Body Acupuncture for Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial
This study evaluated whether improvements in nicotine withdrawal symptoms (NWS), depression and anxiety are greater for body acupuncture than for sham acupuncture. Smoking volunteers from the public were randomized to receive six sessions of either real or sham acupuncture for 2 weeks. The primary outcome measure was NWS measured by the Minnesota Nicotine Withdrawal Score, and the secondary measures were scores on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). Eighty volunteers were randomized into real acupuncture (n = 38) and sham acupuncture (n = 42) groups, of which 46 subjects (22 and 24 in the real and sham acupuncture groups, respectively) completed the treatment and the 2-week follow-up. An intention-to-treat analysis revealed that the NWS did not differ significantly between the real and sham acupuncture groups immediately after the treatment (12.2 ± 9.7 and 12.8 ± 7.7, respectively; mean ± SD) and at the 2-week follow-up (11.7 ± 10.2 and 12.6 ± 7.8). Both groups also showed similar improvements in BDI and BAI scores. These results indicate that the real acupuncture treatment tested in this trial was no more effective than sham acupuncture at reducing NWS, depression and anxiety for smoking cessation.