May
04
2007

Quick fix? Can laser treatments stop smoking?

Butt out: Can laser treatments be an effective way for people to stop smoking? There are divergent viewpoints among those providing the treatments and traditional medical personnel.
Butt out: Can laser treatments be an effective way for people to stop smoking? There are divergent viewpoints among those providing the treatments and traditional medical personnel.
Is it is a technological trick to stop smoking or just newer form of medical quackery?

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.





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Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Liza's picture
Liza says:

Doctors Paul Pentel and Dorothy Hatsukami, of the University of Minnesota's Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center (TTURC), weighed in on laser treatments when they were our featured "Scientists on the Spot."

They were skeptical. Dr. Pentel wrote:

"There is no evidence whatsoever that laser treatment is effective for smoking cessation. It is a variant of acupuncture, which is also ineffective.

The internet is full of advertising and promotions of "cures" for tobacco addiction which are actually worthless. Most involve herbal remedies, hynosis or acupncture. Most (but not all) of these are harmless, but it is unfortunate if people spend their time and money on them when there are many effective and well studied treatments available.

Effective treatments include counseling (ask your health care provdier, or get a referral from the Lung Association or Cancer Society) and medications; nicotine patches, gum, lozenge, inhaler or nasal spray; buproprion (trade name Zyban); and varenicline (trade name Chantix)."

I also don't buy it. I just can't figure out a biological pathway by which laser treatments for addiction would be effective.

posted on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 5:09pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The old saying goes. do'nt knock it until you try it. I am 3 yrs. smoke free through laser therapy and there are thousands just like me. It has been proven through clinical trials that it is 5 to 7 times more effective than other methods. Counseling is a part of it and it is natural. No harmful drugs or methods to put nicotine in body which is a know addictive component in cigarettes. Laser therapy detoxs nicotine from your body. I think that if a person has not tried or experience a product they should not comment negativley about it.

posted on Fri, 07/06/2007 - 11:10am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I dont trust the opinion of anyone who writes "do'nt knock it until you try it. I am 3 yrs." Placebos are more likely to work on idiots. I am going with the pill.

posted on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 12:44pm
Melissa's picture
Melissa says:

My Dr. scheduled me for this laser treatment this week. I have to quite do to an upcoming surgery...What can it hurt to try it, it's been 9hrs. and I'm going crazy!!!

posted on Wed, 04/21/2010 - 6:38pm
Randy Spelling's picture

There have been all kinds of supposed 'miracle cures' for smoking- and I've seen people try them all. The only thing that won out in the end was having absolute determination to quit.

posted on Tue, 02/24/2009 - 2:06pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

just go and call quitplan

posted on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 3:02pm
kenban's picture
kenban says:

I don't buy all those online crap. Larry

posted on Sun, 03/13/2011 - 8:25am
TobyGreenhorn's picture

In order to quit smoking, to me, is not about relying on external treatments but relying on what you can do for yourself. I know that it is not easy to quit smoking, but it is doable. I know of some people who resorted to e cigarettes or nicotine patches, but still have gone back to smoking because there was no support from friends and family. We just need people to give support, should we give up.

posted on Mon, 07/15/2013 - 4:53am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I quit smoking with this treatment, and so did my girlfriend and father. I smoked for 20 years and my father smokedc for 43 years. There absolutely is something to this treatment. I've tried hypnotherapy twice, the patch, gums lozenges and this was the only thing that helped me quit.

It seems to me that the people who say it doesn't work are either non-smokers who don't know what they are talking about anyway, or smokers who never tried the procedure.

This therapy really took the edge off. And if 20% of the people don't quit?!?!! That's an 80% success rate!!! The patch and all of the pills out there don't come to close to a success rate that good.

This therapy has zero side effects and helps people to quit smoking in 1 to 3 treatments and yet everybody wants to make a stink about it. How about making a stink about the patches that people wear for months and then continue to smoke. How about making a stink about the people that have suffered strokes or died from Welbutrin?

I feel that this therapy saved my life and so do the many people that I have referred to the therapy. Seems everybody thinks that if it doesn't come from a drug company it must be ineffective. Wow, they have you fooled!

posted on Sun, 05/06/2007 - 10:35am
Brittney's picture
Brittney says:

I am getting it done this weekend and I really hope it works for me. I just tried the patch for 4 months... and I am still smoking about 10-12 per day.

Do you have any suggestions on what to do after the treatments?

Thank you
Brittney

posted on Wed, 05/09/2007 - 1:33pm
Jerene Skeie's picture
Jerene Skeie says:

I'm only a week into it after the laser therapy. I really liked to smoke even though I knew what it was doing to my body and I wasn't ready to quit until my state imposed a tobacco tax to fund a new football stadium that would be owned by a billionaire. That was the last straw. The laser therapy took the edge off immediately. I have to deal with my triggers with deep breathing exercises (which work really well) but it is nothing like I've experienced before when trying to quit. Now my only cravings are Mental, not Physical. I don't have an increased appetite either. I was a little loopy the first 4 days but now I'm able to focus longer without the breaks I used to take to smoke. It's amazing. The anti laser crowd is pro drug or nicotine replacement therapy because they take in billions of dollars for 10% success rates. The laser has 70%-80% success rates with very little advertising. Who's in it for the right reasons?

posted on Sun, 08/11/2013 - 12:45am
Quinn LeFeber's picture
Quinn LeFeber says:

I've tried many times to quit and the Laser worked for me. I was skeptical but as soon as i left and went to my car, the smell of cigarettes doesn't appeal to me. I rarely have cravings and am smoke free.

A lot of doctors are full of crap who favor and are controlled by pharmaceautical companies bent on world domination.

