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Design and Feasibility of a Hatha Yoga Intervention for Smoking Cessation

  • Tammy L. Burns (a1), Amy E. Mayer (a2), Shavonne M. Washington-Krauth (a1), Ryan W. Walters (a1) and Amy J. Arouni (a1)...


Introduction: Effective interventions for smoking cessation are critically needed. Yoga has only begun to be evaluated for smoking cessation.

Aims: The primary aim was to assess participant satisfaction and perceived benefit of Hatha yoga. Secondary aims were to test evaluation tools, recruitment and retention techniques, and to generate preliminary effect size for a randomized trial.

Methods: This was a non-randomized, single-group, pilot study. Thirty-one participants entered the study and received group behavioural therapy followed by 30 minutes of Hatha yoga instruction. Participant satisfaction was assessed at the conclusion of eight sessions. Point prevalence smoking abstinence was assessed at the end of the intervention period.

Results: Participants were 36% male with an average age of 47 years (range 22–72) and a mean of 12.7 ± 5.6 cigarettes per day. Mean duration of smoking was 26.1 ± 15 years. Participant satisfaction was very high (88% very satisfied). Smoking abstinence at the end of the intervention was 29%.

Conclusions: Hatha yoga is acceptable and feasible to aid in smoking cessation. A regimen that includes breathing, postures, and meditation has been developed for testing in a randomized trial.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Tammy L. Burns, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Medicine, School of Medicine, Creighton University, 3006 Webster Street, Omaha, NE 68131. Email:


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