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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 637073, 8 pages
Research Article

Ear Acupressure for Smoking Cessation: A Randomised Controlled Trial

1School of Health Sciences, Traditional & Complementary Medicine Research Program, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine, Health Innovations Research Institute, RMIT University, P.O. Box 71, Bundoora, VIC 3083, Australia
2Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Austin Hospital, 145 Studley Road, Heidelberg, VIC 3081, Australia
3School of Mathematics & Geospatial Sciences, RMIT University, P.O. Box 71, Bundoora, VIC 3083, Australia
4Guangdong Provincial Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, China

Received 9 May 2013; Revised 25 July 2013; Accepted 13 August 2013

Academic Editor: Kevin Chen

Copyright © 2013 Anthony L. Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study investigated the efficacy and safety of ear acupressure (EAP) as a stand-alone intervention for smoking cessation and the feasibility of this study design. Adult smokers were randomised to receive EAP specific for smoking cessation (SSEAP) or a nonspecific EAP (NSEAP) intervention which is not typically used for smoking cessation. Participants received 8 weekly treatments and were requested to press the five pellets taped to one ear at least three times daily. Participants were followed up for three months. Primary outcome measures were a 7-day point-prevalence cessation rate confirmed by exhaled carbon monoxide and relief of nicotine withdrawal symptoms (NWS). Intention-to-treat analysis was applied. Forty-three adult smokers were randomly assigned to SSEAP ( ) or NSEAP ( ) groups. The dropout rate was high with 19 participants completing the treatments and 12 remaining at followup. One participant from the SSEAP group had confirmed cessation at week 8 and end of followup (5%), but there was no difference between groups for confirmed cessation or NWS. Adverse events were few and minor.