That’s the question being thrown around by low-level laser treatments that proponents say can help you stop smoking.
One of the local TV stations this week did a report about the treatments. The practitioners claim that two or three 30-minute treatments of the laser therapy will take away the tobacco urges of most smokers. Medical professionals think it’s just a bunch of high-tech hooey.
Video footage showed people being treated with a laser pen device. During one treatment, the pen is put on the forehead, in the ears, in the nostrils and on the chin of the smoker. The local company doing the procedure claims that almost everyone stops smoking after two or three treatments. A package of treatments costs about $300. And the proponents say that similar treatments have been available and effective in Canada and Europe for decades.
People doing the procedure contend that the energy from the laser releases endorphins in the body, which trick body into thinking it’s getting the same chemicals it gets from a cigarette.
A doctor from the Mayo Clinic, however, said that there’s no credible medical evidence that shows that the treatments actually work. He contended that the percentage of people stopping smoking after the treatment is about the same as people who would stop smoking after receiving placebo drugs.
Upon further pushing, the treatment company said that around 20 percent of the people it treats don’t stop smoking after the treatments, and that some people take more than a handful of treatments.
So far, the Food and Drug Administration has yet to take any action on the matter. What do you think about this? Is it a revolutionary way to quick smoking or just another medical hoax? Share your thoughts here with other Science Buzz readers.