Paola challenges the technique we used in our trial of acupuncture for smoking cessation. From the range of acupuncture techniques described for this indication, we chose the method that seemed to us to be the most promising after an extensive review of the literature and discussions with acupuncture practitioners and teachers in the United Kingdom. It is also the method described by Wen and Cheung1 who first observed a possible effect and whose work has been so influential in this area. Paola seems to imply that our trial may have had positive results if we had used a different technique: this is not borne out by a Cochrane Review of all randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for smoking cessation, the results of which were negative.2 In particular, there is no evidence that adding body points, locating auricular points by their electrical resistance, or increasing the duration of stimulation leads to a positive effect. However, these questions remain theoretically open and we encourage Paola to investigate these techniques that are used by "many American acupuncturists."
White AR, Resch K, Ernst E. Acupuncture and Nicotine Withdrawal. Arch Intern Med. 1999;159(11):1254. doi: