Stop Smoking Therapy

Most Hypnotherapists will perform Stop Smoking Therapy. For those who specialise in this therapy look for the letter ‘A’ in the speciality column

The following article reproduced by kind permission of GASP

Deadly mix

Cigarettes are made from tobacco leaves grown with pesticides and fertilizers. The leaves are dried in wood burning ovens using millions of hectares of forest. Then tobacco is treated with additives. Tobacco smoke contains 1000s of chemicals. Hundreds are poisonous and many cause cancer. Let’s focus on the biggies.
Nicotine is an addictive drug that affects the brain and the heart. It’s a tricky drug. It makes you feel both tense and calm. Then there’s tar. Burning tobacco creates tar – similar to what’s on roads. Sticky tar coats and damages the lungs making it hard to breathe. Tar causes throat and lung cancer. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that robs the body of oxygen. It will ruin an athlete’s career and can harm a baby in the womb. It makes blood thick and sticky and more likely to clot.
There’s ammonia, cyanide, arsenic, benzene and DDT.
Tobacco companies add tasty flavours to mask the nasty flavour of tobacco toxins.
But once you’re addicted you’ll keep buying more. That means more money in tobacco industry’s pockets. Most smokers start before the age of 18 and keep on smoking so tobacco companies target their marketing to get to you!

Killer statistics

Last year, over 5 million people died worldwide as a result of tobacco. That many coffins would stretch, end-to-end from London to Bangkok, Thailand.
If you and your friends start smoking and continue to smoke then half will die from smoking. Many will die 15 – 20 years before their time. Stop what you are doing. Look at your watch or the second hand of a clock. Watch 7 seconds go by. In that time someone, somewhere in the world just died because they smoked.

I don’t smoke because …

“It’s a total waste of money. I’d rather spend my cash on other things.”
“I like to look good and feel good. Smoking does the opposite.”
“My boyfriend would go off me if I smoked, he hates it.”
“My uncle died of lung cancer because of cigarettes. My cousins have no dad.”
“I love playing sport. Smoking and sport don’t mix.”
“I care about the environment. Cigarettes litter the streets and smoke pollutes the air.”
“Hardly anyone I know smokes – it just isn’t cool anymore.”
“I don’t want to give my money to tobacco industry fat cats. They’re legalised drug pushers as far as I’m concerned.”
“I’ve been put off seeing mum and dad smoke like chimneys. I don’t want to go there!”
“I don’t want bad breath.”
“Just the smell of smoke makes me wheezy. I’m asthmatic.”
“Smokers stink.”
“Me smoking? You must be joking!”

Dog Breath Dan and Fag Ash Lil

Smoking destroys your appearance. Smokers have dull complexions, age early and by the age of 40 have wrinkles of someone 20 years older, who doesn’t smoke. That’s because smokers have to manage on less oxygen. The body needs oxygen to keep the skin healthy and to make new cells to replace the old ones.
Smoking causes bleeding gums and loss of teeth. Have you seen smokers’ hairy tongue? Tar builds up and stops the natural replacement of the tongue surface and you get a hairy effect. This traps food and causes bad breath. Kissing a smoker is like licking an ashtray.
With bad breath, yellow fingers, bleeding gums, smelly hair and clothes, smokers really stand out in a crowd. Not a pretty sight or smell. And because smoking damages the sense of smell and taste, smokers don’t realise how much they stink.

Cash or ash – you decide

Smoking makes you short of breath, cuts your life short and makes you short of money.
The price of a pack of cigarettes is bad enough but the trouble is one is never enough. Nicotine is addictive and smokers keep on buying more and more. It’s like setting light to your money and watching it burn away.
Instead of smoking you could go out for a pizza and see a band, a film, go out clubbing or visit a games arcade. You could top up your mobile or buy a new top. Choose a new computer game, CD, DVD, make-up, sports gear or a gift for you or a mate.
Or save it up for holidays, festivals, designer clothes, or a car, computer or … whatever.

Stopping smoking doesn’t have to be a drag. So if you are a smoker here are ten tips to help you quit.

