There are so many websites today offering numerous ways to quit smoking, many the same or similar, some quite different. Today the government’s 1-800-QUITNOW hotline is receiving a record number of calls. From 2004 to 2010 the total number of calls received was just under three million. So far in just this year, 2011, there have been over six hundred thousand additional calls! It is clear that more Americans than ever before are seeking some way to end their habit/addiction to smoking cigarettes, and once and for all, stop smoking.
To successfully quit smoking, to really stop smoking, one must find the right solution to their problem. Many seek to stop smoking using the nicotine patch. The theory MoonWLKR is that if one uses the nicotine patch, and slowly withdraws from nicotine by using less and less nicotine in the patches, that in the end, the desire to smoke will be gone. The success rate for this system is woefully small (1). In fact, it is similar (or less) to just trying to quit “cold turkey”. This tells us that the desire to smoke cannot simply be found in the addiction to nicotine. Surely that is a part of the syndrome, but it cannot be all of it, or the system would be 100% successful for each and every smoker using it. But it is not. Not even close. Far less than 10%
The same is true for those who choose to use the nicotine gum. This is gum saturated with nicotine in various amounts, used to withdraw from the addiction to nicotine. But nicotine gum works no better than does the nicotine patch (2).
One of the oldest programs to quit smoking is using a hypnosis program. Hypnotists have for decades been taking money from those who believe that a hypnosis to quit smoking program will help them to once and for all stop smoking. However, having been a clinical hypnotherapist in perhaps the largest and oldest hypnosis clinic in the USA, I can tell you that although I do believe hypnosis should be a part of a successful campaign to quit smoking, the vast majority of hypnotists do not know how to correctly use hypnosis to get their clients to quit smoking. So the end result is that using a hypnosis program to quit smoking is rarely successful in the long term.
In fact, Kerry Packer, who was, until his death in 2005, the most wealthy man in Australia and one of the world’s multibillionaires, is reported to have paid Marshall Sylver, a world renowned hypnotist, $100,000 for a single session of hypnosis to help him quit smoking. It did not take. Kerry Packer did not stop smoking through hypnosis.
To quit smoking now, what a smoker must do is begin to deal with the core issue that drives the desire to continue to smoke cigarettes. To quit smoking through hypnosis, the hypnosis must be properly applied. It should not focus on the present, telling the subject that they will no longer desire to smoke, or that the cigarettes will begin to taste like rotten eggs, or any other such nonsense. What the hypnotist must do is focus on the past, back to the time when the subject first decided to become a smoker. That point, the exact moment that smokers, almost invariably children of no more than fourteen, often as young as ten, the children started to hypnotize themselves into becoming smokers.
It is my firm belief that every smoker, every single one, is in a state of hypnosis. They hypnotized themselves into becoming smokers, as after all, any hypnotist worth his or her salt will tell you that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. It is not a capturing process as the old Dracula movies would suggest, but a leading process. In other words, the hypnotist leads the subject into a state of mind wherein the subject accepts and internalizes the suggestions of the hypnotist. But the hypnotist is not issuing commands, only offering suggestions that the subject may or may not choose to follow.
When someone tries to quit smoking after a decade or more after starting, they most often fail, and then believe it is because they lack the will power to overcome the addiction. Most see it as a weakness in their character. This is not true. What is true is that their inability to stop smoking by simply exerting their will is a testament to the commitment they made to themselves to become a smoker in the first place. They hypnotized themselves to start smoking, and they must reverse that hypnosis at the subconscious level to end it. To quit smoking, to stop smoking successfully and never desire to smoke again takes returning the person to the psychological state they were in before they committed to become a smoker.
I know there are those who smoke who will say, “I am not hypnotized!” But have they ever been hypnotized? Do they even know what being hypnotized feels like? Tell me this. Would anyone who is not in an altered state of consciousness (which takes them a step away from reality) knowingly take a chemically treated poison weed, wrapped in chemically treated poisonous paper, light it on fire and breath the toxic fumes from that fire as often as two hundred times per day (twenty cigarettes times ten drags from each) every day of their life for ten, twenty, thirty years or more, knowing that the end result may well be a painful, costly and prolonged death, and believe that they are experiencing some sort of “pleasure”, pay dearly to do that, and not be in a state of hypnosis?
No one starts smoking because they want to enjoy the taste of a burning cigarette. No one I have ever heard of enjoyed that first cigarette, especially after inhaling that first time. I know I didn’t. I became instantly nauseous and nearly threw up. I was dizzy and at ten years old, decided that smoking was not for me.