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Monday, October 4, 2010

Quitting Smoking Requires Strong Will Power and Some Support; Perhaps Not Laser

Posted by Prahallad Panda on 8:01 PM Comments

Laser used as acupuncture therapy is being promoted for $350. Is it scientific or some sort of placebo effect?

Smoking is not difficult if one wishes to leave it sincerely.
Amplify’d from www.reuters.com

Can lasers help you stop smoking? Check the data


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) -- Could one hour be all you need to quit smoking, without cravings or side effects?


A woman has an unlit cigarette in her mouth in New York City, September 15, 2010. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
That's what Innovative Laser Therapy, a New Haven, Connecticut-based company, advertises on its website. The clinic uses low-level lasers - similar to those sometimes used to treat arthritis-related pain - to target specific acupuncture points on the body related to addiction, metabolism and stress, and claims that most patients can quit smoking after one session.
"When you smoke a cigarette, you artificially tell your brain to release endorphins," Frank Pinto, the owner of Innovative Laser Therapy, told Reuters Health. Therefore, quitting leads to a quick drop in endorphin levels, he said.
"The laser basically stimulates the nerve endings to tell the brain to release a flood of endorphins" to boost a patient over that initial 3-5 day hump of withdrawal symptoms, he said.
The treatment also targets other points that are thought to suppress appetite -- to prevent the weight gain that often comes with quitting smoking -- and promote relaxation, according to Innovative Laser Therapy.
But does it work?
'NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE' IN SCIENTIFIC TERMS
There's limited research showing that laser therapy might help some smokers quit. Innovative Laser Therapy cites one study, a 2008 paper published in the Journal of Chinese Medicine, available on their site at link.reuters.com/pus95p. A UK-based team found that smokers that had four laser treatments over two weeks were more likely to quit than smokers that had three treatments. Those in the three treatment group, in turn, had better success rates than a control group that was given fake laser treatments.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 5 Americans is a current cigarette smoker, and the majority of them smoke every day. The American Heart Association reports that more than 80 percent of smokers say they want to quit. But many smokers try more than one smoking cessation method or take years of trying before they do quit for good.
Pinto launched Innovative Laser Therapy after he successfully quit smoking with a round of laser therapy from a clinic in Florida. His company charges $350 for a one-time treatment that takes less than an hour, and offers free extra treatments to patients who are still struggling with quitting in the following 6 months. Other companies do a few shorter therapy sessions as part of their regular treatment plan.
Read more at www.reuters.com
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