ZocdocAnswersDoes cold laser treatment work?

Question

Does cold laser treatment work?

I'm a guy, age 28, and a 10 year smoker. My mom has been telling me that one of her friends who was a chain smoker stopped by using cold laser treatment. It sounds to me like a new age scam when I read about it. Is there evidence that it workd?

Answer

First, congratulations on your interest in quitting smoking. Quitting smoking is probably one of the most beneficial things you can do for your overall health, both now and in the years to come. There are multiple treatment options available to you as you plan to quit smoking. I strongly suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor to discuss your plan and to find out more about what options are available. The cold laser is being used in alternative medicine settings as an aid to smoking cessation. The theory advanced by its proponents is that focusing the laser on 'energy points' in the body produces endorphins and other neurochemicals that cause relaxation and help with cravings. There is no scientific evidence that these claims are substantiated, and there are no clinical trials yet showing any benefit from the cold laser for smoking cessation. However, relaxation methods and counseling do have an effect on smoking cessation, so this might be the general effect that is observed anecdotally with the laser therapy (although there are cheaper ways to relax or get counseling!). On the other hand, there are numerous medications, including nicotine replacement therapy in its various forms and buproprion, which do have a demonstrated effect on success rates in quitting smoking, and your primary care doctor can help you with these decisions.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.