Madonna Rules

posted on Tue, 05/08/2007 - 2:31pm
Michelle's picture
Michelle says:

I would love to know where I can get this procedure, I live in Brisbane. I'm hoping there is a clinic close by. Is there anyone who can give me assistance in finding a clinic? Thanks

Michelle

posted on Fri, 05/11/2007 - 1:41am
violet hayes's picture
violet hayes says:

I live in southeastern Va. and am ready to give this
a try. Been smoking most of my life and I want to quit!!

where , in my area, is there a clinic?

posted on Sat, 05/22/2010 - 5:15pm
Not Smokey Anymore's picture
Not Smokey Anymore says:

I am smoke-free after using laser therapy. I feel great and I haven't gain weight..and I'm not addicted to nicotine replacements. I am so THANKFUL for this process! I am one of the 80% who quit through laser therapy and wants nothing to do with smoking.
Did this doctor from the Mayo Clinic ever smoke? I doubt it. I've talked to people who did their program. I heard that they lock you up, give you patches and gum and TALK you through your addiction. Wow! That is definitely worth the $5000. they charge. I also heard their success rate is around 23%. If you want to rip a smoking cessation program apart...start there. Looks like the only ones making out okay are the clinic and nicotine replacement companies.
Me, I'm happy that I spent $306 and received REAL PHYSICAL help.

posted on Mon, 05/14/2007 - 2:47pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

This poster is definitely a shill.

posted on Tue, 10/21/2008 - 10:58am
Jake from the Big Apple's picture
Jake from the Big Apple says:

It's probably a safe bet many of the "pro laser treatment" comments here are actually sock puppets created by laser treatment center owners and/or employees.

posted on Mon, 04/26/2010 - 3:41pm
cqui's picture
cqui says:

This comment about owners and employees of Breathe Laser as the source of the positive comments about Breathe Laser could hold water if I would see anyone saying they wasted their money. That is the research test for any review site. Then I would say I agree.

posted on Mon, 01/07/2013 - 8:28pm
Marie McMAnus's picture
Marie McMAnus says:

Can you please tell me were you went to have this laser treatments done?

posted on Mon, 08/02/2010 - 8:24am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I have friends....twins that just turned 50 that lost both parents to lung cancer and were desperate to quit. All the other methods (even the one that worked on me) did nothing for them, then one had the laser therapy last October. When the other saw that it was REALLY WORKING, she went (in December) as well. Now......both are still smoke-free and neither gained ANY weight! I hope my 2 kids think it's worth the $300.00 and go too!!

BTW, I used an herbal remedy called "Smoke Away" that everyone said was bogus and not FDA approved too.....it was the charm for me....so I say NOT being FDA approved should NOT stop someone from trying a "recommended by ex-smokers" method!!

posted on Thu, 05/31/2007 - 11:38am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

My mother is about to take advantage of this treatment. After speaking to her doctor about it, she was told of 2 incidences where the person taking the treatment had short term memory loss. Could someone please let us know if they have heard of anything else or similar.

posted on Fri, 06/22/2007 - 7:14am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Never heard of it I have been treating clients for 3 years plus now and have not heard of this. Maybe they were heavy smokers and with the nicotine coming out of there body which had probaly been there for years, they had to clear there head and body of harmful poisions and maybe was not thinking clear for a short period of time. Laser therapy has been around for 30 years with no side effects. If anyone felt a little discomfort it was withdrawals from the chemicals like ammonia, arsenic, formaldehyde. nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, just to name a few of the 4,000.00 chemicals that is in a cigarette. It is safe and painless.

posted on Fri, 07/06/2007 - 11:23am
J... anonymous's picture
J... anonymous says:

I've noticed that a certain style of writing is almost ALWAYS associated with internet marketing. Look for lots of CAPITALIZED words, selected arbitrarily FROM the body of text. I think it helps convince you that the product or service is GENUINE!!!

Another feature: STATISTICS. Studies show that 75% of readers are convinced by PERCENT signs. Which studies? Studies representing 80% of the field's TOP SCIENTISTS, that's which!

And let's not forget exclamation points!!!

Also, money. The alternative to writing a bunch of dollar amounts will cost you as much as $5000!! Tossing in some figures will only run you about $300. It just makes SENSE!

Not CONVINCED? What if I emphasize some PERSONAL EXPERIENCE? I used to be SUPER embarassed about meeting girls, but ever since I tried this supplement, I don't have that problem any more! I mean laser therapy!!

Then again, who's to say if it works or not. It might not hurt to keep an open mind.

posted on Fri, 07/06/2007 - 5:58pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Oh please. I used those kinds of EMPHASIS all the time in my writing. How else can you add some 'animation' to your writing when you are not speaking live to someone? I have been told many times that they could feel the excitement or sadness or whatever I was sharing in my message (personal writing).

Thanks for the tips though. I have to see if if works should I ever start marketing anything online.

posted on Wed, 10/31/2007 - 9:13pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I tried it and it does not really help. It was like going cold turkey. I used food as a suppliment as well and gained weight. A waste of money. I only quit for 2 weeks out of sheer will because I spent $300.00 on it...and the first week I thought I was going crazy. It's a placebo people...nothing more, nothing less.

posted on Wed, 09/19/2007 - 11:43pm
exsmoker's picture
exsmoker says:

Hello All,

I was reading around some of the posts here and I found interesting things that you guys talk about, I just made a blog about quitting smoking resources and ideas that you might want to check out.
If someone is interested in this topic just go to; http://endthehabitnow.blogspot.com and let me know what you think.
Thanks in advance.

posted on Wed, 09/26/2007 - 8:58am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I KNOW FOR A FACT THIS WORKS I TRIED EVERTHING ON THE MARKET THE LAST YEAR. MY HUSBAND AND I BOTH QUIT AT HEALTHLIFELASER.COM IN LIVINGSTON,TEXAS 1-936-327-1002 I SMOKED 40 YEARS AND HE SMOKED 48 YEARS WE HAVE BEEN SMOKE FREE FOR 7 MONTHS NOW. FEELS REALLY GREATO BE A NON SMOKER .LASER THERAPY REALLY WORKS

posted on Tue, 10/02/2007 - 3:33pm
the marlboro couple's picture
the marlboro couple says:

