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Can hypnotherapy really help me give up smoking?

By Leah Jung

If you’re a smoker who has ever tried to give up, you won’t need to be told how hard it is to kick the habit.

Perhaps you’ve tried using nicotine patches or chewing gum. Perhaps you’ve had some counselling. Perhaps you’ve just tried to go cold turkey and stop overnight. Or maybe you’ve never tried at all and you’re looking at how to give up smoking for the first time.

Although I’m a hypnotherapist, I’m not going to try to claim that hypnotherapy will work for every smoker who wants to give up. There is no single method that works for everyone.

But if you’re looking to give up smoking, then a course of hypnotherapy is an extremely good place to start.

Before looking at why, I’m going to look at a few questions people typically ask about smoking and giving up.

Why should I stop smoking?

In the 21st century, this surely shouldn’t be a question any longer. But in case you need reminding, here are some reasons:

  • Approximately 70% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking

  • Smoking also causes other cancers including mouth cancer, stomach cancer and pancreatic cancer

  • Smoking while pregnant damages your baby’s health

  • Smoking leads to heart problems and increases the chance of you suffering from a heart attack

  • If you smoke, non-smokers around you also suffer from the secondhand smoke you are forcing them to breathe in

  • It costs a fortune. Smoking 20 cigarettes a day will cost the average smoker nearly £4,000 every year.

Doesn’t smoking reduce my stress?

In a word, no.

Smoking being a stress reliever is a commonly held belief that the tobacco industry clearly hasn’t made any effort whatsoever to dispel. Why would it?

However, research into whether smoking reduces stress, anxiety and tension has shown that smoking doesn’t actually reduce those things at all. In fact, it increases them.

Although the nicotine in cigarettes generates a sense of immediate relaxation, soon afterwards that initial rush of relaxation will disappear, to be replaced by cravings that can only be relieved by… smoking another cigarette.

If you’re suffering from depression as well as stress then it can be even harder to give up, not least because the withdrawal symptoms are much worse.

Can’t I just have a cigarette when I have a drink?

That’s your decision to make, but if you’re a smoker who also drinks then you will find it harder to give up.

Also, you might not have an alcohol problem at the moment, but if you continue to smoke then there is a greater chance that you will have. Just as around 90% of alcoholics also smoke, smokers are nearly three times more likely to become alcoholics than non-smokers.

If you’re a regular, heavy drinker and you’re trying to give up smoking, then you are going to need help: someone who can support you, help you find ways to cope and reduce your chances of slipping up.

Can hypnotherapy help me give up smoking?

In a word: Yes.

Hypnotherapy focuses on the reasons you smoke – such as relieving stress – and helps you view cigarettes in a completely different way.

So, for example, you would no longer think “I’m stressed, I’ll have a cigarette, that will help” or “I’m having a drink, I’ll have a cigarette too because I enjoy that”.

Your hypnotherapy treatment will be tailored to you, but typical associations could be “I’m stressed – I do not want a cigarette” and “Cigarette smoke? Urgh! That makes me feel so ill”.

How long does it take? And how much does it cost?

Some people find that one session is enough, while others may take longer.

If you are considering hypnotherapy as a way of giving up smoking, get in touch and we’ll have a chat.

Drop me an email ( and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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