Does Acupuncture Work for Smoking?

Author: Gabrielle Marks


Acupuncture does NOT work for smoking.

More Info: The evidence against acupuncture as a treatment to help quit smoking is beginning to mount. The US Surgeon General has a compiled a list of studies available for meta-data on the subject of acupuncture and smoking and in all five cases the results were negative or inconclusive. Included in the list were research studies from The British Medical Journal, Archives of Internal Medicine, Journal of the Canadian Medical Association, Behavior Research and Therapy, and Preventive Medicine.

According to the National Cancer Institute, there are many methods that have proven effective in helping with smoking cessation and include:

Nicotine replacement therapies: regulated by the FDA, nicotine replacement products are available in five forms-nicotine patch, gum, lozenge, nasal spray, and inhaler.  You should quit using tobacco prior to adopting any of these therapies.

Prescription medications: two prescription drugs are currently approved by the FDA to treat nicotine withdrawal and are available through a doctor's prescription.

Though there are proponents that have had great success with alternative therapies, the clinical evidence currently available does not support these claims. Studies conducted on the effectiveness of most alternative methods to quit smoking either have shown no effectiveness or do not have enough supporting evidence to validate effectiveness including:

  • Acupuncture
  • Hypnosis
  • Acupressure
  • Laser Therapy
  • Electrostimulation

Interesting Fact: Those who are able to quit smoking for a period of three months or longer have a 90% chance of staying continuously smoke-free.  Almost 95% of former smokers remain smoke-free following a year of abstinence.


Works Cited

Cochrane Database System Review
"Acupuncture for Smoking Cessation"

National Cancer Institute
"Quitting Smoking: Why To Quit and How To Get Help"

Journal of the National Cancer Institute
"Duration of Smoking Abstinence and Success in Quitting"

purplearrowExpert Opinion

Quote: "Many adjunctive therapies are also available, including acupuncture. While there is at least one study showing modest success in using acupuncture to treat smoking, the evidence, in our modern world of evidence-based medicine, is limited. There is no reason not to try acupuncture to stop smoking, but your chances of quitting are best if acupuncture is part of a broader treatment program."

Source:  Dr. Stanford Helm II; Ask the Experts "Can Acupuncture Help You Quit Smoking?"


Quote: "Till date, the mechanism of acupuncture for smoking cessation is still unclear. It is also difficult to carry out studies on this issue, owing to the lack of general standard for animal models and evaluation of the effect. Most mechanisms for acupuncture therapy for smoking cessation are hypotheses based on clinical observations."

Source:   Ying Xia Acupuncture Therapy for Neurological Diseases: a neurobiological view

Beijing: Tsinghua University Press ;, 2010. Print.

purple arrowCite this Article

"Does Acupuncture Work for Smoking?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <>.  

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to treat or diagnose any health problems or illnesses without consulting a physician. It is not meant to take the place of health care or services you may need. Please consult a physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.


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