By: Sue Hornof
Excerpt from West Newsmagazine, 2003
For $80, a pack-a-day smoker can buy enough cigarettes to last about 20 days. For the same price, that smoker can undergo auriculotherapy and, according to some claims, will stand an 80 percent chance or better of kicking the nicotine habit altogether.
Auriculotherapy is a technique that uses an electrical charge to stimulate nerve endings on the exterior of the ear, thereby decreasing the desire to smoke.
“We fool the brain into thinking you stopped smoking four days ago, so you don’t have withdrawal,” said Richard Campana, BSC, co-founder of the Leslie-Cam Smoking Cessation Center in Chesterfield.
Campana said the actual procedure only takes about 5 minutes.
Anna Davidson of Ballwin underwent auriculotherapy three weeks ago and said she has not smoked a cigarette since the treatment.
“I found it to be the best 80 bucks I’ve ever spent,” said Davidson, 50, who has been an off-and-on, pack-a-day smoker since she was 15.
“I had no withdrawal. It was like I had never smoked,” Davidson said. “My true test was when I went to the casino. I had been there four times since the therapy. I sat with the smokers and I had no problem. All I can say is it’s kept me smoke-free.”
Campana said they follow up with patients in two weeks and again one month following therapy. Those who find it difficult to resist smoking after being treated may return for an additional session at no cost, provided they have not smoked a cigarette.
However, Campana said that a desire to quit is not necessary.
“You don’t have to want to stop to stop,” Campana said. “I didn’t want to stop; I wanted to breathe. I didn’t think it would work, but it worked.”
Campana, a former 2-1/2 pack-a-day smoker, said that on Feb. 2, it will be 12 years since he has smoked.
For Davidson, auriculotherapy seems to have worked, and for her, it has done a few good things.
“My taste came back,” Davidson said. “My sense of smell came back. I have quit smoking.”