We haven't used the laser therapy yet. I just started surfing the web to get any information about it and get to this page.
All what I know is that my husband and I have tried everything to quit, including Chantix (which by the way, the full treatment costs about $500) and nothing worked.
Just do the math. A pack of cigarettes cost you +/- $5. In our case, we consume 3 packs a day = $15 a day = $450 a month.
If you pay for a laser treatment about $300 and you quit at least for few months, you will save enough to pay some bills, take vacations or simply spend the money to treat yourself!!!!
We will definitely give this a chance.
Will keep you posted.

posted on Sat, 12/08/2007 - 9:10am
JJ's picture
JJ says:

I am going to try this. We have a clinic here in Tucson that charges only $43 per session, so why not? I am also going to re-read the great book: "Allen Carr's Easy Way to STOP Smoking", $7.95 at Barnes&Noble... Just reading this book got me off the habit for 2 years and then again for 7 months.. a great way to neutralize the brainwashing of nicotine... I am hopeful and confident that the combination of Laser and the book will work, and the price is right! I smoke around a pack a day, and on golf days, closer to 2 packs. It is fascinating to me that an simple poison like nicotine can get into your system and actually alter the mental processes to make you an addict... and destroy your health. Even though everybody knows that smoking is foolish and extremely dangerous, we still fire up and suck in the poison... crazy!! It is a form of insanity. So the only way to quit, IMO, is to go a week or so without replacing the nicotine, and the urges mellow... then it is just a matter of re-training the brain to accept the new reality of non-smoking. I think the laser can help a great deal to get through the initial withdrawal stage (not that bad, guys), and the book provides continual reinforcement to keep it going. I agree with other posters here, the FDA is totally corrupt, just an arm of the big pharmaceutical companies... and trying to get off the addiction of nicotine by replacing the nicotine with patches or gum is crazy. I wish you all the best in stopping this addiction... remember, it is NOT so much a habit as it is an addiction! And who wants to be addicted, knowing that 100% of the time, you WILL eventually have major health issues, even if just a lack of energy and physical fitness??

posted on Tue, 05/20/2008 - 10:59am
Kevin Johnson's picture

I just wish someone would come up with a system that works.

I hate smoking, I am sick of hearing how much I stink of smoke, I love my little girls and it breaks my heart when they do not want to sit with me because daddy stinks like a cigarette.

I have tried the patch, it falls off, the inhaler was just like smoking and I did it for a while and had some real success. I tried the laser over the weekend. I was so shocked that out of desperation I fell for this con/scam. I felt no different than when I went in the door.

I was even more irate when I found my self craving the taste and smell and feel of a Marlboro Light in my lips with a fire in the end of it. I hate anything to do with this scam of lasers and acupuncture. It is all Voodoo mumbo jumbo. The only thing that works is quitting and time. I will buy into the idea lots of water to flush the chemicals out of your system. I will buy the idea that smoking is bad for my health.

But I am also mad that there are so many who would be willing take advantage of a desperate person trying to quit. The gum the patch the inhaler: I think they are great options. But now I am really not a proponent of alternative medicine. Chiropractors, Laser Poketicianors, Shaman, Voodoo doctors and Quacks. All of you should be beaten to death with some if the devices you take our hard earned money from us with.

posted on Sun, 01/13/2008 - 11:31pm
bothwill's picture
bothwill says:

I am a little bit skeptical about laser treatments, you can't just give up an old habit in such a short while. I would like to believe it's true because I am a smoker myself and tried to quit many times without success. As far as I am concerned quiting such an addiction takes time and effort, in this case I trust more a drug rehab facility than a laser treatment.

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 4:38am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Basically a lot of people are weak and need magic like accupuncture, laser therapy, 12 steps, vitamins, etc to feel capable of quitting smoking.

But they're all just a spoon full of sugar and will either part you from your money or from your personal control over your life.

Quitting smoking easily is mainly about your attitude- if you don't fight your craves and the quit itself you will let the load off your back and feel empowered. Getting there is free and requires no club involvement.

posted on Mon, 06/30/2008 - 10:03am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

My roommate just got this laser therapy, and I'm not seeing any difference in her. Both she and I are smokers. I want to quit too, but I wanted to see her results (and read some comments like those here) before I spent $300 on this procedure.

Let me put it this way: My roommate is miserable to be around right now--she's an F*#@ing B*%@#H!!! (Even more so than usual--which I didn't think was possible.) I think Satan has taken over my roommate--her eyes even look like beady little daggers!

If this laser stimulates any dopamine receptors that are blocked by nicotine and make you feel good, then I'm convinced it does not work. She definitely DOES NOT have anything "feel good" going on with her!!! I think I'll save my $300 and put it toward some patches and gum to ween myself off cigarettes!

