Nicotine Addiction and Acupuncture

If we are to give examples from America

  • 925,000 people die suffering from heart attack and hypertension in America each year.
  • FDA declared that 440,000 of these cases were caused by smoking.
  • 75 million people in America are addicted to smoking. 48 million of these people apply for quitting smoking. Unfortunately, 46 million of them become unsuccessful.
  • Addiction to nicotine is more serious than habit of cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol.
  • Smoking kills more people than AIDS in America.
  • There are more than 4000 chemicals in a cigarette. 60 of them are known to cause cancer.
  • It is estimated that 75 million Americans consume 80 million packages of cigarettes a day.
  • Each year 23 billion dollars are spent on medical expenses.
  • WHO declared that 5 million people lost their lives due to smoking related diseases each year.
  • This will reach 10 million by 2030.
  • One death occurs every 7 seconds due to smokin.

Nicotine Addiction

  • It plays a big role especially in the formation of lung cancer (Smokers have 2-3 times more risk than those who do not smoke).
  • It decreases oxygen delivery to tissues by 15-33%. This can cause heart attacks, brain ischemic attacks, low birth weight and miscarriages
  • It can increase the risk of infarction by increasing cholesterol levels and other fat acids.
  • It can increase systemic tension by acting as a vasoconstrictor on veins, and can cause foot ulcers, arterial vein insufficiency and blockages (Buerger Disease).
  • It increases the risk of neural and kidney disease if the person suffers Diabetes Mellitus in
  • Tendency to influenzal and lung infections.
  • It can contribute to mouth, throat, larynx, and bladder cancers.
  • It is known to increase blood sugar levels.
  • It can lead to impotency in men.

Why it is hard to quit nicotine?

There are 2 reasons:

Nicotine creates high levels of organic addiction. The body can suffer from the following after quitting:

  • Anxiety
  • Perspiration
  • Getting irritated quickly
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Tiredness
  • Vertigo
  • Insomnia
  • Numbness, emptiness, or inflation feeling in tongue and head
  • Lack of concentration
  • Lack of attention
  • All these signs appear the day after the smoker has quit smoking.

Advantages gained when smoking is quitted

  • Firstly, one’s mouth and skin will not smell nicotine
  • In the same way, the non-smoker can enjoy a nicotine free clean environment in home and office.
  • Blood pressure levels and heart rate will be regulated in 20 minutes upon quitting smoking with acupuncture.
  • After 8 hours, the oxygen level in blood will be closer to normal.
  • After 48 hours, regeneration of neurons will increase (Will especially increase in smelling and tasting sensations).
  • After 2 weeks, lung capacity will increase by 30%
  • Between 2 weeks and 3 months, blood flow will improve and thus the patient will not run out of breath when walking.
  • After a year, heart and coronary disease risks will decrease by half.


Nicotine inhibits receptors that excrete endogenous opioid in the brain, and thus when nicotine is removed, acupuncture provides excreting opioids by stimulating these receptors, and this makes the person more relaxed. Signs of abstinence are also decreased.


  • Session amount: 6–10 sessions in 2 weeks
  • Session frequency: The first 2-3 sessions are conducted immediately. Later on it is every other day or one session in 2 days.
  • Session duration: First session is 15 minutes. Then, it can be prolonged to 30 minutes.

Acupuncture treatment methods: 


It should be applied when the patient first arrives. Permanent needles called press needle are used in a way that they will remain on the ear for 4-7 days.

  • After a week, ear points should be changed by taking measurement values into consideration.
  • When desire for smoking arises, needles on the ear should be stimulated by applying pressure with circular movements for 30 times, and following this the patient should be required to deeply inhale and exhale 8 to 10 times (Deep inhalation and exhalation).
  • The patient should be advised that there will be desire to smoke especially in the first 3 days but this will decrease day by day. So, there should be no smoking in the first 3 days. Because it may be harder to quit smoking by decreasing the amount. As support treatment, calcium and 2000 mg of vitamin C should be prescribed.

Ear acupuncture points:

Press needle (Permanently):

Shenmen (unilateral) Lung 1 or 2 (contralateral) depending on the measurement with detectors.
In addition, Anti-aggression point (bilateral) is punctured during the session.


• Tim Mee: It is on the 0,5 radial and distal part of the Lung’s 7 point (LU 7) when a line is drawn with a 45 degree of distal angle to the radius bone (bilateral).
• LU 7 can also be punctured (bilateral)
• GV 20 (Baihui)
• Yintang (Extra 1) Exists right in the middle of the eyebrows.
• LI 20: It is the place where nasolabial sulcus meets the horizontal line drawn from the middle and bulge parts of the nose’s side wings (bilateral).
Microsystem acupuncture: (Nose acupuncture)
Gall bladder point: It exists in the part where nasal bone combines with the cartilage structure when a line is drawn to the middle part of the nose’s wing part throughout just the middle part of the line of the distance where the nose combines with the face and the highest part of the nose (bilateral).

In persistent cases;
Especially starting from the 2nd session
LI 4 (Hegu) Rectum 4 (bilateral)
LV 3 (Taichong) Liver 3 (bilateral)

These 4 points are called “BIG GATE”.
They have a highly relaxing feature.
In even more persistent cases, electro acupuncture can be applied to LI 4 and anti-aggression points with bilateral 3-4 frequency/sec.

• There are many publications showing that the usual success rate is around 80-85%.
• There is always the possibility that the addicted person will re-start smoking. Especially after the first 3 months patients may re-start.
• Because of this, addicted people should be checked after 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year after 2 weeks of treatment is completed, and if needed aid can be sought from acupuncture or “Point Injection Therapy” which is used by some doctors especially in France.
• In this treatment, 1 ml Biotin (Vitamin H) Bilateral Subcutan can be applied to the LU 7 point for durations mentioned earlier.
Patients should be told that they always have the risk to start smoking again, so they should not smoke even the once.
Meanwhile, acupuncture can be effective in people who restart smoking after quitting smoking for duration of time with acupuncture.