The use of alternative medicine for smoking cessation have been increasing steadily in recent years. A series of clinical group studies was performed to clarify the effect, outcome and success rate of an acupuncture treatment for smoking cessation. This study was conducted for four weeks using 238 smoking students at 2 high schools. The subjects were separated into two groups: 159 students were treated with acupuncture on the anti-smoking acupoints of the ear, which is known to be effective for cessation of smoking (case group), and 79 students were treated at other sites of the ear (control group). The acupuncture treatment was alternately administered at each side of the ears on a weekly basis for 4 weeks. The smoking cessation success was only 1 case (0.6%) in the case group and none in the control group after 4 weeks.
The change in the taste of tobacco and the intensity of the desire to smoke were not significantly different between the case and control groups, but the case group showed a tendency of reduction in the taste of tobacco and the intensity of the desire to smoke. In addition, the reduction in cigarette consumption was not significant, but the tendency of reduction in the study group was significant. It is believed that the site of auricular acupuncture for smoking cessation is not important. However, there was a significant tendency in terms of the reduction in cigarette consumption, the taste of tobacco and the intensity of the desire to smoke in the case group, indicating that auricular acupuncture in smoking cessation has some effect.