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Laser Quit Smoking - Laser Therapy to Quit Smoking

stress treatment treatments smokers

According the Center for Disease Control, smoking and other tobacco use is responsible for over 440,000 deaths each year in the United States. In addition to lung cancer, smoking can cause other serious health problems both for smokers and those who are around them. Since many smokers recognize these health risks, they are trying to quit. However, because of the addictive nature of tobacco, quitting smoking can be very challenging, especially for heavy smokers and those who have had the habit for a long time.

People who are trying to quit smoking try many different methods. These include everything from quitting cold turkey to hypnosis, and have varying levels of success depending on the person, the level of tobacco use, and whether or not the person who is trying to quit is under stress from outside factors. For those who rely on cigarettes as a form of stress relief, quitting smoking can be especially difficult.

The reason that smoking is helpful for reducing stress is that nicotine functions as a quick substitute for the body’s natural mechanisms for dealing with stress. When under stress and in response to other external stimuli, the body naturally produces a chemical called an endorphin that increases energy and pleasure and decreases stress. In some ways, nicotine replaces endorphins and can over time temporarily reduce your body’s capacity to naturally respond to stress.

Although these treatments are controversial, some smokers claim that treatments such as acupuncture and low level laser therapy help them quit smoking This process, it is argued, can help stimulate the body’s endorphin production and thereby reduce the body’s dependence on nicotine, making it less difficult to quit smoking. Laser therapy consists of one or two treatments in which low energy, fine point lasers that may help reignite the endorphin production process are administered. It is based on the same principles that acupuncture is, but is a more attractive option for many people since it does not require needles being inserted in your body. Since these “cold lasers” have such a low level of energy, the process is typically pain free for the patient. Those who are considering using a low level laser to quit smoking need to make sure that they are healthy enough for the procedure. Those with cancer, epilepsy, and pregnant women cannot have this type of treatment because it might stimulate harmful cell growth. The cost for low level laser treatment to quit smoking is typically between $250 and $350 for a single treatment. Most patients only have one treatment, but it is not uncommon to have a second session about six to eight weeks after the first.

While many smokers claim to have been helped by laser treatment, there is no conclusive scientific proof that the process contributes to quitting smoking. In 2006, the health research group of Public Citizen asked the FDA to stop several companies who offer laser treatment for smoking. Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s health research department, called the laser treatments “a massive fraud,” and claimed that any success such treatments have is related to other factors than the lasers. The FDA, however, took no decisive actions against the companies.

Those who are considering laser treatment to quit smoking should therefore consider all of the factors. While the numbers must be taken with a grain of salt, many claims that success rates for laser therapy in the 50% to 80% range. Whether the lasers are actually helping people quit smoking or whether they only have a placebo effect, the treatments do seem to get results.

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