The Truth About Smoking Cessation and Hypnosis

The Truth about Hypnosis and Smoking Cessation

As Published in The Art of Well Being Magazine By Robert Michael Merlin BA, BCH, CI, LBLt, PLRt, CNLP, SEP, CMH, MHt. You want to quit. You even have imagined what your life would be like if you did quit smoking. The money you would save on buying cigarettes, (one $4.75 pack a day equals $1,733.75 a year), the years you would add to your life as your health risks decrease, the increased natural energy you would feel, the powerful sense of accomplishment at achieving a life-changing goal and the satisfaction of becoming a new person…the person you want to be.

You have tried it all, patches, medication, cold turkey, but nothing seems to work. So you thought you might try hypnosis. You may even know someone who has quit using hypnosis. You may be apprehensive about the process involved since it is something you have not done before. We will discuss this later, but first let us look at some facts from the Center for Disease Control (
  1. Click to Enlarge and see the Benefits of QuittingTobacco use leads to disease and disability. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, strike, and lung diseases. For every person who dies from a smoking-related disease, 20 more people suffer with at least one serious illness from smoking.
  2. Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death. Worldwide, tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year. In the United States, tobacco use is responsible for about one in five deaths annually (i.e. about 443,000 deaths per year, and an estimated 49,000 of these tobacco-related deaths are the result of secondhand smoke exposure). On average smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers.
  3. In 2006, the cigarette industry spends $34 million a day in advertising and over $12.5 billion a year.
  4. Cigarette smoking costs the United States more than $193 billion a year in lost productivity and health care expenditures.
  5. In 2009, 20.6% of all adults were smokers. (18 or older)
  6. Approximately 70% of smokers want to quit completely.
  7. Approximately 45% of smokers attempted to quit in 2008.
  8. 88 million nonsmokers in the United States were exposed to secondhand smoke in 2007-2008.
  9. Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke increase their lung cancer risk by 20-30%.
  10. Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke increase their heart disease risk by 25-30%.
  11. There is good news.  Within 20 minutes of quitting your heart rate drops to normal. After 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. After 2 weeks to 3 months, your heart attack risk begins to drop and your lung function begins to improve. Within 1 to 9 months, your coughing and shortness of breath decrease. One year after quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s. Within 5 to 15 years after quitting, your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s. Ten years after quitting, your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker’s. Fifteen years after quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker’s. (See larger version)
With all of these facts, you know you have to quit tobacco of any kind (cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff), for your health as well as your loved ones. Is Hypnotherapy the answer? Matt Damon, Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Costner and Jackie Kennedy all used hypnosis. Matt Damon said I should have done it years ago. It’s amazing. I didn’t even want cigarettes anymore.

In Business Week, February 2004, they said Hypnosis has gained credibility in the past five years because of research using the latest brain-imaging technology. Studies show hypnosis can help treat a multitude of disorders.
Dr. David Spiegel Assoc. Chair of Psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine said “Hypnosis is not mind control. It’s a naturally occurring state of concentration; it’s actually a means of enhancing your control over both your mind and your body.

A 2007 study done at North Shore Medical Center in Massachusetts by Faysal Hasan, MD,FCCP,  showed that smoking patients who participated in one hypnosis session were more likely to be nonsmokers at 6 months compared to patients using nicotine replacement therapy alone or patients who quit “cold turkey”. She also said Hypnosis appears to be quite effective and a good modality to incorporate into a smoking cessation program after hospital discharge.

What is Hypnosis? It is a state of relaxation and concentration that the average individual reaches at least two times daily, when you wake up and when you fall asleep. Hypnosis is a form of guided relaxation using concentration where the ideas expressed (suggestions) by the hypnotist are generally experienced more clearly, which in turn creates a new awareness. Depending on one’s motivations, there may be a shift in attitude about specific subject matters (habits and stresses). The only requirement for getting results is that the person has a conscious desire to change and is in agreement with the suggestions.

Now what can hypnosis do and not do? Well it cannot help you to stop smoking if you do not want to. It cannot erase your memory or make you do anything that is against your morals or values. If you are given a suggestion that you did not agree with, you would ignore it or even regain normal awareness. You also do not go to sleep or become unconscious. Hypnosis is a hyper-state of awareness that feels very relaxing. You are aware of everything that is occurring in the surrounding environment as well as that which is happening in your inner mind. It is a state of consciousness somewhere between awake and asleep.

The success rate is different for everyone for smoking cessation, but most people either stop completely or dramatically cut down on the amount they smoke. The best success tends to come after two sessions. Make an appointment today with the Merlin Centre where a Board Certified Master Hypnotist who has worked with hundreds of smokers over the years and is certified in smoking cessation. The Merlin Centre will help you to quit with a personalized program for you.

Robert Michael Merlin BA, BCH, CI, LBLt, PLRt, CNLP, SEP, CMH, MHT, is a Board Certified Consulting Hypnotist , Board Certified Master Hypnotist and a Board Certified Hypnosis Instructor. He is registered with The National Guild of Hypnotists, The National Association for Transpersonal Therapists and the International Hypnosis Federation. He is also certified in Past Life Regression, Life Between Lives, Soul Entrainment , EFT, Neuro Linguistic Programming and is a Certified Life Coach.
He is the director of the Merlin Centre for Hypnosis & Enlightenment Inc. located at 1850 Pembroke Road, Greensboro, NC 27408. 336-275-0702
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