Smoking Cessation App from Yale Uses Mindfulness Approach

Craving to Quit incorporates Dr. Judson Brewer's research on mindfulness training so smokers can learn how to notice the sensation of smoking and let thoughts and cravings pass.

Craving to Quit is a three-week self-directed program available for the iPhone and iPad that incorporates research on mindfulness training. The app was created by Dr. Judson Brewer, former medical director at Yale Therapeutic Neuroscience Clinic. He’s now director of research at Center for Mindfulness at UMass Medical School.

Back in 2009, Brewer conducted a study that suggested mindfulness approaches to smoking cessation might be beneficial.

In the four-week study, Brewer included participants with an average age of 46 who smoked a pack a day.

Of the 88 participants, some used mindfulness training and the others used the American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking program.

At the end of four weeks, 36 percent of the mindfulness training group had quit smoking, versus 15 percent of the Freedom From Smoking group. After 17 weeks, the success rate was 31 percent versus 6 percent. The results were published online in July 2011 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

To learn more about Craving to Quit, you might want to read Mindful‘s Q&A with Judson Brewer about the research behind the smoking-cessation program and accompanying app, from the August 2014 issue of Mindful magazine.

This post first appeared on in June 2013.