Researchers from McGill University and Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, carried out a random effect meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to determine the efficacy of alternative smoking cessation aids.

Investigators systematically searched the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Medline, and PsycINFO databases through December 201, only including trials that reported cessation outcomes as point prevalence or continuous abstinence at 6 or 12 months.

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).

The results suggest that acupuncture and hypnotherapy may help smokers quit. Aversive smoking also may help smokers quit, but there are no recent trials investigating this intervention.

The research team concludes that more evidence is still needed to determine whether these interventions are as efficacious as pharmacotherapies.

Citation:  Tahiri M, Mottillo S, Joseph L, Pilote L, Eisenberg MJ. Alternative smoking cessation aids: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. The American Journal of Medicine 2012 Jun;125(6):576-84. Epub 2012 Apr 11.