Tobacco Induced Diseases (2018-09-01)

Effectiveness of auricular acupuncture combined with nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation

  • Sangho Hyun,
  • Hyuk Huh,
  • Nam gyu Kang

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 16, no. September


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Introduction The aim of this study was to establish if the auricular acupuncture treatment can play a complementary role in enhancing the smoking cessation rate of the smokers receiving conventional therapy, such as NRT and behavioral counseling. Methods This was a retrospective cohort study. Republic of Korea Air Force soldiers who visited the clinic with the intention to quit smoking from September 2016 to March 2017 were reviewed. The smoking cessation program consisted of a 6-weeks treatment period with follow-up at 3 and 6 months from the baseline. Smokers who chose to receive nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) were compared with those who chose to receive auricular acupuncture combined with NRT. Both groups received behavioral counseling. Results A total of 148 subjects were reviewed in the study. Of the 86 smokers who received combination therapy, 41 achieved continuous abstinence (47.7%), while 19 out of the 62 smokers stayed abstinent from the NRT group (30.6%). There was a significant difference between the two groups (p=0.037). Minnesota Nicotine Withdrawal Scale scores significantly decreased after the treatment in both groups, but there was no significant difference between the two groups (p=0.681). No serious adverse events were reported from both groups. Conclusions The results of this study indicate that conventional treatments, such as NRT and behavioral counseling, when combined with auricular acupuncture could be a safer and more effective smoking cessation treatment than conventional treatments alone.