Quitting smoking is never easy, it never has been nor will it ever be. It's going to suck big time. Everyone wants to think there is a quick fix for everything bad in life--weight gain, quitting smoking, energy, pain etc. THERE ISN'T PEOPLE!!! COME ON!!! Don't waste your money on this SCAM!

posted on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 8:52pm
kay's picture
kay says:

first of all you shouldn't let swearing in here little kids read this and they ask there parents what that mean and then you'll just have a whole bunch of problems so please don't swear.

posted on Wed, 07/23/2008 - 11:04am
Sam Carter's picture
Sam Carter says:

sheer force of will. that's how i did it. all you have to do is really want to quit and you can. trust me, it's not as hard as you would think, but as I said, you have to really want to.

posted on Wed, 07/23/2008 - 12:57pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

This therapy worked great for me. I smoked for 20 years and tried everything to quit. The therapy just makes it much easier to quit because you are very calm and don't get the physical cravings. You still think about it but the therapist gave me some good tips to getting through the psychological stuff. The therapy is based on acupuncture, so it's not really new. The only new thing is that they use a laser instead of needles. Americans always seem to think that they need a pill for everything, and then the pill ends up making them sicker. Look at the people on Chantix who are commiting suicide. Laser therapy and a bit of willpower worked wonders for me. I received my treatment at www.healinglaserclinics.net

posted on Fri, 07/25/2008 - 2:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Placebo is always safe, and is effective for some people. Placebo is also more effective when people have spent time and energy receiving it. Simple question people: What do you think lasers are? They're not magic, they do have legitimate uses, but are no panacea. The ones that "laser therapy" outlets use are simply the same ones you can buy at the gas station that your cat likes to chase. It's polarized, concentrated light. If laser therapy works, then sunbathing would work too - or even more so as there's a lot more lumens per square inch. (Heck, the Sun can even burn you! Go figure). Save your money, or better yet - donate your $300 to charity and then throw your smokes away. The best way I've found to quit is simple and extremely hard at the same time, you have to commit to it to quit: Never take another puff. No nicotine gum, no patch, no chew, no pills. Not one thing containing nicotine. If you do, the pattern of addiction starts all over again. The first three days suck horribly, and to get through those, drink extra water and drink fruit juices, big glasses of both, keep drinking until the desire goes away - don't eat food to fill that void. Breathe deep and slow. Coffee can be a trigger, buy caffiene pills and drink some water in the morning for the first week. Driving can be a trigger, buy a new cd to listen to and learn the words to the song. I would imagine you'd have the extra money to do both now that you are free.

I repeat: if you want to quit, never take another puff. No nicotine gum, no patch, no chew, no pills. Not one thing containing nicotine. If you do, the pattern of addiction starts all over again.

posted on Wed, 10/08/2008 - 7:28pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Have you noticed that the Laser people are sending SHILLS in here, promoting their treatments?

I am a PhD medicinal chemist and there IS NO WAY that these treatments work!

They basically shine a laser pointer on your skin for 30 minutes! Completely BOGUS!! DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!

If you really want to see if it works, buy a $10 pen laser and try it at home!!

I can't believe they charge $300 for this crap! It's a total scam!

The best way to quit is with Selegiline Transdermal patches - nicotine is only 1/2 of the cigarette addiction. Other components of tobacco, mostly harmane and norharmane, deplete levels of MAO (monoamine oxidase) in the brain, ultimately resulting in increased levels of dopamine. Selegiline is a selective MAO-B inhibitor (and prevents breakdown of dopamine) and will abolish cravings, in combination with a low-dose nicotine patch to prevent physical symptoms.

posted on Tue, 10/21/2008 - 10:57am
Chandra's picture
Chandra says:

I am beyond angry. I tried the Laser 'miracle' therapy just 5 days ago. I've had nothing but cravings the entire time. Immediately following the treatment and for the next 72 hours I experienced memory loss, decreased thinking and reasoning ability, strong desire to hurt myself or others, unmotivated crying jags, and hyper-agitation. I have never felt this way before and don't feel like I 'signed on' for this or even made aware these are possible side effects. I have only smoked for the past 6 years; less than 1 pack a day. Everything I was supposed to experience was completely opposite:
1. You will feel calm - I felt like I lost IQ points - unable to speak cohesively, process information, etc.
2. Stay away from alcohol, spicy foods and caffeine - these are the only things I can tolerate that takes any edge off the craving.
3. You may experience 'mild irratability" - I tried to use my car as a weapon. The combination of anger, hatred and severe depression made me want to slam the car into any object to stop what I was feeling.
4. For 4 days I experienced a 'buzz' in my head that was not euphoric in any way - it was like white noise I couldn't escape from including when I tried to sleep.

I am wondering if anyone else has experienced anything similar. My boyfriend did it at the same time and had similar effects but no where near as severe. He has also quit before - using the cold turkey method and said this was the exact same situation so now I feel like we were both screwed out of $468. The clinic we went to only offers 'booster' sessions (no $ back) which may be fine if I were willing to feel sucidial all over again but I'm not. I don't believe the success rates being advertised or the testimonies I've read. I feel I've been misled and not sure if I have any course of action.

posted on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 7:35pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

When I received the laser treatment, I felt sick for the next day and slept nearly 24 hours! I didn't feel like myself for several days, but I quit! I don't feel there was any permanent ill effect, I think it was the result of the body dumping toxins during the first 24-48 hours and then my body had to rebalance itself as a non-smoker- I smoked for 30 years! I was able to quit only with the laser!!!

YES, some people will go through some physical and emotional reactions, and some reactions will be stronger than others. Just know that whatever crap is coming out, it's a good thing. It's like you've got to get through all that to get to the other side. And when you're finally through, then you're in a better place than you were before you quit.

posted on Fri, 07/23/2010 - 11:19am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Laser therapy is simply another option like the gum, patch, drugs, hynosis. It's an alternative. Individuals respond differently to different approaches, so I think all smokers are fortunate to have so many options. I don't know that it's necessary to make such absolute and negative comments about laser therapy. It's certainly unfortunate that some people make that big investment and aren't successful quitting, but documented success rates for all of the approved methods are less than optomistic. I know numbers of people, including myself, that have had great success with a local laser therapy business here in Michigan......a business that originated in Windsor, Ontario. I've also heard of other similar businesses whose program is far less comprehensive leading me to believe that some practitioners are just looking to make a buck, while others seem truly committed to helping individuals achieve freedom from nicotine. Laser therapy cannot physically keep someone from putting a cigarette in their mouth, but paired with the appropriate support and education, it was the answer for me!

posted on Sat, 01/10/2009 - 4:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Hi Folks,

I was doing a bit of research on this very topic. I have read every post and thought I would chime in.