1. Decide your reasons for quitting – smell fresher, feel fitter, live longer, stop that cough, have more dosh, stop people getting at you … whatever.
2. Get support. Tell your friends, your family your best mates and warn them you might be moody. Ask them to stand by your decision to quit. Find a friend to quit with can help. Call a smokers helpline. Go see a nurse or your GP. They might give you some patches or gum.
3. Make a date to quit. List your smoking times and situations. What you could instead? Get ready to cope without cigarettes. Practise ‘No thanks I don’t smoke’.
4. Get rid of the smoking gear and get your head in gear. Your quit day is ahead.
5. Quit day. Wake up and say ‘I don’t smoke’. Read your list of reasons for quitting. Put on fresh clothes. Break your routines, do things differently.
6. Drink lots of water to flush out the system. Keep sipping. Eat healthy snacks – fruit, raw vegetables or chew sugar free gum.
7. Make like a mad thing on the dance floor, in the gym, in water or on wheels. Run up the stairs. Exercise is a better buzz. The more you move about and work out the less you’ll feel like smoking. Then relax and chill out.
8. Treat yourself. You have more money to spend. Buy yourself a present and dream of what you’ll buy with the money you save.
9. Beware of trying times. If you get headaches, a sore throat, cough or feeling down you know you’re winning. That’s the body getting rid of the rubbish inside you and starting to recover. Avoid temptation. Don’t even think ‘I’ll just have one’. Just one is one too many. Non-smokers don’t smoke.
10. Be positive. Stopping smoking is the start of a bright new future. But take it just one day at a time. Today you choose not to smoke.

Article from the New Scientist Magazine

New Scientist vol 136 issue 1845 – 31 October 92

Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking, according to the largest ever scientific comparison of ways of breaking the habit. Willpower, it turns out, counts for very little.

Smokers are coming under increasing pressure to quit.

Earlier this month the Institute of Actuaries published the results of a study it commissioned which showed that the mortality rate for smokers is twice as high as for non-smokers, and that on average, a smoker dies 6 years earlier than a non-smoker. Surveys suggest that three in four smokers would like to give up, according to the anti-smoking campaign Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

To find the most effective way to give up smoking, Frank Schmidt and research student Chockalingam Viswesvaran of the University of Iowa carried out a meta-analysis, statistically combining the results of more than 600 studies covering almost 72 000 people from America, Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe.
By combining the results from so many separate studies, the meta-analysis enables the real effectiveness of each technique to be picked out from the statistical ‘noise’ that often blights studies involving smaller numbers of subjects.

The results, published in the current issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology, show that the average success rate for all methods was 19 per cent: that is, only about one in five smokers is likely to succeed using methods covered by the study. Patients told that they had serious cardiac disorders, and so a clear
incentive to stop immediately, had the highest quitting rate, at 36 per cent. But for most smokers the most effective technique was hypnosis, in which smokers go into a state of deep relaxation and listen to suggestive tapes. The analysis of treatment by hypnosis, which included 48 studies covering over 6000 smokers, gave an average success rate of 30 per cent for this method.

‘Combination’ techniques, combining, for example, exercise and breathing therapy, came second with a success rate of 29 per cent. Smoke aversion, in which smokers have their own warm, stale cigarette smoke blown back into their faces, achieved a 25 per cent success rate, followed by acupuncture at 24 per cent.
The least successful method turned out to be advice from GPs, which appears to convince virtually no one to give up. Sheer willpower proved little better, with a success rate of only 6 per cent. Self-help, in the form of books or mail-order advice, achieved modest success – around 9 per cent, while nicotine gum was a little better at 10 per cent.

‘We found that involvement of physicians did not have as big an impact as we expected,’ said Schmidt ‘We speculate that the reason is that it is the content of the treatment that matters, and not the status of the person giving it.’ David Pollock, director of ASH, said he was surprised by the success of hypnosis, which anecdotal evidence had suggested was not very effective. One organisation not surprised by the results is the British Society of Medical & Dental Hypnosis. Christopher Pattinson, the society’s academic chairman, said that current hypnosis techniques are a far cry from their popular image of music-hall tricks involving swinging fob watches. The latest relaxation techniques achieve success rates of up to 60 per cent from a single session, he said.

