Smoking Cessation

Smoking Cessation

Effects of smoking

We are all well aware of the effects that smoking can have on our bodies. Smoking is one of the biggest killers in the UK with over 100,000 deaths in the UK attributed to smoking, and many more from smoking-related illnesses. Smoking increases your risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions, many of which are fatal. Smoking damages your heart and your blood circulation, and increases your risk of developing conditions such as coronary heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, and damages blood vessels and the blood supply to your brain. It causes about 90% of lung cancers, and can cause cancer in many other parts of the body, including throat, mouth, kidney, liver and stomach. Smoking when pregnant can seriously damage the unborn baby, and smoking plays a part in many other conditions, such as impotence and erectile dysfunction, lack of fertility, bronchitis, emphysema, and pneumonia(1).

Benefits of stopping smoking

  • After 20 minutes - Your blood pressure and pulse return to normal
  • After 24 hours - Your lungs start to clear
  • After 2 days - Your body is nicotine-free and your sense of taste and smell improve
  • After 3 days - You can breathe more easily, and your energy increases
  • After 2 to 12 weeks - Your circulation improves
  • After 3 to 9 months - Coughs, wheezing and breathing improves
  • After 1 year - Your heart attack risk is half that of a smoker
  • After 10 years - Your lung cancer risk is half that of a smoker

You'll also benefit from: longer life, less stress, improved smell and taste, more energy, better breathing, whiter teeth, younger looking skin, improved fertility, better sex, healthier loved ones

Smoking helps me to relax

You might think that smoking helps you to relax, but really you are only satisfying the craving your body has for the nicotine. Nicotine is actually a stimulant, like caffeine, so it speeds up your bodily functions, especially your heart rate. As soon as you light up, the poisons flooding your body will start to cause physical stress on your heart, lungs and other areas.

I only smoke a few a day – I don't need to quit

Most of the heart disease risk comes from the first few cigarettes you smoke. Within a minute of lighting up, your heart will have to work harder to combat the lack of oxygen caused by the nicotine in your blood. "Smoking just one cigarette a day trebles your risk of lung cancer and raises the risk of chronic lung disease, as well as cancer of the mouth, throat, bladder, pancreas and many more."(1).

I only smoke light cigarettes, they are better for me

Light cigarettes contain the same harmful chemicals and in order to get the same nicotine fix, you might inhale more deeply or smoke more of them.

I'll put on weight

Not necessarily. Smoking is an appetite suppressant, true. In addition, research shows that nicotine from tobacco boosts the body's metabolic rate, increasing the number of calories it burns. When smokers quit, metabolic rate quickly returns to normal - and that is healthy - but if ex-smokers keep getting the same number of calories as before, they can put on weight. The problem arises when smokers turn to food (sweets, snacks, gum) as a substitute for cigarettes. This increases the calorie intake, and can lead to weight gain. If you feel the need for oral gratification, try to choose low or calorie free foods.

Hypnotherapy to stop smoking is expensive

Our hypnotherapy sessions to stop smoking cost £150. At £8 for a pack of 20 cigarettes, and with a 20 a day habit, the amount you save will cover the cost of your therapy after just 19 days of not smoking. A small price for a healthier life.

How hypnosis can help

Everybody is different, and we work with each person individually to create a stop smoking programme tailored to their specific needs. If you genuinely want to stop smoking you can, and hypnotherapy can help you with that process. It is not a replacement for your own will power, but could be what you require to help you achieve your goals.

Hypnotherapy works by communicating directly with the subconscious part of your brain that craves the cigarette. During hypnosis, your mind is more open to change, and through use of positive suggestion, reinforcement and visualisation, your therapist can help you to break your addiction.

The advantage of hypnotherapy is that it can help you to quit smoking without the side-effects commonly associated with stopping. Since hypnotherapy can also help to tackle habits and cravings, we can build in elements to help prevent you turning to food or other comforts instead.

Some people find that hypnotherapy is enough in itself, others prefer to combine hypnotherapy with nicotine replacement patches or gum in order to tackle the physical and mental cravings together. It might also be useful to join a support group, Once you have made the decision to stop smoking, I suggest you visit your GP or medical professional for advice on the various treatments and support available to you.

Can Hypnotherapy help me to stop smoking?

Hypnotherapy cannot make you stop smoking – it is not a magic wand and we cannot force somebody do something that they do not want to do. If you don't really want to quit and are grudgingly 'giving up' because a spouse or partner has talked you into it, or you are hoping that hypnosis will change your mind for you, then hypnotherapy is not for you and will be a waste of your time and money. If, however, you genuinely want to quit smoking and embark on a healthier life, then this could be what you require to help get through the chemical and emotional withdrawal stage.

It would be unethical of me to quote a success rate in helping people to quit smoking, and it is against the Code of Ethics of our professional bodies to do so. This is because sessions do not take place under scientific conditions. However, I can say that experience has shown that clients can manage to quit after just one Stop Smoking session.

A study of over 70,000 smokers conducted by the University of Iowa was published in the New Scientist magazine in 1992 and found that on average, hypnosis proved to be over three times as effective as nicotine replacement methods and 15 times more effective than trying to quit alone(3).

Studies in America have shown that hypnosis is the most effective method of stopping smoking for good with an 85% success rate in just one session! This contrasts with the low rates of 10% success for those using nicotine gum and 6% compared with willpower alone(3).

References

  • (1) Source: NHS website
  • (2) Source: National Cancer Institute
  • (3) Source: Mathews, R (1992) New Scientist, Vol. 136, No. 1845, p.6