Réduire voire arrêter sa consommation de tabac: pour atteindre cet objectif, de nombreux fumeurs sont prêts à tout.

Health: laser for smoking cessation? Beware of smoking!


Doctors and authorities are warning of a new, supposedly miraculous way to quit smoking, one that is not scientifically proven. This is expensive.

Reduce or even quit smoking: To achieve this goal, many smokers are ready for anything.

Image caption / Pixabay

With lasers, ‘stop smoking in one session’, ‘85% success rate’: these tempting promises – even if they mean paying an average of €150-250 per session – are circulating on the Internet. All this is all the more tempting because they skillfully manipulate a lexicon of medicine: “offices”, “therapists”, “treatment” … But beware, this technique is not scientifically proven, doctors and authorities warn.

“One year warranty and no weight gain”, promises you the site of a large network of “laser centers for tobacco control”. According to his triggers, the “soft laser” stimulates points on the auricle, a procedure that’s supposed to cut nicotine cravings. A technique derived from acupuncture. “I’m eliminating the physical need to smoke,” confirms Hakima Kuni, director of the Paris Laser Center. You have to be pretty excited and she’s “not a witch,” but she assures there’s no way that “works either.” An “obvious” method is scientifically proven, she says.

criticism method since 2007

“Smokers can have great difficulty when they have already tried to quit smoking several times and fall into the trap very easily,” explains Daniel Thomas, former head of the cardiology department at the Parisian Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, spokesman for the French. “The laser is not one of the approved and proven methods of weaning from tobacco,” we confirm on the official Tobacco-Info-Service website.

As early as 2007, the Canadian Cancer Society warned that this method benefited from very positive advertising campaigns, promising to quit smoking, alcohol and drugs. Fifteen years later, science is still skeptical but lasers are becoming popular in France thanks to “numerous advertising screens in newspapers, magazines, on television or on the Internet,” three pulmonologists and tobacco specialists note in an article in the French Medical Journal. mail addictionWhich confirms the lack of conclusive and serious studies.

The placebo effect

However, a smoker can completely walk out of a session of this type of technique away from their desire to smoke, the specialist points out, in particular because the placebo effect can have a significant effect. So much so that the French High Authority for Health asserts that if the benefit of non-approved methods has not been demonstrated, their use cannot be ruled out because of the “possible placebo effect”. Provided they are “harmless”.

As all specialists emphasize, it is the will that remains the key in any case. Not to mention all the other variables: A smoker who wants to quit is more likely to engage in better lifestyle habits that help with success. It is therefore difficult to determine the factor(s) that enabled it to stop. If these methods “can not cause any harm in advance and are sometimes likely to support highly motivated smokers, the main criticism that can be made in these centers is to make them a panacea with high success rates of unreliable 85%,” summarizes Daniel Thomas.

(France Press agency)

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