Latest Stories

Zapping your cigarette craving with laser


Billy and Sally (names withheld upon request) tried the gum, the patch and sheer will power. None kept them off cigarettes for the long haul. So they decided to give the latest high-tech weapon against nicotine addiction–the laser—a try.

Billy, a 38-year-old electrician, and Sally, a 28-year-old call center agent, were among the first in the country—and in the Asia-Pacific region—to try a method that employ “cold” laser therapy to help kick the habit. Billy and Sally, who used to smoke since high school 10 and 12 sticks a day, respectively, took the laser treatment early this year. After the second and final “booster” sessions, both attested they no longer miss cigarettes at all.

Mack Benauro, owner and certified laser therapist of Anne Penman Laser Therapy Manila (annepenmanlasertherapymla@gmail.com), explained the procedure: A “cold” laser pulses low levels of energy at several points on the hands, nose, ears and wrists. Each point is targeted for 60 seconds, and the procedure is painless.

These points correspond to energy centers used in acupuncture and acupressure to ease cravings and elevate mood. In addition to the laser, clients also receive supportive counseling. Included are ideas on what to do instead of having a cigarette when craving strikes, as well as stress management and relaxation techniques.

The Anne Penman Laser Therapy Manila, located at Studio Two Building, Northgate Cyberzone, Filinvest Corporate City in Alabang, is part of a worldwide franchise based in Scotland (United Kingdom), where its founder pioneered the therapy.


She said the principle behind the Anne Penman Laser Therapy (APLT) Smoking Cessation program is that when an individual stops smoking, his/her endorphin level suddenly drops, which has been identified as the cause of withdrawal symptoms, both physical and mental. Endorphins are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, and when they are released or stimulated, an individual’s mood is boosted naturally.

Benauro explained: “When using the APLT Smoking Cessation program, clients experience no sensation of heat but actually a soothing feeling of well-being. They enter a phase of deep relaxation and circulation is activated. This process generates natural endorphins that bind to nicotine receptors, and the ‘saturation’ of these receptors exponentially reduces withdrawal symptoms to a minimum level.”


She said the laser employed at the APLT Manila is safe, pain-free, drug-free and nonintrusive.

Unlike most industrial and surgical lasers, cold lasers are not used for cutting or to heat up tissues.

Since cold lasers employ certain wavelengths of light, it has been proven to relieve pain, assist regeneration of nerves, stimulate acupuncture meridians, and as Anne Penman found, remove addictions, particularly smoking.

“The laser light acts as a calming agent so that when you stop smoking, the withdrawal symptoms often associated with quitting are either greatly reduced or completely eliminated,” she explained.

The Philippines is the second largest smoking population in the Asean region (Indonesia tops the list).

More than a fifth or 17.3 million adult Filipinos are hooked on smoking. Of these, 14.6 million are males and 2.8 million are females. More alarming is the fact that one in five youth aged 13 to 15 currently smoke cigarettes.


“Every person we treat has different needs. To maximize the success of the laser therapy, we have created a program that also include person-centered advice and backup support,” Benauro explained.

She said while most of their clients were able to stop the craving after undergoing the first session, the second and third sessions are scheduled to help with issues like stress and weight gain and help their clients maintain their new lifestyle.

The APLT Smoking Cessation program, which also include a 24/7 global helpline, cost P13,850 (the APLT also offers a four-session weight-loss program as well as four-session Chronic Stress Management).

“Anyone can stop smoking. It’s making the lifestyle change after you stop that can be difficult and our center is here to help,” Benauro assured.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: health and wellness , laser therapy , smoking

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • 9 confirmed dead after ferry sinks off South Korean coast
  • Aquino to public: Learn to sacrifice
  • 20 killed as Islamic extremists rampage in Nigeria
  • Drug firm Novartis to help Leyte firefighter
  • Fears grow for hundreds missing in South Korea ferry capsize
  • Sports

  • Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86
  • Man City slips further out of title contention
  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  • PSC sets Blu Girls US training
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • ‘Community’ star happy with return of show’s creator
  • Business

  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • PH seen to sustain rise in FDIs
  • Technology

  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Marketplace