My colleagues and I just published a new pilot study on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Smoking Cessation in Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). If you've been trying to quit smoking and you experience some symptoms related to trauma, you may be having a more difficult time quitting. In the Veteran population, Veterans with PTSD are 2-3 times more likely to smoke cigarettes or tobacco products than the general population. This tends to be true, as well, for the non-Veteran population among those who have PTSD or some trauma symptoms.
I have followed and modeled some of my own work on Jonathan Bricker's research on tobacco cessation. Dr. Bricker recently did a TED talk on "The willingness to crave" which illustrates how Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is an effective intervention for quitting smoking and tobacco use. This also applies to food cravings! I wanted to share this here, as I think he does an excellent job demonstrating what Acceptance and Commitment Therapy looks like in the context of addictions and cravings.
Today's post will be a follow-up from a previous post "Wondering why quitting is so difficult?" Although this is written for individuals trying to quit tobacco, those who are struggling with other addictions or food cravings may also find this information helpful! Triggers and cravings are a very normal part of quitting smoking or any addiction. They can also be complex, involving our environment, other people, emotions, thoughts, and bodily sensations. So how, then, do you manage the triggers and cravings that come along with quitting smoking or other addictions?
Perhaps you are one of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who want to quit smoking, have tried and maybe even quit several times, but are having a difficult time kicking the cigarettes - or cigars or dip - for good. Quitting smoking and other forms of tobacco is a journey with many bumps and reroutes along the way. You may feel hijacked by your friends who smoke and encourage you to enjoy a cigarette with them - or your mind may ambush you into having "just one." Let's take a look at why kicking the butts can be so tricky.