Skip to main content Skip to search
The acute effects of yogic breathing exercises on craving and withdrawal symptoms in abstaining smokers
Psychopharmacology
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2013
Pages: 875 - 882
Source ID: shanti-sources-117242
Abstract: Objective The aim of this study is to evaluate the acute impact of breathing exercises based on yogic pranayama on cravings in abstaining smokers.Methods Participants visited the laboratory on two occasions 24 h apart and were asked to abstain from smoking12 h prior to the first visit until the end of the second visit. Smokers (N096) were randomly allocated to a yogic breathing exercise (YBG) or video control (VCG) group. The former was instructed on breathing exercises, practised these for 10 min and asked to use these when experiencing cravings until the next visit. The latter was shown a breathing exercise video for 10 min and asked to concentrate on their breathing. Strength of urges to smoke, other craving measures and mood and physical symptoms associated with cigarette withdrawal were assessed at the beginning and end of the first visit, and again at the second visit. Results At immediate follow-up, in the laboratory, all craving measures were reduced in YBG compared with VCG (strength of urges: F(1, 96)016.1, p<0.001; cigarette craving: F(1, 96)0 11.3, p00.001; desire to smoke: F(1, 96)06.6, p00.012). There was no effect on mood or physical symptoms. Adherence to the breathing exercise regimen in the following 24 h was low, and at 24 h follow-up, there was no evidence of reduced cravings in YBG compared with VCG. Conclusions Simple yogic-style breathing exercises can reduce cigarette craving acutely in the laboratory. Further