Interest of an Auriculotherapy Session in Smoking Cessation (StopAuric)

  • End date
    Dec 22, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Hopital Foch
Updated on 22 March 2022


The aim of the study is to show that auriculotherapy is effective in smoking cessation.


Smoking is a major risk factor for morbidity and mortality. The French High Authority for Health recommends that "All health professionals must advise every smoker to stop smoking, regardless of the form of tobacco used, and offer advice and assistance to quit". The modalities of accompaniment towards quitting and support during the withdrawal period vary according to each smoker, his or her degree of motivation, the intensity of his or her dependence, and any previous attempts.

Nicotine substitutes are the first-line drug treatment, and can be part of a strategy to stop using nicotine right away or to reduce consumption with a view to quitting later. According to the opinion of the High Council of Public Health of 22 February 2016, ZYBAN and CHAMPIX can be prescribed as second-line medications for smoking cessation.

The electronic cigarette is not recommended to date as a smoking cessation aid, but can be a smoking cessation aid.

Hypnosis, cognitive and behavioral therapies, acupuncture are also used for withdrawal.

Auriculotherapy (ART) is based on the observation that treating specific points on the pinna improves some symptoms, relieves pain and anxiety. It is practiced in the context of Pain Assessment and Treatment Centers (PATC) where it is particularly effective on certain stubborn pains, in supportive care and in cancerology. It is also effective in general medicine where it provides an interesting non-drug therapeutic aid. It is also used in smoking cessation.

Auriculotherapy is taught in France within the framework of an inter-university diploma (Strasbourg- Paris XI). The doctors involved in this study have all been trained in this way and regularly use ART by integrating it into their practice within the Foch's PATC.

Cryo-auriculotherapy treatment (injection of nitrous oxide at -89°C) is a simple and powerful treatment since the effect of one session seems to last, depending on the indications, for about 1 to 4 weeks, thus reducing the number of sessions required.

We hypothesized that ART treatment by cryotherapy of specific points of the auricle could help smoking cessation.

This first proof-of-concept project, named StopAuric, is realized to validate our hypothesis on a population of motivated patients who will not use nicotine substitutes in order to measure the impact of cryo-ART alone.

It is a prospective, multicenter, controlled, single-blind, randomized study in 2 parallel groups.

Patients will be randomized into 2 groups :

  • Experimental group "True Cryo-auriculotherapy": Patients will be treated with auriculotherapy with N2O (nitrogen) projection on specific smoking cessation points.
  • "Sham" control group: the patients will be treated according to the same scheme as the experimental group with a technique without N2O (sham cryotherapy), but with the presence of the propellant gaz.

Responses to the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Patient Global Impression of Change questionnaire (PGIC) self-questionnaires, satisfaction VAS, possible weight gain, smoking consumption, and measurement of exhaled Carbon mOnoxide (CO) and urinary cotinine will be collected at one month.

Patients will be able to say whether or not they wish to continue the same treatment.

If this proof-of-concept study is positive regarding the interest of an ART session in smoking cessation, we planned to initiate a larger study (named Auriculo-TABAC) evaluating the value of a complete ART treatment program in smoking cessation.

This largest study will treat patients of the experimental arm with CryoAuriculotherapy over 3 sessions (D0, D30 and D60).

The expected effect of smoking cessation will be evaluated at 3 and 6 months.

Condition Tobacco Use Cessation
Treatment Sham comparator, Cryo-Auriculotherapy
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04880330
SponsorHopital Foch
Last Modified on22 March 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Be of legal age
Have an active smoking habit
Wish to quit smoking and nicotine completely (VAS of motivation ≥ 7 on a scale of 0 to 10)
Have signed a consent form
Be affiliated with a health insurance plan

Exclusion Criteria

Contraindication to the use of auriculotherapy (lesion or infection of the auricle) by cryotherapy (skin healing disorder, risk of hypo or hyperpigmentation)
Treatment with Varenicline (Champix®, etc...) or Bupropion hydrochloride (Zyban®, etc...) in progress; treatment with nicotine substitutes (patches, gum, nicotine e-cigarette)
Treatment by auriculotherapy or acupuncture in this indication in the previous 12 months
Previous treatment with cryo-auriculotherapy
Having to start any new smoking cessation treatment that could interfere with the study: specific drug treatment (antidepressant, morphine, anticonvulsant) or complementary therapy (psychological or mind-body treatment)
Difficulty complying with the treatment, questionnaire or study protocol
Being deprived of liberty or under guardianship
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact



Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note