Apostolopoulos Apostolos M.D.,PhD,Dip.Ac.
During the time period from 1993 to 1995 , acupuncture treatment was performed in 190 smokers , who came to an Acupuncture Medical Center , intending to abort smoking.
104 of them were men (54,7%) and 86 were women (45,3%) between 19 to 73 years old. The mean age of the participants was (X±SD) 40±10,8 years old and the starting smoking age was 19,6±4,4. The number of cigarettes per day was 35,7±15,6 and the pack/years were 29,8±18,8. In every participant was performed an acupuncture protocol concerning the application of the needles in 11 – 15 ear and body acupuncture points , for 3 -5 sessions , 20 minutes duration each , every second or third day.
The participants were supplied with informative leaflets , psychological consultation and instructions for a healthier way of living.
75,8% of the participants reported a beneficial effect , identified as lack of withdrawal symptoms in 72,9% of them and obnoxious symptoms (such as changes in taste and smell , nausea e.t.c) in 53,6%. 130 of the participants (68,4%) , 76 men (73,1%) and 54 women (62,8%) , discontinued smoking at least for a month. The results were followed up for a period of one year. 61 persons restarted smoking , 47 of them during the first trimester and 14 later. The long term , further than a trimester , smoking cessation period , concerned 83 persons , 48 men (46,2%) and 35 women (40,7%).
CONCLUSION : Acupuncture treatment is effective in persons who wish to discontinue smoking. The above described initial and long term ( further than a trimester ) smoking cessation period , is one of the higher reported in the international literature , compared to other acupuncture protocols and other specific methods of therapeutic intervention for smoking cessation.