For a bit of background information on myself:

I am a male
I am 39 years young
I am a veteran of the US Army (SSG with 16 years 4 months and 16 days time of service)
I have served at FT Bragg NC, with 3 tours in Iraq and 2 tours in Afghanistan, as well as several other deployments to Bosnia, Kosovo etc...

Hopefully, you will find my views a bit more objective, than a lot of the posts here.

Point "1". (About the LASERs, used in this therapy)

LASER: The term laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

If researched properly you should find that the LASERs used in this procedure are "Class III(b)" LASERs. Virtually all class 3(b) are therapeutic LASERs and fall into this classification.

Class II LASERs are in the "visible" range and considered "safe" for momentary viewing. One should not stare into the beam. (These are those laser "pointers" many people claim could be used in lieu of the the Class III(b))

Class I LASERs are both visible and infrared LASERs. No danger to the eye or skin. These types of LASERs are used in price scanners, CD players, and printers etc.

Class 3(b) or therapeutic LASERs are only or should only be sold to licensed healthcare professionals in the United States. (Please note here that I am certain not all companies or salesman are ethical, I am simply stating that this power of LASER is supposed to ONLY be sold to properly licensed healthcare providers in the US).

So the arguement that a "LASER pointer" can be used or could be used in this treatment is absolutely absurd. And for those of you that are "professional" healthcare providers and make this statement, then obviously you missed a day or two in science class.

Hopefully, I've addressed the "laser theory and placebo effect" of the lasers used in LLLT (Low Level Laser Therapy)

Point "2"

The US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has established an "IRB" Investigation Review Board. To research the effects of LLLT and Smoking Cessation as well Weight Loss. Every LLLT that is involved with these progams MUST be a part of this IRB and meet all IRB requirements and documentation. Which includes supervision of the program by an approved and properly licensed health care provider as it's "Primary Investigator".

Hopefully, with this point I have extinguished the thoughts that this is a "vodoo" or "quack procedure". A proper facility, with proper equipment, proper IRB supervision by a properly licensed health care provider. Should or will support these treatments as effective or ineffective based on current standards within the US. On a personal note, things seem like they are moving along quite nicely in support of this therapy. Time and study will tell all.

Point "4"

100% effective therapies are "myths". Similiar to whether or not there are E.T's. Some people will stand behind the fact they believe in UFO's, some will stand as skeptics. It's human nature to be either pro or con. For every therapy or "cure" there is pro and con health care professionals. Some believe in nicotine replacement, some believe in Welbutrin/Chantrix etc. There are dozens of different opinions on which therapy is best for each and every individual facing their own unique set of circumstance. Please do your own investigation on what you feel would work best for you. Because regardless of the method you the consumer choose, you MUST believe in it, for it to work, positive forward thinking is your best tool in getting the best result of the therapy you choose. Keep in mind the paperwork you must sign before any medical procedure and the "risks" involved....

Point here is nothing is 100% in any therapy, and medical professionals both pro and con of this procedure will have you sign disclaimers even on the therapies/procedures they believe 100% in/on. After all we live in rough times in a litigious society.

Point 5 (I am almost done I promise)

LLLT for smoking cessation and weight control has a lot more physiological actions happening than simply raising endorphine levels and curbing withdrawl pains. Here is what research shows:

Chemical changes: LLLT changes the energy level of the cells and physiological chemical process within cells reqires energy

Thermal: Energy from the laser WILL increase movement of molecules and atoms generating heat.

Bio-Energetic: Electromagnetic waves penetrate in one direction and create a magnetic field, changing the direction of tissue molecules. (This activates the sodium pump and other processes)

Bio-Electric: Cells transmit coherent red and infrared light, called induction.

The three important effects of Laser Therapy:

1) Biostimulation/regeneration of tissue
2) Reduction of inflammation
3) Relief of pain

So, perhaps the failure here is to assume the American public is less than intelligent and made "why this treatment works" by breaking it down to "release of endorphins". Whatever the failure here is to fully explain why this therapy may or may not be beneficial, please don't reduce this option as "fly by night".

Point 6 (final point)

I am currently studying to become a Certified Low Level Laser Therapist, because I sincerely want to help people any and every way I can. I have personally observed the destruction we as humans bring upon one another over the silliest of things including ideology.

I hope I have opened a few minds.

Warmest regards and healthy wishes.

Here is a great video clip I found while studying:

See video

posted on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 5:36pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How much did they pay you to post this?

posted on Thu, 03/03/2011 - 7:04pm
Judy K's picture
Judy K says:

Where are you? I had had this treatment done in Danville, CA in 2005-it worked perfectly for me. I was 54 at the time and had been a smoker for 42 years. I had it done via a company called Remedy who is no longer in business (that I can find). Months after that my husband became ill and it was an awful time-I had no urge, but his cigarette's were on the table and I picked one up and haven't been able to stop since. I have been desperately trying to find a place to get it done again. I am in Santa Cruz, CA-but am willing to travel. Can you help me?

posted on Fri, 12/07/2012 - 2:40pm
Jeff from OH's picture
Jeff from OH says:

This laser "therapy" is as silly as any other program appealing to desperate people trying to quit smoking. My colleagues and I had a good laugh when we looked at some of the websites. You might as well spend your money on magic beans or Doc Johnson's Miracle Elixir.

posted on Wed, 05/27/2009 - 9:03am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i tried it. i quit for a year and a half. the withdrawl was just as nasty as any of the other times i quit. the reason it worked was the combined fees of my wife and my treatments added up, said i couldn't spend on cigs for 2 months, else i be a fool.
its a placebo, and a ritual. quackery.
the embarrassment of the expenditure and the 2 months is what did it.
smokin like a steam ship now.

