If you’re a smoker and are keen to quit, it might be worth trying out some UK mindfulness training, as a new study has found that certain exercises can actually decrease your motivation to light up.

Conducted by scientists at the University of Oregon and Texas Tech University, the research found that when smokers took part in body-mind training programmes that featured relaxation techniques and mindfulness meditation, there was a 60 per cent reduction in smoking over a two-week period, the Daily Times reports.

Yi-Yuan Tang, lead author of the study, said that smoking behaviours were altered yet the smoker was unaware of the change, adding that if someone worked to improve the self-control network in their brain and work on stress reactivity, they would be able to cut down.

At the start of the year, a Daily Express article revealed how mindfulness training was being used at a prison in Scotland to help inmates give up smoking. Official figures show that more than 70 per cent of prisoners in Scottish jails smoke and work has been ongoing to make prisons in the country smoke-free entirely.

As well as being able to help you stop smoking, mindfulness can also yield other benefits as well, including boosting your confidence and reducing stress and anxiety levels. To try mindfulness for yourself, start with a simple breathing exercise.

For example, focus on your breath for one minute by breathing in and out slowly and then holding your breath while you count to six. Then breathe out slowly once again.