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Smokers Have New Way to Quit

photograph from Science & Technology story

(10/04/2005)

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Smoking is a very bad habit. It can cause many diseases, such as cancer and high blood pressure, and many people want to quit. It is not easy to quit smoking, however. Many people try to quit, but are not able to quit. They go right back to smoking cigarettes. They are addicted to smoking, but want help to quit.

There is a new way to help people quit smoking. It is based on an ancient Chinese method of treating pain. The method is called acupuncture. It is done by sticking needles in special areas of the body. These needles trigger special chemicals to help the pain go away.

A therapist is using acupuncture in a new way. She is using lasers instead of needles. She applies the lasers around the face and arms of people who want to quit smoking. The lasers do not hurt. They release chemicals called endorphins. The chemicals help people resist the urge to smoke.

One woman who had the laser acupuncture smoked for 45 years. The lasers helped her to quit. She did not feel like she had to smoke. She believes in the treatment and says that it can work for others. She says it helps to take the edge off her cravings. She has not smoked for a long time. The therapists say that the laser treatment does not cure the patient. They must have some willpower.

This treatment has been used for years in Canada and Europe. Until now, the government did not approve of acupuncture. Many doctors think that it is a very exciting way to treat smoking addiction.

(This was adapted from an original story provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)

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