Richard Doll, the epidemiologist who carried out the pioneering studies of the risk of smoking, said that the apparent success of hypnosis and the high quitting rate of patients with heart disease backed his own observations. He added, however, that he was somewhat surprised by the low success rate of those who resorted to willpower alone: ‘The majority of people find it not too difficult to give up,’ he said. ‘The only way to succeed is to want to do it enough.

You have got to really appreciate what the risk is. I smoked and gave up without too much difficulty.’


The following information was kindly supplied by Daniel Fargher BA (Hons.) C.Hyp UKGHE

Hypnosis and Stopping Smoking

Quitting or stopping smoking has been a huge struggle for many people for years. And there are several major hurdles to beat. But unfortunately for smokers the only problems they foresee and try to beat are their nicotine addiction and the withdrawal symptoms that follow.
But there are several other major barriers to quitting smoking, they include weight gain, a fear that people will no longer be able to enjoy their lives without cigarettes, the fear that it is going to be difficult, the fear that they will not be able to tackle life’s problems without cigarettes and the mental associations smokers have.

These factors are largely ignored. This is mainly down to lack of understanding, lack of preparation and a lack of know how. The main problem is that smokers and experts alike fail to realise how big a role the mind plays in a smoker’s life and his smoking activities.

When a smoker started smoking, it was for a reason – to fit in, rebel, deal with a difficult problem, cover up an insecurity, impress a sibling or friend etc. And unbeknown to them that reason for smoking still exists, but deep in the back of their mind. They also have several other reasons for smoking, known as Smoking Links. That is, a link to a certain place, group of people, time, location, emotion, event or situation amongst others.

This is where the mind plays a huge role – it is the mind that has tied any of the above situations and many more, to a cigarette. So now whenever a smokers wakes up, drives to work, is about to get on a long haul flight or is about to meet their partner’s parents for the first time, they light a cigarette. It is called a learned response – after years of repetition the mind has now taken over and makes each smoker reach for a cigarette without thinking about it – it’s automatic.

So when people stop smoking they are bound to encounter these types of situations or times again. The mind then does what it has been trained to do for years – it thinks about a cigarette – it has been taught to do so and now does it on cue.

So the mind has a huge role to play in smoking and smokers’ addiction. Smokers have taught their mind to think about smoking in certain situations. But the mind can also be taught to remove those associations.

Via hypnosis smokers can reach the part of the mind that controls smoking – the subconscious, and allow it to once again cooperate with the conscious mind’s desire to stop smoking.

Our mind works much like a computer – in that we have programmes that decide what we do, when we do it and how we do it. These programmes can also be referred to as software. Some of the software is essential for us to ‘work.’

For example, a computer needs an operating system to function. In a similar way humans need an operating system – this is controlled by our subconscious mind. These pieces of software include our breathing, operation of our Central Nervous System, our heartbeat and blood circulation, the need to sleep, our digestive system and the operation of our bowels.

These pieces of software work automatically without us having to think about it – we don’t think about our breathing or heartbeat – they happen automatically. These programmes or pieces of software are known as on-board programmes – they were with us when we were born.

But we all have many pieces of installed software. On a computer that can be things like MS Word, Excel, Publisher, Outlook, Macromeadia Dreamweaver, Online Poker, Calculator, and internet explorer – all programmes that aren’t essential for the computer to work. But when installed allow that individual computer to perform different tasks or skills independently of each other.

The software programmes on our minds were installed or learned as well. For example, throughout our lives we have all learned different skills that allow or make us do what we do. First it was crawling, walking, talking, writing, tying our laces. Then when we got older we learned to ride a bike, drive a car, shuffle a pack of cards, throw a ball, juggle, cook, send an email and draw.

