suggests that yoga is an acceptable and potentially effective alternative therapy for smoking cessation for several reasons: As a form of exercise, yoga shares many of the same properties as traditional (Western) aerobic exercise in that yoga has been shown to improve mood, physical fitness, weight control, self-image and quality of life in healthy and ill populations. Moreover, features of yoga, including a focus on breathing, mental concentration, meditation, stress reduction and enhanced mood are likely to have special relevance for smokers who are trying to quit. Thus, yoga may be particularly attractive as an alternative for individuals who either cannot use medications, or who choose not to use medications while quitting.

The proposed study will test the efficacy of Yoga as a complementary therapy for smoking cessation using a randomized, controlled study design. Adult smokers will be randomly assigned to either; 1) Yoga, or 2) an equal contact time Control group (CTL) given a health & wellness program to control for contact time. All participants will be provided (separately by treatment group assignment) with the same cognitive-behavioral Smoking Cessation Counseling (SCC). Smoking abstinence will be measured at the end of treatment (week 8) and at 3, 6 and 12 months follow-up. We hypothesize that abstinence will be significantly higher in the SCC+Yoga group compared to SCC+CTL. We will also test theoretically posited mediators of intervention efficacy (e.g., perceived stress, cognitive/perceptual changes), examine the cost-efficacy of the yoga intervention, and examine the relationship between maintenance of yoga practice during the post-treatment period and smoking status. This study builds on our programmatic line of research developing innovative, theory-driven smoking cessation therapies.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 255 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Efficacy of Yoga as a Complementary Therapy for Smoking Cessation
Actual Study Start Date : July 2012
Actual Primary Completion Date : July 2016
Actual Study Completion Date : June 2017

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Smoking Cessation plus Yoga
Twice weekly, 1-hour yoga classes delivered for 8 weeks combined with once-weekly, 1-hour cognitive-behavioral smoking cessation classes.
Behavioral: Smoking Cessation
Once weekly program of cognitive-behavioral therapy for smoking cessation

Behavioral: Yoga
Twice weekly program of 1-hour Iyengar yoga classes

Active Comparator: Smoking Cessation plus Wellness
Twice-weekly, 1-hour Wellness classes given on a variety of health topics twice weekly to match schedule of the yoga classes, plus 1-hour per week of cognitive-behavioral smoking cessation
Behavioral: Smoking Cessation
Once weekly program of cognitive-behavioral therapy for smoking cessation

Other: Wellness
Twice weekly program of 1-hour wellness classes on a variety of health topics.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Smoking abstinence [ Time Frame: One year ]
    Abstinence from smoking at 1-year post treatment

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age 18 years or older (physician clearance for age > 65)
  • English-speaking
  • Currently Healthy
  • Smoking smoked 5 or more cigarettes/day
  • Must accept randomization procedure
  • BMI< 40
  • Will be Living in RI/MA/CT for next year

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Participated in any Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong or Mindfulness-based therapy program twice in the past month or 10 times within the past year
  • MD refused consent or Unable to obtain MD consent
  • Unable to attend program due to work or home schedule
  • Currently using medications or in active treatment to quit smoking
  • Currently or planned participation in research or treatment programs that would interfere with this study
  • Presence of health conditions that would make participation in yoga difficult or dangerous

Medical Exclusion Criteria

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke/TIA
  • Chest pain with physical activity
  • Current or recent (< 6 months) cancer treatment
  • Uncontrolled Hypertension
  • Untreated major depression or hospitalization < six months
  • Bone joint problems
  • Liver or Kidney Disease
  • Fainting within the past year
  • History of seizures
  • Balance condition that interferes with ability to exercise
  • Respiratory Condition - COPD (e.g., emphysema requiring oxygen)
  • Liver Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Other medical condition that would interfere with ability to exercise
  • Hypothyroid (not on stable medication for 3 months)

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01809678

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United States, Rhode Island
The Miriam Hospital
Providence, Rhode Island, United States, 02906
Sponsors and Collaborators
The Miriam Hospital
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Responsible Party: Beth Bock, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist, The Miriam Hospital Identifier: NCT01809678    
Other Study ID Numbers: R01AT006948 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: March 13, 2013    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 12, 2017
Last Verified: September 2017
Keywords provided by Beth Bock, Ph.D., The Miriam Hospital:
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Tobacco Use Disorder
Substance-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders