Brien Thane started smoking as a teenager in the 1970s — and swore he’d quit if cigarettes ever cost $1 per pack. Then Thane promised to kick the habit before he turned 40. But by 2010, he was 53 years old and had never stayed off cigarettes for more than three weeks, even though he’d tried everything – from counseling to nicotine patches to prescription drugs – to stop his cravings.
Then Thane was invited to test a new smoking-cessation program developed by Dr. Jonathan Bricker of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. It was different than anything Thane had ever tried. Instead of teaching him that his cigarette cravings were enemies to be conquered, the new method taught him to mindfully accept his urges – and let them pass.
“It was like ‘Zen and the Art of Quitting Smoking’,” Thane said. “And it worked.”