Again these are programmes that we have taught ourselves, and after some repetition and practice they now occur automatically. When we are driving we don’t think, red traffic light: ok foot off the accelerator and onto brake, check mirror, back into first gear, handbrake. This sequence happens on it’s own – we taught ourselves to do this.

Smoking is exactly the same – it is a programme on people’s minds. It happens automatically. Smokers know this is true because every smoker without exception knows that he/she has found a cigarette in their hand without remembering lighting it or thinking about it. It is now automatic – a learned response to a certain situation or event.

The role hypnosis plays in stopping smoking is key. It helps smokers access the part of their mind that has the smoking programme – the subconscious, and then it allows the smoker to remove that programme, and critically replace it with something else.

This later part is very important because many smokers despite hypnosis still encounter situations that remind them to smoke. But when a smoker learns to change his focus to a new area of his life (installed through hypnosis) he is free to change his focus to something new. This allows him to continue enjoying his life free from cigarettes.

This is also key because many smokers fear they are losing out by quitting smoking. When they replace the smoking programme on their mind, they change their source of fun or pleasure. Therefore doing away with any desires or reminders to smoke.

Another major benefit in using hypnosis to stop smoking is that it helps people to prevent weight gain. Why stop smoking without preventing a major factor in relapse? Hypnosis allows smokers to put their mind back in touch with their appetite so that they eat only the right types of food in the right amounts.

So in order to stop smoking smokers must remove their reasons for smoking. If they have no reason to smoke, why smoke? This can be done largely through hypnosis – by removing associations and desires. Several habit and routine changes also help people to disassociate and remove their reasons for smoking.

For example, many smokers light up because it is their source of pleasure and maybe it the one thing that is theirs and theirs alone. The solution is for the smoker to find a new hobby, that takes up quite a bit of time (enough to distract the smoker from thinking about cigarettes), about an hour a day or so works great, so that he can see and realise that there is life after cigarettes.

His reason for smoking was pleasure, but now with a new activity or hobby that gives the same amount of pleasure and preferably more, he can live his life to the fullest.

Once he has removed his reasons for smoking, the smoker should then use his reasons for stopping smoking to propel himself forward. A major mistake many smokers make is that they start off thinking – I should stop because it is going to kill me, I’m going to get emphysema etc. Which is possibly true but it does no good to his state of mind – he is quitting out of fear rather than out of desire.

So once the smoker has removed his reasons for stopping smoking he should focus on his positive reasons for stopping smoking. These can be:

  • Getting to spend more time with his children
  • Better smelling clothes, hair and breath
  • Better and easier breathing
  • More money for holidays/vacations, clothes, CDs
  • Improved physical fitness
  • Improved self-esteem, confidence and respect

This positive mind frame will help him to see the good things he will get when he stop smoking. In this state of mind he relishes stopping smoking rather than resenting having to give up his pleasures. This can be done through hypnosis but also through a positive outlook on life and a positive approach to stopping smoking.

Once he has removed his reasons for smoking and focused his mind on the good things he will get when he does stop, it is important that he avoids any pitfalls and also prevents anything that will make him relapse.

This is mainly due to thinking about cigarettes, weight gain and withdrawal symptoms. Again hypnosis helps to change the smoker’s mind and thoughts away from smoking, replacing cigarettes with food and preventing withdrawal symptoms.

However, there are a few other things that he can do to aid in this process himself. He can take vitamin and mineral supplements to give his body the food that he needs, therefore preventing weight gain and withdrawal symptoms. He can find a new hobby to take his mind off thinking and focusing on cigarettes.

And he can drink plenty of fruit juices and water to flush nicotine out of his body, prevent withdrawal symptoms and also help to prevent weight gain.

There are many aspects to cover, from how smokers look at cigarettes, their mind set and approach to stopping smoking, preventing relapses and withdrawal symptoms, removing the smoking programme from the mind and replacing it with another one and very importantly ensuring that the smokers goes on to enjoy his life after cigarettes, rather than resenting it.

NRT, will power and cold turkey just cannot cover these aspects and many more involved when stopping smoking. Hypnosis helps to break up the smoking habit and addiction at its root – in a smoker’s mind.