Placebo Effect Interventions
Many people and companies claim to have the latest method to help smokers quit. It
usually comes with a testimonial like, "I've tried everything else, but this miracle elixir
finally made me stop smoking". They also talk about unrealistic success rates in
excess of 80%. Sadly, the old adage that says "if something sounds too good to be
true...", seems to hit the mark. Many of these astounding new stop smoking
products are no different than the snake oil, peddled by traveling salesmen in the
Some "clinics" do use actual medications that were intended for other purposes.
This is called using the medication off-label. One such clinic advertises a "100%
guaranteed stop smoking shot"; but this is nothing more than a medicine used to
dry up a person's runny nose. There is no clinical data to support the use of this
medication for smoking cessation.
Although their methods may not be published in the medical journals, these
non-traditional start-ups do have one very powerful piece of medical science in their
corner. It's the same piece of medicine that actually could bring about the desired
outcome of smoking cessation for those desperate enough to try it. This scientific
phenomena is known as the Placebo Effect.
If a smoker attempting to quit has a strong enough desire to stop smoking, then just
about any stop smoking aid will be successful. You could tell them that eating
pancakes for 20 consecutive days would stop their smoking habit and, as if by
magic, it would probably work. The power of suggestion behind the cure, is actually
greater than the cure
itself - that's the placebo effect. It is well documented and has been a mainstay in
medicine for years and years.
So the next time you see "The Natural Way to Stop Smoking" or "Try our Stop
Smoking Shot", check them out and see if they have any evidence to back their
claims of "100% Stop Smoking Success". If you're not sure about a product you find
on the Internet or hear about at the water cooler, then seek advice from your
physician or other smoking cessation counselor or agency. Or come back to our
website and we'll let you know if it is a bonifide stop smoking aid or snake oil.
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