Laser Acupuncture to Quit Smoking? If you undergo some laser acupuncture procedure, would this help you say bye bye to them nasty and smelly cigarettes you’ve been smoking?
Those in the business of providing laser acupuncture would tell you that the procedure works when it comes to ending your smoking habits. However, a 2008 literature review which looked at the clinical effectiveness of laser acupuncture by G. David Baxter, Chris Bleakley, and Suzanne McDonough which was published at the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies had this to say about the matter:
A single high quality study by Yiming, using a follow up time of 3 months, found that 12 sessions of laser acupuncture to five auricular acupuncture points made no difference to the smoking habits of a group of adolescent smokers, when compared with those receiving placebo treatment (RR. 1.03; 0.57–1.84). The laser parameters used in this study were not specified, and therefore it was not possible to estimate the actual dosage employed. There was therefore insufficient evidence upon which to make a decision as to the effectiveness of laser acupuncture in smoking cessation.
Now, the authors cite Yiming as the guy who actually made the study from which the above conclusion was drawn so we tracked down Yiming’s study to see get more details. This is what we found:
A double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of laser acupuncture treatment in adolescent smokers. Three hundred and thirty adolescent smokers at the Smoking Cessation Clinic of Child Guidance Clinic, Institute of Health, Singapore, were randomly assigned in equal numbers to laser acupuncture treatment and sham acupuncture (control) groups. The proportions of patients with complete smoking cessation after completing treatment for four weeks were 21.9% in the treatment group and 21.4% in the control group. At three months post-treatment, the rates for complete cessation were 24.8% and 26.2%, respectively. Thus, there was no significant difference in the rates of smoking cessation in the treatment and control groups.
So, there. Apparently, there is no evidence that laser acupuncture to quit smoking actually works.
However, there are caveats. And these are caveats you might want to bear in mind before you reject the idea of laser acupuncture to quit smoking. First of all, the Yiming study — which was published at the The American Journal of Chinese Medicine — was conducted among adolescents. So who is to say that laser acupuncture to quit smoking will not work for older smokers?
Secondly, the follow-up on the cessation of smoking was held after three months following treatment and there has been no follow-up since then. We hope they made further observations because what if laser acupuncture is more impactful after six months? Or a year? Or two?