Acupuncture for smoking cessation



Acupuncture for smoking cessation






Research Type

Systematic Review



BACKGROUND: Acupuncture and related techniques are promoted as a treatment for smoking cessation in the belief that they may reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms. OBJECTIVES: The objective of this review is to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture and the allied therapies of acupressure, laser therapy and electrostimulation, in smoking cessation in comparison with: a) sham treatment, b) other interventions, or c) no intervention. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group trials register, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, Medline, Embase, BIOSIS Previews, PsycINFO, Science and Social Sciences Citation Index, AMED and CISCOM. Date of last search January 2002. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised trials comparing a form of acupuncture, acupressure, laser therapy or electrostimulation with either sham treatment, another intervention or no intervention for smoking cessation. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We extracted data in duplicate on the type of smokers recruited, the nature of the acupuncture and control procedures, the outcome measures, method of randomisation, and completeness of follow-up. We assessed abstinence from smoking at the earliest time-point (before 6 weeks), at six months and at one year or more follow-up in patients smoking at baseline. We used the most rigorous definition of abstinence for each trial, and biochemically validated rates if available. Those lost to follow-up were counted as continuing to smoke. Where appropriate, we performed meta-analysis using a fixed effects model. MAIN RESULTS: We identified 22 studies. Acupuncture was not superior to sham acupuncture in smoking cessation at any time point. The odds ratio (OR) for early outcomes was 1.22 (95% confidence interval 0.99 to 1.49); the OR after 6 months was 1.50 (95% confidence interval 0.99 to 2.27) and after 12 months 1.08 (95% confidence interval 0.77 to 1.52). Similarly, when acupuncture was compared with other anti-smoking interventions, there were no differences in outcome at any time point. Acupuncture appeared to be superior to no intervention in the early results, but this difference was not sustained. The results with different acupuncture techniques do not show any one particular method (i.e. auricular acupuncture or non-auricular acupuncture) to be superior to control intervention. Based on the results of single studies, acupressure was found to be superior to advice; laser therapy and electrostimulation were not superior to sham forms of these therapies. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: There is no clear evidence that acupuncture, acupressure, laser therapy or electrostimulation are effective for smoking cessation

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has health condition studied

Substance-Related Disorders

Item sets