The Role of Mindfulness Skills in Terms of Distress Tolerance: A Pilot Test Among Adult Daily Smokers

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Background and Objectives:Low distress tolerance is associated with difficulties quitting smoking. Mindfulness is associated with improved cessation outcomes and may be one method by which to increase distress tolerance. The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship between mindfulness skills and distress tolerance among regular smokers.Methods:Daily smokers (n = 125; Mage = 37.5, 70% male) completed self-report measures assessing smoking and emotions.Results:After controlling for age, gender, and nicotine dependence, and education the mindfulness skills of acting with awareness and accepting without judgment significantly predicted distress tolerance.Discussion and Conclusions:For smokers, being able to pay attention to present moment vents and accept negative events without judgment is associated with a greater ability to withstand such events.Scientific Significance:These findings suggest that mindfulness-based approaches to smoking cessation may be effective because of improvements in distress tolerance. However, future prospective and laboratory-based studies are needed to better understand the mindfulness-distress tolerance link among smokers. (Am J Addict 2014;23:184–188)

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