Hong Kong’s Pok Oi Hospital is offering free acupuncture therapy for people who want to quit smoking, saying those who underwent the treatment have either stopped or substantially cut down on their addiction, Ming Pao Daily reported on Tuesday.
A study, conducted between April 2012 and March 2013, showed that 41.6 percent of the 663 people who completed the treatment program stopped smoking in six months while 34.4 percent quit smoking in 12 months.
Those who continued smoking after the therapy cut down on the amount they smoke by as much as 57.5 percent, the study showed.
To complete the program, one must take six treatment sessions plus four counseling sessions in eight weeks. Each session involves a 30-minute acupuncture treatment.
Since it began offering the free service in 2010, the hospital has treated more than 5,300 people, according to the newspaper.
Yang Jinsheng, a professor at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences who designed the program for the hospital, said those who smoke less than 10 cigarettes a day on average have the highest chance to quit smoking after the treatment. Those who take the treatment off and on are likely to fail, he said.
The therapy has no age limit, although it is not fit for people taking anticoagulant drugs, pregnant women and those with mental ailment, according to the hospital. No side effects have been observed among patients, it added.
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