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“The 80% successful quit rate is simply unprecedented in smoking cessation research”

Abstinence after 12-month

At 12-month follow-up, 10 participants (67%) were confirmed as smoking abstinent. At long-term follow-up, nine participants (60%) were confirmed as smoking abstinent.

At 12-month follow-up 13 participants (86.7%) rated their psilocybin experiences among the five most personally meaningful and spiritually significant experiences of their lives.

Long-term follow-up of psilocybin-facilitated smoking cessation. (Johnson MW, Garcia-Romeu A, Griffiths RR, 2017)

Long-term Relief

Johns Hopkins researchers report that a small number of longtime smokers who had failed many attempts to drop the habit did so after a carefully controlled and monitored use of psilocybin—the active hallucinogenic agent in so-called “magic mushrooms”—in the context of a cognitive behavioral therapy treatment program.

The abstinence rate for study participants was 80% after six months, much higher than typical success rates in smoking cessation trials.

Psychedelic therapy for smoking cessation: Qualitative analysis of participant accounts. (Noorani T, Garcia-Romeu A, Swift TC, Griffiths RR, Johnson MW., 2018)

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Media Coverage

When I emerge, a million years later, smoking is simply something other people do. The illusion is shattered; the urge has gone. I see someone with a cigarette and feel precisely nothing.

Participants reported that psilocybin sessions led to psychological insights, experiences of interconnectedness, feelings of awe and curiosity and reduced withdrawal symptoms, all of which helped them successfully quit smoking

Leaving the lab five hours later, she was sure she would never smoke again. Before, the stresses of her life would stir an overwhelming desire for cigarettes. But now, she said, “I can just cross that off my list. I don’t have to do it.”

Nine of the 15 participants had effectively quit smoking after treatment with the magic mushroom-derived compound, while two relapsed and one participant became a social smoker.

Participants also reported benefits besides overcoming nicotine addiction.

The people in the study reported heightened levels of aesthetic appreciation, openness to experience and engagement in the community.

The 12 of 15 recidivist smokers who managed to stop smoking for six months after three psychedelic sessions represented an 80% success rate—unheard of in the notoriously difficult treatment of tobacco addiction. The most successful current treatment—the drug varenicline, which reduces nicotine cravings—only has a 35% success rate.

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