Background: Acupuncture, hypnotherapy, and aversive smoking are the most frequently studied alternative smoking cessation aids. These aids are often used as alternatives to pharmacotherapies for smoking cessation; however, their efficacy is unclear.
Methods: We carried out a random effect meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to determine the efficacy of alternative smoking cessation aids. We systematically searched the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Medline, and PsycINFO databases through December 2010. We only included trials that reported cessation outcomes as point prevalence or continuous abstinence at 6 or 12 months.
Results: Fourteen trials were identified; 6 investigated acupuncture (823 patients); 4 investigated hypnotherapy (273 patients); and 4 investigated aversive smoking (99 patients). The estimated mean treatment effects were acupuncture (odds ratio [OR], 3.53; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-12.07), hypnotherapy (OR, 4.55; 95% CI, 0.98-21.01), and aversive smoking (OR, 4.26; 95% CI, 1.26-14.38).
Conclusion: Our results suggest that acupuncture and hypnotherapy may help smokers quit. Aversive smoking also may help smokers quit; however, there are no recent trials investigating this intervention. More evidence is needed to determine whether alternative interventions are as efficacious as pharmacotherapies.
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