The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has several guidelines and recommendations for individuals who would like to try alternative smoking cessation techniques. Because March is host to Kick Butts Day (March 18) sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco–Free Kids (www.kickbuttsday.org), NIH guidelines were well timed!
According to NIH (https://nccih.nih.gov/health/tips/smoking), conventional quit-smoking treatments such as counseling and medication, can double or triple the chances that a smoker will kick the habit successfully.
But NIH also took the time to address some of the less conventional, complimentary health, approaches to quitting.
- There is evidence to suggest that mind-body practices can aide individuals who are trying to quit smoking. Examples of these practices include meditation-based therapies, yoga, and guided relaxation to reduce the urge to smoke.
- Acupuncture and hypnosis, according to NIH, are supported by little evidence of benefit.
- There is no current evidence that dietary supplements or a certain supplement are effective.
- Mind-body practices are generally considered safe when performed by healthy people, but individuals should always consult a doctor or complimentary heath practitioner before starting any regimen.
- Dietary supplements, although labeled “natural,” are not always safe. Some supplements can interact negatively with other medications.
- For more quitting resources visit www.smokefree.gov.