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Meditation Reduces Smoking by 60 Percent
Brain scans show improved self-control

TUESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A few hours of meditation training improves self-control and reduces smoking by 60 percent, according to a study published online Aug. 5 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Yi-Yuan Tang, Ph.D., from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, and colleagues randomly assigned 60 volunteers interested in general stress reduction (27 cigarette smokers and 33 nonsmokers) to meditation training (integrative body-mind training) or relaxation training for five hours over the course of two weeks.

The researchers found that, in smokers, meditation training reduced smoking by 60 percent, with no reduction seen after relaxation training. Resting-state brain scans showed that the meditation group had increased activity in two brain areas involved in self-control, the anterior cingulate and prefrontal cortex.

"These results suggest that brief meditation training improves self-control capacity and reduces smoking," Tang and colleagues conclude.

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April 21, 2014

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