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It was with great interest that I read your article regarding the
effectiveness of acupuncture on smoking cessation. I have been practing
acupuncture for eleven years and have found that acupuncture will not
alleviate anyone's desire to smoke. Not one method available will. The
smoker must have a determination and desire to quit, or they will fail to
stop smoking regardless of the type of treatment utilized.
The proper use of acupuncture is in the treatment of the withdrawal
syndrome. I request that my patients have their last cigarette twelve
hours prior to the office visit, so that they are in withdrawal. If they
have not been compliant, we reschedule the appointment to a later date.
I use a combination of auricular and body acupuncture points, and
have found that most of my patients are able to get through the withdrawal
period and thus "quit" smoking. The difference in affect in the patient
before and after treatment is strong evidence of the effect of the
acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture is administered on the intial visit and
again two days later with a follow-up one week from the initial visit.
The behavioral aspect of the habit is not addressed with acupuncture,
and some individuals will certainly return to their habit, often as a
method of coping with some difficult or stressful life circumstance.
Peter Dubitsky, L. Ac.