ACT for Smoking Cessation: A Preliminary Study of Its Effectiveness in Comparison With CBT

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APA Citation: 

Hernández-López, M., Luciano, M. C., Bricker, J. B., Roales-Nieto, J. G., & Montesinos, F. (2009). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Smoking Cessation: A Preliminary Study of Its Effectiveness in Comparison With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 23, 723-730.

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
smoking cessation, acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, effectiveness

This controlled preliminary trial determined the feasibility and initial effectiveness of a promising behavioral intervention for smoking: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). In a quasiexperimental design, the ACT intervention condition used metaphors and experiential exercises focused on personal values to motivate quitting smoking and enhancing the willingness to experience internal cues to smoke (e.g., urges) and abstinence-related internal distress. The comparison condition was cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)—the current standard in behavioral intervention for smoking cessation. Each treatment was delivered in seven weekly 90-min sessions in a group format to 81 (43 in ACT; 38 in CBT) adult smokers. Results show that the ACT treatment was as feasible as the CBT treatment. They also demonstrate promising evidence of ACT’s effectiveness: 30.2% intent-to-treat biochemically-supported 30-day point prevalence at twelve month follow-up, compared with 13.2% in the CBT condition (odds ratio = 5.13; p = .02). Replication in a well-powered, randomized, controlled trial is now needed.