Stop Smoking

Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking, according to the largest ever scientific comparison of ways of breaking the habit.

New Scientist vol. 136 iss. 1845, p6

I don’t have to tell you the advantages of stopping smoking – more money, more energy, a better sense of smell and taste, and a longer, healthier life. Nor do I have to tell you the consequences of continuing to smoke, and having to put up with the continual discomfort, inconvenience, and the deterioration of your health.

So why is it so difficult to stop? The reason most people give is that smoking is very physically addictive. Well this is true in part. Smoking delivers nicotine into the system extremely rapidly, and so the brain builds instant connections between smoking and receiving a chemical stimulant, and this quickly forms an addictive urge.

However, compare the physical withdrawal symptoms of stopping smoking to those of heroin users in rehab and you’ll see that the physical addiction to smoking is actually pretty weak.

You see, smoking is really maintained by three separate things:

  1. The automatic habit of reaching for a cigarette (eg. smoking “on autopilot” at work or when you have your morning cup of coffee).
  2. The emotions you attach to smoking (eg. rebelling or trying to relieve stress).
  3. The physical addiction to nicotine.

And here’s the good news: the physical addiction is the least important of the three.

When you use hypnosis to free yourself from the habits and emotions attached to smoking, you discover that all the times you thought you were battling cigarettes, you were really fighting against a lot of emotion and habit and only a little physical “itch”… an itch that fades completely after a few days of stopping.

When you’ve unlearnt the habits and emotional attachments you’ve got to cigarettes, quitting becomes much easier. It still requires commitment and determination on your part, but hypnosis stacks the odds in your favour that you will be able to succeed.

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Joe Kao DHypPsych(UK)
Cambridge brief therapist and hypnotherapist

 

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