ZeroMed is a product you clip on your ear sold by Telebrands that claims to help curve your nicotine cravings so you can quit smoking easily without taking any prescription drugs. ZeroMed claims to use a form of non-invasive acupressure that you wear for just 20 minutes a day and will result in you quitting the smoking habit for good.
What is auricular therapy and how does it help me quit smoking?
Auricular therapy is a form of alternative medicine that believes the entire body is mapped on the auricle (aka the outer portion of the ear) and that by stimulating specific points through methods like acupuncture or acupressure you can affect a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health.
Auricular therapy was first introduced by a French doctor named Paul Nogier in 1957, but quickly became popular with the Chinese, who drew up an “ear map” of the various points and the conditions they treat. Auricular therapists often use acupuncture, acupressure, or electrical stimulation on areas of the ear based upon that map.
Western medicine is very skeptical of auricular therapy and the multitude of symptoms, diseases, and conditions it claims to treat. A site called Acupuncture Watch run by Stephen Barrett, M.D. states that there is “no logical reason to believe that ear maps are valid” as there are no known pathways from the ears to the organs. (Dr. Nogier claims it works in part because the ear is shaped like an upside-down fetus.) Dr. Barrett adds there is no evidence auricular therapy can treat pain or disease and even if it did would be much more expensive than other treatments.
Similarly, there is little evidence auricular therapy really works to help people quit smoking. A story by KCVS News in Missouri focused on 14 people who worked at a local telephone company that were given auriculotherapy to help them stop smoking. They all reported success (at least after 2 weeks of treatment when the report was filed). However, the conclusion the report reached was that auricular therapy works only if you are REALLY ready to quit.
A randomized controlled clinical trial found auricular acupuncture patients have no better success quitting smoking than those given a placebo treatment and suggested it only be used in addition to behavior counseling or nicotine replacement therapy. A review by Everyday Health of 33 studies using acupuncture as a stop smoking aid found a lack of conclusive evidence it works.
How does ZeroMed claim to work to help reduce my cigarette cravings?
ZeroMed is a blue U-shaped latex device that attaches to the top of your ear but doesn’t puncture it with needles. Instead, they state ZeroMed uses tiny magnets that use magnetic pressure to reduce your nicotine urge.
To use ZeroMed, they instruct you to clip it on your ear and wear it for just 20 minutes each day; they insist you will be amazed at your reduced desire to smoke. They promise you need no medications or chemicals and exclaim ZeroMed will allow you to “change your life through your ears.”
What does it cost for me to use ZeroMed to help me stop smoking?
ZeroMed is selling in the infomercial and on their Telebrands web page for $39.99, which includes 2 ZeroMeds as well as free shipping.
Telebrands says they have a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee for ZeroMed so long as you return it within 30 days in the original packaging. You must also take a few moments and write a “detailed” explanation as to why you feel ZeroMed did not work for you or they could reject your request.
Telebrands customer service number for ZeroMed is: (855) 668-1655.
ZeroMed Bottom Line: It may work but likely due to placebo effect
ZeroMed is an interesting concept, but frankly we’re not convinced that auricular therapy can work on any condition, let alone help you quit smoking.
That said, part of quitting smoking is the mental commitment to break the habit. Heath Dingwell, PhD and author of 12 things to do to Quit Smoking notes that the physical withdrawal from nicotine only lasts for the first few days. “After that, it’s the psychological withdrawal that people have the most difficulty with,” he said in an article on WebMD.
That article focused on unusual ways to quit cigarettes and includes stories of people being paid to quit, saying personal mantras every time they wanted a cigarette, and even taking up a new hobby to distract themselves from the desire to smoke. Dingwell states that even the strangest methods will work so long as you commit, but the odds of success are better if you use several methods at once. He cautions that long-term success rates drop for absolutely every method.
But we don’t mean to discourage you from trying to quit smoking – we just think there are options that will give you the same likelihood of success as ZeroMed, minus the expense.
How to Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking for good involves more than just a clip on your ear. It is a challenge that has been likened to quitting heroin. Here are a few tips:
- Write down reasons you want to quit and refer to it often
- Set a date when you want to stop (put an alarm in your calendar)
- Make it a team effort by telling family and friends so they encourage you
- Distract yourself when the cravings come, which usually last only 10 minutes (a funny clip on your ear may do this)
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again – the American Cancer Society says it takes an average person 6 attempts to quit.
And let us know your experience with ZeroMed below!