Low Level Laser For The Stimulation Of Acupoints For Smoking Cessation: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Randomised Trial And Semi-Structured Interviews

Journal of Chinese Medicine 86: 46-51.

Kerr, C.M., Lowe, P.B. & Spielholz, N.I. (2008).

Aim: to determine whether the application of laser acupoint stimulation to previously reported effective ear and body acupuncture points was successful in reducing the physical symptoms of withdrawal, so promoting a complete cessation of smoking.

Design: The method used was that of a double blind, randomised controlled trial and semi‑structured interviews. Adult volunteers (n=415) were recruited following a television appeal. After initial screening and application of inclusion/exclusion criteria the volunteers (n=387) were randomly allocated to either of the treatment groups A or B or C. Intervention: Three laser therapy treatments on days 1, 3 and 7 of the programme and one sham treatment on day 14 (Group A) or 4 laser treatments carried out on days 1, 3, 7 and 14 (Group B) or Group C with four sham treatments on days 1, 3, 7 and 14. Sham treatments used an inactive probe identical in appearance to active probe. 

Findings: Groups A and Group B participants achieved a higher rate of non smoking than Group C. Of the two groups, four treatments (Group B) was more effective than the three treatments (Group A). The differences in the non smoking behaviors of all three groups were statistically significant. Subjective data reported a lessening of withdrawal symptoms after laser treatment.

Conclusions: Laser acupoint stimulation can assist in smoking cessation by reducing the physical symptoms of withdrawal.

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