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NCCIH Clinical Digest. For health professionals.

Complementary Health Approaches for Smoking Cessation

January 2014
International No Smoking Symbol

Many smokers make quitting a New Year’s resolution. Nearly two out of three smokers want to quit, and about half of adult smokers attempt to quit each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most of the attempts to quit smoking are unsuccessful, but getting help through cessation advice by health care providers; individual, group, and telephone counseling; and cessation medications have been shown to be effective.

Recently, there has been emerging interest in the use of complementary therapies such as hypnotherapy, yoga, or mindfulness meditation to aid in smoking cessation. To date, several of these interventions have shown some promise in preliminary, non-randomized studies, but there is not enough evidence to establish if mind-body practices are as efficacious as other evidence-based smoking cessation treatments. A few studies have been conducted on the dietary supplements SAMe, silver acetate, and St. John’s wort for the treatment of tobacco dependence, but there is no current evidence that any natural product improves smoking cessation rates.

This issue of the digest highlights the evidence of several complementary health approaches for smoking cessation, including several mind and body practices.

Time to Talk Tips: 5 Things To Know About Complementary Health Approaches for Quitting Smoking

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NCCIH Clinical Digest is a service of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, NIH, DHHS. NCCIH Clinical Digest, a monthly e-newsletter, offers evidence-based information on complementary health approaches, including scientific literature searches, summaries of NCCIH-funded research, fact sheets for patients, and more.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health is dedicated to exploring complementary health products and practices in the context of rigorous science, training complementary health researchers, and disseminating authoritative information to the public and professionals. For additional information, call NCCIH's Clearinghouse toll-free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit the NCCIH Web site at nccih.nih.gov. NCCIH is 1 of 27 institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health, the Federal focal point for medical research in the United States.

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