Lasery Therapy For Smokers Compared to Snake Oil

The latest trend among some Australians to end their smoking habit involves laser therapy, but experts are crying foul.

Laser therapy is a thirty-minute procedure that involves a low-level laser directed at certain acupuncture points on the body, from the lower legs to the skull. At $450, the procedure claims to be releasing endorphins into the smoker’s bloodstream which mimic the nicotine high.

Such clinics are popping up all over Australia, and some of them are making claims of a success rate as high as 90%.

One clinic operator told to the Sidney Morning Herald that “Scientists may want scientific evidence but I have anecdotal evidence. I make no guarantees but I have had many people who were heavy smokers one minute and non-smokers an hour later.”

Said University of Sydney public health professor Simon Chapman, “In the history of tobacco advertising there have been a long line of snake-oil merchants, and this has all the hallmarks of being the latest kid on the block. There is not a skerrick of evidence in peer reviewed literature to indicate this is anything more than taking money from gullible, desperate people.” She added, “This would be laughable if it were not so tragic.”

Wendy Oakes of the Cancer Council said , “This kind of treatment sends a message to people that there is a quick, easy way to quit and if you fail at it then there is something wrong with you.”

Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Date: Mar. 10, 2008

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