posted on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 9:12am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i thought laser treatments were for arm or leg hair and eyes who need glasses

posted on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 3:00pm
Alcohol Rehab's picture

I am a little bit skeptical about laser treatments, you can't just give up an old habit in such a short while. I would like to believe it's true because I am a smoker myself and tried to quit many times without success. As far as I am concerned quiting such an addiction takes time and effort

posted on Sun, 09/27/2009 - 12:06am
bill03's picture
bill03 says:

To anymous 39 year old veteran, you're definition of class 3b laser is wrong. It's class has nothing to do with therapuetic use, and if you'd bother to look at the clasification label on any laser pen, you'd see that they are class 3b lasers not class 2 as you state. If you want clarification about laser classifications and their definitions, just go to the FDA website.

posted on Thu, 12/03/2009 - 2:10pm
Pat's picture
Pat says:

I was a very heavy smoker, about 2-3 packs a day. I had my laser treatment 2.5 years ago, and have never looked back. The treatment erased the addiction for me. I was left to beat the habbit on my own, but it was so much easier without that little nicotine voice nagging at me. No shakes, no crankies, no sweats. All of the addiction withdrawl symptoms were gone. It only took 1 treatment, and it cost $199 Canadian. They said I could have a second treatment if I needed it but I didn't. People smoke all around me, at work, in my car, in my home, but it doesn't bother me. I have no cravings what so ever.

Now I hope my spelling is perfect, and I don't see any typo's .. I wouldn't want anyone to think I'm full of it because of a typo :) ... some people ... anyway laser treatment works, it does everything the clame it does

posted on Thu, 01/28/2010 - 2:50pm
Howard's picture
Howard says:

I'm a practising therapist who bought a low level laser system about 10 years ago to treat clients with muscle, joint and skin problems. It was only a year or two later that I was asked by a quit smoking organisation if I could accept referrals from clients for smoking cessation therapy. I had not previously used the acupuncture facility on my equipment but was given full instructions on how to carry out the treatment and decided to try it out on a few 'guinea pigs'. I should emphasise that I would never do such a thing unless I knew the risks to be non-existent, but in more than forty years there has never been a reported accident resulting from the use of this type of therapy. In fact there have been numerous high level studies, such as those by NASA and the Bethesda military hospital which have shown LLLT to be highly effective in wound healing and nerve regeneration, amongst other uses.
Of course, to accept the use of such a tool in smoking cessation treatment involves a belief in the efficacy of acupuncture - or at any rate an open mind. All my clients have had one or the other, or both of these attributes. I must admit that I was at first unsure, but had the treatment been unsuccessful I had promised a full refund. I am glad to say that I never had to resort to this. What amazed me most, apart from the excellent results, was that people I would never have expected were willing to give it a try.
Progress in science has always been held up because of arrogance and resistance to change, often by people in authority who have vested interests. Countless great discoveries have been considered in the mainstream as crackpot. Schopenhauer said that truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self - evident. Jonathan Swift said that when a true genius appears in this world you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are in confederacy against him.
It always amazes me that so many dunces spout their prejudices in these blogs. My message to those people is, "If you think something is impossible don't disturb the person doing it" .

posted on Fri, 05/21/2010 - 5:52am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

First of all, the laser doesn't "put" endorphins into the body. The laser stimulates "quite smoking" accupuncture points. And if 20% don't quit, the conversely, 80% DO quit which is a much higher percentage than any other method.

Also, the FDA knows about these lasers because any reputable laser quit smoking practitioner must operate under one of the FDA's clinical trials. It's the clinical trials that will help gather the statistics and information that is needed in order for the FDA to eventually fully endorse cold laser therapy as a smoking cessation method.

People are quitting at a much higher rate than with other methods. It works if the quitter does their part, just like anything else. But it makes it much easier for the quitter to do their part!

posted on Fri, 07/23/2010 - 11:08am
Shana's picture
Shana says:

Well, I have to admit I'm a pretty diehard skeptic of these kinds of things. That said, my mother quit smoking with acupuncture after 20 years. While I do think that it was likely due to a placebo effect and that she truly quit due to extreme determination, the end result remains. If people need a little hope or faith in something to take steps to heal themselves, then I don't see anything wrong with spending a couple hundred dollars on it. It's much less than she would have spent on cigarettes these last 14 years (nevermind healthcare).

On the other hand, these things can easily become outrageous wastes of money, especially if the smoker isn't fundamentally determined to quit. To me the trick is identifying how to protect consumers without eradicating the things that give people hope.

posted on Fri, 07/23/2010 - 1:18pm
DO's picture
DO says:

A friend of mine used hypnosis to quit smoking. He said it took enough of the edge off the urge to smoke that it helped.

posted on Fri, 07/23/2010 - 4:39pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I quit smoking after 1st session. I smoked 30 years and tried almost everything, but could not quit.

posted on Fri, 08/20/2010 - 7:33pm
maskj57's picture
maskj57 says:

I smoked for 20 years and tried everything to quit. The therapy just makes it much easier to quit because you are very calm and don't get the physical cravings. You still think about it but the therapist gave me some good tips to getting through the psychological stuff. The therapy is based on acupuncture, so it's not really new. The only new thing is that they use a laser instead of needles. Americans always seem to think that they need a pill for everything, and then the pill ends up making them sicker. Look at the people on Chantix who are commiting suicide. Laser therapy and a bit of willpower worked wonders for me.
shingles symptoms

posted on Fri, 08/27/2010 - 11:07am
wakacje 2011's picture

A friend of mine used hypnosis to quit smoking. He said it took enough of the edge off the urge to smoke that it helped.

posted on Wed, 12/01/2010 - 9:07am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

thats cool. my best friends parents just recemtly stopped smoking. so congradulations

posted on Sun, 08/29/2010 - 11:09am
James's picture
James says:

