Smoking Cessation

There are many reasons why people, especially young teens who start smoking. Some first-time smokers started out of curiosity. Due to peer pressure they may be taking up a dare with friends, wanting to be accepted in their group. Some youngsters enjoy the thrill of breaking rules and rebel against parents or teachers.

Whatever their reasons, it only takes ten seconds for the nicotine to be absorbed into the bloodstream. This causes the brain to release adrenaline, creating a buzz of pleasure and energy. Nicotine, a drug found naturally in tobacco is highly addictive. Research suggest that nicotine can be as addictive as heroin, cocaine or alcohol.

 

The pleasure and energy fades quickly, leaving a feeling of tiredness and down. Since the body can build up a high tolerance to nicotine, more nicotine is needed to maintain that euphoric feel.This will eventually lead to addiction. When the body lacks nicotine, the levels of dopamine and noradrenaline changes, making a person feel anxious, depressed and irritable. Nicotine cravings can be very strong, making it difficult to quit.

Various way to stop smoking
  1. Cold Turkey way is abrupt and without outside help. This however is not very ideal as there is only about four to seven percent (4 – 7%) success.
  2.  Counseling and behavioral therapy is another form of helping a person quit smoking
  3.  Nicotine replacement therapy, it just simply helps a person quit smoking tobacco. The goal here is to end nicotine addiction, therefore this method is does not fully serve the purpose
  4.  Medications that help with cravings and withdrawal symptoms can be prescribed by a doctor
  5.  Telling friends and family, and getting their support goes a long way to make the change successful
What is the best way to stop smoking?

A better therapy for smoking cessation that is safe, non- invasive, without drugs and with no side effects would be through hypnotherapy. 

What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy, is a natural way of tapping into your subconscious mind to help you achieve behavioral changes that you want. 

A point to note is that hypnotherapy cannot make you do something that you do not want to do. So if you do not want to quit smoking, don’t worry, a hypnotherapist cannot make you quit without your consent.

“Hypnosis is simply a state of relaxed focus. It is a natural state. In fact, each of us enters such a state—sometimes called a trance state—at least twice a day: once when we are falling asleep, and once when we are waking up.”

American Association of Professional Hypnotherapists

Smoking, just like all habits, is a reaction that is controlled by the subconscious part of the mind. Consciously, we all know that smoking is bad for us, however, our feelings and beliefs (managed by the subconscious) might think otherwise. 

Hypnosis thus, brings us the rapid eye movement state – a natural healing and processing state – and it is in this state that your deeper, subconscious mind is more open to new ideas and suggestions. In this state, when your subconscious is given suggestions such as ‘you don’t have to try not to smoke; the habit will just start to go away. As reported in New Scientist Magazine, it is found that “hypnotherapy enjoys a greater success rate than any other method in helping people stop smoking.”

What is the success rate of using hypnosis?

According to the University Of Washington School of Medicine, there is a 91% success rate of using hypnosis to help you stop smoking.

The American Journal of Medicine states that hypnosis has been promoted as a drug-free way to help smokers kick the habit, and there is evidence that it works, according to a research review that looked at 14 international studies.

 

0%
Success rate of using hypnosis to quit smoking
Statistics of success rate

Statistics shown are based on multiple research study by Taylor and Dingle (1994)

0%
Success rate of just ONE single session of hypnosis
0%
Quit smoking successfully after 2 to 3 sessions of hypnosis
Perils of Smoking
  1. Smoking causes 87% of lung cancer deaths, 32% of heart disease deaths and 79% of all cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.
  2. One out of three cancer deaths is caused by smoking.
  3. It harms nearly all of the organs in the body. Prolonged smoking habits leads to chronic diseases including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, ectopic pregnancy and impaired fertility, erectile dysfunction and age-related macular degeneration.
  4. Second hand smoke exposure causes strokes in non-smokers.

Looking at all the negative effects of smoking above, it makes us wonder why there are still so many smokers out there. Many cite that smoking helps them reduce stress. However, that may be just a perception and hypnotherapy can help a person manage their stress better, or even come up with other coping mechanisms, thus be able to let go of the smoking habit. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms are another fear that deters most people from quitting smoking. Common complaints include feeling irritable, angry or anxious. An addicted person will have trouble thinking. There would be a strong craving for tobacco products as well. Many people will also feel hungrier than usual, which leads to excessive eating and weight gain. It is true that these negative effects will be difficult to deal with. Hypnotherapy can help you manage those withdrawal symptoms. Using different psychological techniques, the therapist can help you change your thoughts, send suggestions to your mind and body or create a healthier you. These mind tools can help you quit in a worry- free manner.

Benefits of Quitting

As soon as a person quits, the body begins to repair the damage caused by smoking. 

 
Twenty minutes after quitting
The heart rate drops to normal level.
Twenty minutes after quitting
Twelve hours after quitting
The carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal.
Twelve hours after quitting
Two weeks to five months after quitting
The risk of having a heart attack begins to drop.
Lung functions also begin to improve.
Two weeks to five months after quitting
One to nine months after quitting
Coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
One to nine months after quitting
One year after quitting
The added risk of coronary heart disease is half of that of a smoker’s.
One year after quitting
Five to fifteen years after quitting
The risk of having a stroke is reduces to that of a non-smoker’s.
Five to fifteen years after quitting
Ten years after quitting
The risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a smoker’s.

The risk of getting bladder cancer is half that of a smoker’s.

The risk of cervical cancer or cancer of the larynx, kidney or pancreas decreases.
Ten years after quitting
Fifteen years after quitting
the risk of coronary heart disease is the same as that of a non- smoker.
Fifteen years after quitting

Looking at the above benefits of smoking cessation and making the commitment to quit, is half the battle won. Your hypnotherapist will guide you through the whole process, you’re no longer alone in trying to quit. 

However, hypnotherapy for smoking cessation is not a miracle cure. For some people, one session would be enough for them to quit smoking, but for some, they will benefit from the support of another few sessions. The ultimate aim of hypnosis here is to empower people to take control of their addiction and improve their health. Because of this, hypnotherapy is fast becoming one of the most popular forms of treatment for smoking cessation.

Joyce Hue is a Mind Therapist focusing on Clinical Hypnotherapy at Life Care Diagnostics Medical Centre. She specialises in issues related to stress, anxiety and depression. She runs programs such as Smoking Cessation and Hypno-Band for weight loss to empower clients and help improve their lives. She can be contacted at joyce@joycehue.com.my