Ready To Quit Smoking? Acupuncture Can Help!

Did you make a new year’s resolution to give up smoking? If so, you're not alone. It’s a popular goal, and acupuncture can help you succeed.  If you are one of the 7 in 10 smokers who want to quit, read on about how acupuncture at EAST Integrative Medicine can help you become smoke-free.

What Are the Benefits of Using Acupuncture to Quit Smoking?

If you have tried to give up smoking, you are aware of nicotine’s addictive power. Nicotine cravings can make it extremely difficult to quit smoking; however, acupuncture can offer relief and help you stay committed to your goal. Acupuncture offers several benefits over other stop-smoking methods:

  • Unlike drugs or medications, acupuncture has no side effects.
  • Acupuncture directly addresses chief complains of the quitting process; acupuncture curbs cravings, stops jitters, lessens irritability and restlessness, and increases relaxation.
  • Acupuncture helps detoxify the body by restoring balance and jump-starting the healing process.
  • Besides helping you to quit smoking has other health benefits including improved sleep and decreased anxiety.

How Will Acupuncture Help Me Quit?

There are several methods acupuncturists use to help you quit smoking.  Acupuncturists at EAST Integrative Medicine are trained in a technique where fine needles are inserted into a set of five acupuncture points on the ear (auricular acupuncture), as promoted by The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA), a not-for-profit organization who teaches and endorses this acupuncture detoxification protocol.   

In between acupuncture treatments, you may be sent home with small beads placed on your ears using adhesive tape. Ear beads are a type of acupressure; when stimulated, can continue to help curb your withdrawal symptoms.  This technique extends the benefits of your acupuncture treatments because you are able to stimulate points on your ear at any time in order to help reduce your urge to smoke.

What Does Research Say About Acupuncture and Smoking Cessation?                                                                 

There is a strong evidence base demonstrating the efficacy of acupuncture for smoking cessation. Controlled studies show that acupuncture significantly reduces a smoker’s desire to smoke, decreases the amount of cigarettes smoked, and may help a smoker quit completely [1, 2]. Research demonstrates that acupuncture reduces the taste for tobacco and relieves the psychological symptoms associated with smoking withdrawal [3, 4].  Moreover, the effects of acupuncture on smoking cessation can last 5 years or longer [3].

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary depending on your unique situation. Typically, patients seeking acupuncture for smoking cessation will be treated one or two times a week.  Some symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments. A stop smoking program will often consist of 4-6 initial treatments scheduled in the first few weeks followed by monthly treatments for four to six months.

Ready to quit smoking? Click here to book an appointment to learn more about how EAST Integrative Medicine can help you reach your goal of becoming smoke free!


[1] Bier, I. D., Wilson, J., Studt, P., & Shakleton, M. (2002). Auricular acupuncture, education, and smoking cessation: a randomized, sham-controlled trial. American journal of public health, 92(10), 1642-1647.

[2] He, D., Berg, J. E., & Høstmark, A. T. (1997). Effects of acupuncture on smoking cessation or reduction for motivated smokers. Preventive Medicine, 26(2), 208-214.

[3] He, D., Medbø, J. I., & Høstmark, A. T. (2001). Effect of acupuncture on smoking cessation or reduction: an 8-month and 5-year follow-up study. Preventive medicine, 33(5), 364-372.

[4] Cabioglu, M. T., Ergene, N., & Tan, Ü. (2007). Smoking cessation after acupuncture treatment. International Journal of Neuroscience, 117(5), 571-578.