Almost 20% of all deaths from heart disease in the U.S. are directly related to cigarette smoking. It would be difficult to name any illness to which smoking does not contribute in some major way.
Any woman who smokes has multiplied her risk of developing cardiovascular disease. And recent research shows that women who smoke have a 25% higher risk of developing heart disease than men smokers. Women who take birth control pills and smoke also increase their risk— several times over. Given that approximately 18% of women smoke and the majority are between the ages of 18 and 44, this represents an enormous danger and unnecessary threat to good health.
The vast majority of smokers would like to quit but find it difficult. There are many studies showing the TM program can help, despite the fact that it does not involve any requirements or even suggestions for lifestyle changes. Research shows that many people who start the Transcendental Meditation technique quit smoking spontaneously rather than having to go on nicotine patches.
One study, conducted in the 1980s, illustrates the point: over a series of several months a large number of people who expressed interest in learning the TM program were asked about their current smoking status. Of those people who were smokers, 226 learned the TM technique and 850 did not. A follow-up questionnaire was mailed approximately 2 years later; the data collected showed that 51% of those who adhered to their TM program had quit smoking altogether whereas only 21% of the non-meditating smoking controls had quit.
Effectiveness in Decreasing Cigarette Use
A meta-analysis of 131 studies on smoking cessation methods, including pharmacology, individual counseling, self-help kits and unconventional treatments, showed the TM technique to be at least twice as effective. In dealing with this heart disease risk alone, the TM program has something highly beneficial to offer.
Robert Schneider, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.B.M.R.:
"Smoking is, indeed, a major risk factor for heart disease, for lung cancer and for many other conditions that produce mortality, disease and disability. As a matter of fact, it’s considered to be the leading cause of death today by the Surgeon General of the United States. It’s actually difficult for doctors to get their patients to stop smoking. However, the Transcendental Meditation program has been shown to be quite effective in helping people to quit."
A sample of journals that have published relevant research papers
- Alcoholism Treatment quarterly 11 (1994): 13-87
- International Journal of the Addictions 26 (1991): 293-325
- Journal of Counseling and Development 64 (1986): 212-215
- Bulletin of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors 2 (1983): 28-3
- International Journal of the Addictions 12 (1977): 729-75
- American Journal of Psychiatry 132 (1975): 942-945