In the UK, it is estimated that around 6.9 million people smoke. Although most smokers are aware of the dangerous health risks associated with smoking, many find it extremely difficult to quit. Due to the highly addictive nature of nicotine, many people come to depend on cigarettes over time.
What are the health risks of smoking?
Smoking has multiple health risks, and is thought to be the main cause of preventable illness and death in the world. Some of the health issues associated with smoking include cancers (such as cancer of the mouth and throat, cancer of the oesophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, larynx, trachea, bronchus, kidney cancer and myeloid leukemia), heart disease, stroke, multiple different lung diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, tuberculosis, eye problems and immune problems such as rheumatoid arthritis.
In addition to this, many of these diseases can also occur in children and adults who are exposed to second hand smoke- meaning that, as a smoker, you are likely to be putting your close friends and family at risk of disease if you smoke in their vicinity.
More reasons to quit…
Aside from the health issues caused by smoking; smoking cigarettes can be an extremely expensive habit. The average smoker in the UK will spend around £2000 per year on cigarettes. Just imagine what other things you could spend that money on if you no longer had the financial burden of purchasing packets of cigarettes every week!
The homes of dedicated smokers often smell strongly and become unwelcoming places for hosting visitors. Walls and ceilings can become stained with tobacco, as can smokers’ teeth and fingers.
Despite all of these negative effects, many still find it extremely hard to quit smoking. If you or someone you know are struggling to quit, hypnotherapy may be able to help!
How can hypnotherapy help with quitting smoking?
Regression hypnotherapy allows subjects to delve into their early memories and discover and reframe the issues which may have led them to start smoking in the first place.
Many people use smoking as an emotional crutch to help them stay calm in stressful situations, or to allow them to deal with difficult moments. Smoking can also be linked to a person’s self-confidence and relationship to social situations. Many will have started smoking in the first place in order to fit in with a certain group of friends.
Some use smoking as an excuse to take a step away from intense social situations like parties and gatherings, taking regular pauses from the social occasion to stand outside with a cigarette.
By dealing with the issues which have led a person to start smoking in the first place, and the emotional factors that they may associate with smoking in the present day, a hypnotherapist can help a client to reframe their attachment to that nicotine hit.
Hypnotherapy is also often used to help change the way a person feels about smoking in the present day, placing the client in a state of relaxation and enforcing negative ideas about smoking such as ‘Smoking is poisonous’ and ‘Smoking is unpleasant’.
Does hypnotherapy really work to help people quit smoking?
Everyone’s relationship with smoking is different, and there is no guarantee that any one particular method will be effective in helping a particular person to quit smoking. Studies do show, however, that in certain situations hypnotherapy works very well as a treatment for nicotine addiction.
A randomised trial carried out in 2008 showed that hypnotherapy was more effective than standard behavioural counselling in allowing smokers to break the habit.
A more recent study, carried out in 2017, concluded that hypnotherapy can be effectively used in conjunction with other treatments to assist people in quitting smoking. For example, for those using nicotine patches to help them kick the habit, hypnotherapy can enhance the effectiveness of this method.
Should I try hypnotherapy to help me quit smoking?
Whatever your reasons are for wanting to quit smoking, if you are trying to make this important step, and if you feel that the methods you have already tried have not worked for you so far, do consider complementing your current regime with some sessions of hypnotherapy! Many find that accessing their subconscious through hypnotherapy, and dealing with the emotional and psychological issues that may be linked to their addiction to smoking, can work extremely well to make the process of quitting much easier.
I am an experienced hypnotherapist, and over the years I have provided treatment for many smokers and have helped them to achieve their goals of quitting smoking. Get in touch for a conversation about how hypnotherapy could help you quit smoking.