I smoked for 20 years and tried everything to quit. The therapy just makes it much easier to quit because you are very calm and don't get the physical cravings. You still think about it but the therapist gave me some good tips to getting through the psychological stuff. The therapy is based on acupuncture, so it's not really new. The only new thing is that they use a laser instead of needles. Americans always seem to think that they need a pill for everything, and then the pill ends up making them sicker. Look at the people on Chantix who are commiting suicide

posted on Wed, 09/15/2010 - 5:48am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I tried the cold laser Therapy and didn't work, but did cut down my cigarette intake going from a pack a day to smoking only 3-4 cigarettes a day. I'm currently on Chantix and that seems to be working good, so I guess everybody is different. I believe that their is no quick fix to quit smoking and anyone that tells you that you do this and you will have no withdrawal systems what so ever and that it will be easy is full of BS.

posted on Fri, 09/17/2010 - 12:21am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

My mom, a 3 pack a day smoker for 40 years, just had this treatment today. She, like most smokers who want to quit, has tried everything from hypnosis to patches. It has been 10 hours since the treatment and she has not had a cigarette. Yes, it is only 10 hours. But with every other treatment my mom wouldn't last an hour before picking up another cigarette. Even when not trying to quit, she wears a nicotine patch if she is ever in a situation where she can't smoke within an hour or two. So 10 hours is a miricle to me. Only time will tell. I will believe after a few weeks of her not smoking. Just based on the 10 hours she has had smoke free, I am convinced this therapy could be effective for some people.

If my mother is able to stay quit for a few weeks (she goes for the second treatment in 4 days) then I will try it. I have been smoking for 20 years, half to full pack a day. I am just now starting to feel the effects of smoking on my health. I have actually never wanted to quit, and really still don't want to very much. I wish I did want to. I wonder what impact, if any, not wanting to quit, will have on the laser treatment. I have to quit for my health, finances and family.

posted on Sat, 09/18/2010 - 12:37am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Upon reading the comments of the believers in quackery above, I'm tempted to open a business called Quacks where I'll sell laser therapy for smoking, hair loss, weight loss, spouse loss, and more. Yes folks, lasers are the latest in quackery and I'm all for them. Additionally I will sell magnets (lots of people believe in the magic of magnets), crystals, health suppliments (even those disproven to benefit) and a host of other natural products used from the Ancient Chinese throughout history.

While many of the above writers claim that quack products and treatments do no harm, in fact they do as they divert people from real treatments. On the other hand, for those who like quacks, as Dickens said "let them die and reduce the surplus population".

posted on Mon, 01/24/2011 - 6:57pm
Larry's picture
Larry says:

That's just ridiculous.

posted on Thu, 05/05/2011 - 3:25pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

One should NOT be surprised by the medical establishments rejection of a therapy that does not fall within their paradigm. They don't control it, so it can't be good for you. And isn't it interesting that they would promote products that are potentially far more harmful to you than a form of [laser] acupuncture, with lesser outcomes. Ask the Bologna salesman what the best cold cut is and he will of course tell you Bologna. This modality IS used widely in Europe and China, and with an 80% success rate. Far better then pills and patches offered by the modern snake oil salesman physician in this country. Wake up you sheeple. There are an estimated 106,000 deaths per year alone due to the negative side effects of prescription drugs making [medical] doctors the 3rd leading cause of death in the US. Listen to them blindly and you to will reap the rewards of "modern" medicine. Seems like a long death spiral to me.

posted on Tue, 01/17/2012 - 11:59am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How about you all just use something called Will Power. It's a laser pointer and they beam it around you and say your done. And you actually give them money for this. Placebo effect people. What a disgrace of a world we live in. Oh, and half the notes on here saying it works, are autobots from the companies. So don't think that these amazing stories are all real. Take your money, get a gym membership or buy good food or do something with your life. You need a smack in the head, not a laser to the head.

posted on Fri, 05/04/2012 - 9:57am
mdr's picture
mdr says:

I don't know if the laser treatment works or not, but in regards to smoking, nicotine is a very addictive drug, and "will power" is really no match against addiction. If it were effective, with all the available knowledge of the damage caused by smoking that's out there today (including all the other harmful crap smokers ingest into their lungs), most reasonable people would quit smoking. Yet, people continue to do it. Nancy Reagan's ill-informed "Just Say No" campaign during the '80s was and still is essentially worthless with addicts.

posted on Fri, 05/04/2012 - 12:25pm
Shmliz's picture
Shmliz says:

My two cents, even if this thread is insanely old...

I had the laser treatment done yesterday, only because I didn't have to pay for it (certain people in my life have been nagging me to quit for a long, long time, and one of them finally wore me down; I figure, if it doesn't work, at least I didn't lose anything).

I have received auricular acupuncture before, with real needles, and the effects with the laser were similar, but magnified (there are five or so points on the ear which are usually stimulated to *help* people who are addicts get through the process of recovery from their addictions, but in the sense that they help to relax you, and treat the associated anxiety). At times during the laser treatment, I felt incredibly sleepy, foggy, and overwhelmingly relaxed. It was borderline uncomfortable, and I stepped out of the room, feeling as though I had been drugged (in a good way...I couldn't stop smiling).

Twenty minutes later, I burst into tears and have been crying uncontrollably, off and on, since then.

I think if you treat it as a session of acupuncture, the laser *is* effective, but when trying to overcome an addiction, there is no such thing as a quick fix. Maybe the laser therapy can be beneficial in a supportive role, but the majority of the work has to come from within the addict. I find myself questioning whether or not I'm really free from cravings. I don't feel a physical need to light a cigarette, but all the psychological triggers are still there. The longer I cry, the more I wish I had relief, in the form of a cigarette.

