Is Hypnosis the Best Way to Quit Smoking?

Unhealthy habit. Cigarette butts on ash background with word: "Help". Conceptual image. Close-up.

Written by Mark Patrick

Is Hypnosis the Best Way to Quit Smoking?

You know smoking is bad for your health. For nearly 60 years now, we’ve known that smoking causes cancer. Not only that, we’re also aware that smoking yellows your fingers and teeth, makes you smell like a chimney, and causes premature wrinkles, which makes you seem older than you are.  Your wallet also takes a huge hit. And if you smoke in front of your family and friends, you expose them to secondhand smoke, which brings its own risk of cancer. Besides, you’re setting a really bad example.

You know all that. You’re also aware that smoking causes physical addiction to nicotine—making it hard to quit. That craving you get for a cigarette comes from nicotine’s effect on the brain; it messes with your dopamine and serotonin.

Smoking is also ingrained as a habit or ritual. Maybe you can’t imagine your first cup of coffee without an accompanying cigarette, you’re pretty sure happy hour will be unhappy without a cigarette, or when you’re stressed, you routinely reach for your pack of smokes. You also look forward to smoking on your work breaks. You have realized you smoke all the time, that it’s an integral part of your life.

But now you’re ready to make a positive change, to become a non-smoker. Like millions of other smokers, you want to find a way to kick the bad habit to the curb once and for all. You want your change to stick.

There are many methods smokers use to become ex-smokers. Here are some of them:

Going Cold Turkey

Chewing Nicotine gum

Using Patches

Taking Prescription Medications

Attending Group Withdrawal Clinics

Getting Acupuncture

Getting Advice from a Physician

Entering Cardiac Rehab

Getting Hypnosis

Getting Aversion Therapy

Entering Pulmonary Rehab

But which method works the best? In an exhaustive study, two researchers examined how 71,806 smokers became successful at non-smoking. They looked at fifteen categories of ways to quit smoking, they did a meta-analysis of all the data, and they published their conclusions in an article in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

And guess what? The number #1 method of quitting smoking comes from having a heart attack. That’s right. If you have a coronary event, that’s your wake-up call. As it turns out, behavior change comes more easily to those who have suffered a severe fright. It moves them out of their comfort zone big-time. It’s enough to make long-term smokers examine a whole host of bad health habits, and it’s definitely effective for quitting smoking. It makes sense. If a heart attack won’t make you quit, you can be sure nothing will.

Okay, let’s say you haven’t had a heart attack. Moreover, you don’t want your smoking to get so bad that you do have one. You know you’re ready to quit. So what’s the number #2 most effective method to stop smoking?

It’s hypnosis or hypnotherapy. Did that surprise you? Hypnosis works at a subconscious level when you are in a receptive state. Don’t worry, it’s nothing like a bad Hollywood movie. Hypnosis isn’t dangerous and it can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do. Your goal is to work one on one with a hypnotherapist who specializes in smoking cessation. Therapy may include positive affirmations, suggestions (like seeing yourself as a non-smoker), learning relaxation techniques, counseling, and even implanting a series of images relating to smoking. Depending upon how much and how long you have smoked, it may take between five to ten sessions to achieve a cure.

When you’re ready to quit, you need help, and the science is on hypnotherapy. The least effective method, by the way, is taking advice from your physician. When it isn’t paired with a more effective treatment, it’s virtually worthless. Let hypnosis support you in your goal of becoming a non-smoker.

Mark Patrick

Hey there, my name is Mark Patrick. I've been a Hypnotherapist for over 21 years, a health contributor to Star Magazine, and a member of The National Guild of Hypnotists and International Association of Counselors & Therapists. On this site, I'm going to help you overcome your fears and achieve your goals by using easy, safe, and effective hypnosis.

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