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Does Acupuncture Work for Smoking?

Does Acupuncture Work for Smoking?


There is no clear evidence that acupuncture is effective in assisting in smoking cessation.

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.



White, AR, E Rampes, and E Ernst. “Acupuncture for Smoking Cessation.” Cochrane Database System Review 2.CD000009 (2002): n. pag. National Institue of Health. Web. 15 June 2010.

“Quitting Smoking: Why To Quit and How To Get Help – National Cancer Institute.” National Cancer Institute – Comprehensive Cancer Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2010.¬†Gilpin, EA, JP Pierce, and AJ Farkas. “Duration of Smoking Abstinence and Success in Quitting.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 89.8 (1997): 572-576. Oxford Journals. Web. 15 June 2010.

“References for Studies in Meta-analyses: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update (continued).” Office of the Surgeon General (OSG). N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2010.


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