As with all treatments (be they pharmaceutical or natural), you should question how they function, and do your own research before putting your faith into a professional who probably only cares about taking your money (and I am referring to pretty much all medical professionals; let's not deny that medicine is a business, which heavily relies on people being sick and buying pharmaceuticals. For every "fake" post supporting laser therapy here, there is also a "fake" post by some doctor who doesn't want to lose business).

posted on Mon, 07/23/2012 - 4:55pm
mrb2563's picture
mrb2563 says:

I quit smoking using self-hypnosis. It took the edge off and I've been 20 years smoke-free. Cigarettes have an anti-depressant effect because of some of the chemicals used to make them (4000 of them!) It only takes 7 days to get out of your system, the rest is psychological. I tried to quit many times before I was successful. Don't give up!

posted on Fri, 08/31/2012 - 11:29am
Nick Othen's picture
Nick Othen says:

Hypnotherapy worked for me and many others.

posted on Tue, 01/15/2013 - 9:50am
Anonymous20123's picture
Anonymous20123 says:

Clearly anyone who says smokers are just weak and just don't have will power, are not smokers or they would realize that it's not that easy. Smoking is the #1 hardest addictions to break. Sheesh.

My boyfriend is going today to try laser therapy. It's time to quit and he's ready and it's a sound option. Everyone is going to have their own way that works that won't work for others. He won't do anything like Chantix or Zyban and with darn good reasons.

Anyhow, anyone who says laser is a crock. Try breaking 7 ribs and see how you do without it. I did this two years ago and without the laser and shockwave therapy there is no way I'd have my whole mobility back. Just sayin'!

My two cents too on this old thread...:)

posted on Mon, 01/21/2013 - 12:17pm
I'm an idiot/loser/smoker's picture
I'm an idiot/loser/smoker says:

I have been smoking since age 13, started with the other neighborhood kids. I will be 50 this year. In spite of getting my tail beat and grounded every time I got caught smoking, suspended from school and lectured most of my life on top of all that, I have never been able to quit. Fast forward to today and I get shunned and dirty looks every time I light one up. You feel like a criminal, people think you're an idiot or a loser and some don't mind telling you that. This hasn't stopped me either. Obviously different things work for different people and for some of us nothing works. I know people who have quit via hypnosis, acupuncture, gum, patches, electronic cigarettes, prescription medication and by their own will power. I had a psychologist who was honest enough to tell me he would not hypnotize me to stop smoking because I had to really want to quit for the method to work. I appreciated being told that. What is wrong with offering another option for people out there willing to try it if there are no harmful side effects? Hasn't the FDA deemed this laser "Non significant risk"? (I'm sure someone will correct me on that). Some of the meds on the market cause terrible side effects including becoming suicidal for some folks. And that is OK to market to the public and tout as an effective stop smoking treatment? The meds do not have a high success rate nor does anything else I know of available for this purpose other than having the will power behind you and truly wanting to stop. I see nothing wrong with making use of an available tool such as laser therapy or anything else (if it is safe) to give someone an added boost of hope. Sometimes that's all it takes. There are no magic answers as far as I can tell, if there were there wouldn't be so many options out there for people. If one particular method truly works without a doubt that would be the only method people would be turning to. Trying any method is going to cost money with no 100% guarantee of results. If we can quit by sheer will power that of course is the best way and it's free....but unfortunately for a lot of us, we simply don't have the will power. I've been to acupuncturist and chiropractors for pain issues which totally did nothing for me so I could easily say they are a crock or engaging in quackery, but I don't because I know those treatment methods DO work for others. If the laser method does no harm, then what is the harm in offering it as another option for people? I'm thinking of giving the laser treatment a try but still debating because of the fact that I have tried so many other methods of treatment and nothing has worked so far. If I do the laser and it doesn't work then I am simply gonna throw it in the category with everything else out there that hasn't worked...and say oh well, It's ALL a crock! It's all a money gig of offering false hope! I guess I'm doomed to smoke the rest of my (probably short) life and remain an "idiot and a loser" til I can figure out a way to get that willpower thing down. Maybe waterboarding will work! Haha!

posted on Wed, 03/27/2013 - 12:57pm
candiceolsen's picture
candiceolsen says:

For all of you who don't think laser therapy works, I'll testify that it does. My sister did the laser therapy 3 1/2 years ago, and has never had a cigarette again since the treatment. She said she had no withdrawal symptoms and has had no desire to smoke. She smoked for over 30 years. It may not work for everyone, because everyone's different, but it DID work for her.

posted on Sat, 04/27/2013 - 6:02pm
rachael delautour's picture
rachael delautour says:

Im interested to know where this treatment can be done, I live in Newcastle, but willing to travel. Its for my sister, she is deperate to stop, hynotherapy hasnt worked, Do you know where this treatment can be done in Australia? Any othersuggestions for alternate treatments. I heard of a 48 hr treatment that removes the addictive content from the body, somewhere near Moreton Bay, it was radical treatment and I cant find him on the web.

posted on Mon, 04/29/2013 - 3:50pm
Tallia's picture
Tallia says:

I know that hypnosis worked for my mentor, a pack a day smoker for 20 years. She has been smoke free for about 10 years. Also group hypnosis worked on a friend, who was a pack a day smoker, and he is still smoke free after 13 years. Another friend who smoked half a pack a day just got laser acupuncture in Europe about 2 months ago, and is still smoke free, despite others constantly smoking around her. She says her desire to smoke is completely gone, like she got a "lobotomy." This is enough "evidence" for me to try one or both of these methods. I've been smoking off and on for 20 years and have tried the patch, the gum, cold turkey, and always relapse. I only smoke 1-3 a day, but I just want to be rid of the habit forever.

posted on Tue, 09/10/2013 - 4:54pm
Kristin's picture
Kristin says:

I am going to get laser therapy for the first time in about a month I am extremely nervous. Anyone have any advice for me?

posted on Wed, 06/11/2014 - 11:44am

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