Trial of intensive acupuncture for smoking cessation: a pilot study

JULY 10, 2015
Acupuncture in Medicine
McFadden DD, et al.

The purpose of this trial was to determine if acupuncture is a potential smoking cessation treatment for patients looking for an alternative therapy to help quit. Results show that a majority of the participants who completed the treatment program rated it as successful and would recommend it to other smokers. Researchers noted that a larger study with a slightly less rigorous and more acceptable treatment protocol is feasible and should be considered.


  • A total of 28 smokers were recruited to attend two 1-hour acupuncture sessions every week for 12 weeks.
  • Main outcome measures included completion rate, acceptability of the protocol, and adverse reactions.
  • Secondary outcome meausres included carbon monoxide (CO)–confirmed, 7–day point prevalence quit rates at 12 and 26 weeks.


  • Of the 28 patients, 16 (57%) completed 12 weeks of treatment.
  • Only 17 patients completed the end–of–study questionnaire, and 94% of them (16/17) rated the treatment as helpful; 82% said they would recommend it to friends for smoking cessation.
  • Three of the 28 patients who initially enrolled in the study were confirmed abstinent at 12 weeks (10.7%); one of the 28 (3.6%) was abstinent at 26 weeks.

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Journal Abstract