Other tools may also help some people, although there is no strong evidence they can improve your chances of quitting.
Hypnosis methods vary a great deal, which makes it hard to study as a way to stop smoking. For the most part, reviews that looked at studies of hypnosis to help people quit smoking have not supported it as a quitting method that works. Still, some people find it useful. If you are interested in trying it, ask your doctor if he or she can recommend a good hypnotherapist.
This method has been used to quit smoking, but there is little evidence to show that it works. Acupuncture for smoking is usually done on certain parts of the ears. Although there is a very weak suggestion that acupuncture might lower the desire to smoke, there still is no solid evidence that it is truly effective as a smoking cessation tool.
Low-level laser therapy
This technique, also called cold laser therapy, is related to acupuncture. Cold lasers are sometimes used for acupuncture. The laser beams are used instead of needles to stimulate the body’s acupoints. The treatment is supposed to relax the smoker and release endorphins (pain relief substances that are made naturally by the body) to mimic the effects of nicotine in the brain, or balance the body’s energy to relieve the addiction. Despite claims of success by some cold laser therapy providers, there is no scientific evidence that shows this is an effective method of helping people stop smoking.
Filters that reduce tar and nicotine in cigarettes are generally not effective. Studies have shown that smokers who use filters actually tend to smoke more.
Other methods have been used to help stop smoking, such as over-the-counter products that change the taste of tobacco, stop-smoking diets that curb nicotine cravings, and combinations of vitamins. At this time there is little scientific evidence to support that these efforts work.
Herbs and supplements
There is little scientific evidence to support the use of homeopathic aids and herbal supplements as stop-smoking methods. Because they are marketed as dietary supplements (as opposed to drugs), they don’t need FDA approval to be sold. The manufacturers don’t have to prove they’re effective, or even safe. Be sure to look closely at the label of any product that claims it can help you stop smoking. No dietary supplement has been proven to effectively help people quit smoking. Most of these supplements are combinations of herbal preparations, but not nicotine. They have no proven track record of helping people to stop smoking.
Atropine and scopolamine combination therapy
A few smoking cessation clinics offer a program using shots of the drugs atropine and scopolamine, sometimes along with other drugs, to help reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms. These drugs block the action of acetylcholine, a signal transmitter in the nervous system. Called anticholinergics, they are more often prescribed for other reasons, such as digestive problems, motion sickness, or Parkinson’s disease. People who are pregnant or have heart problems, glaucoma, or uncontrolled high blood pressure are not allowed to take part in these programs.
The treatment usually involves shots given in the clinic on one day, then a few weeks of pills and wearing patches behind the ear. Other drugs may be needed to help with side effects. Side effects of this treatment can include dizziness, constipation, dry mouth, changes in the sense of taste and smell, problems urinating, and blurry vision.
Some clinics claim high success rates, but the available published scientific research does not back up these claims. Both atropine and scopolamine are FDA-approved for other uses and have not been formally studied or approved for help in quitting smoking. Before going into such a program, you may want to ask the clinic about long-term success rates (up to a year). These medicines are directed only at the physical aspect of quitting, so you may also want to find out if the program includes counseling or other methods aimed at the psychological aspects of quitting.
It is not how many years we live, but what we do with them. Health Service Food and Human Resources: Discount Cigarettes Brands