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stop-smoking-hypnosisIf you’ve tried to stop smoking in the past and haven’t yet managed to stop, chances are you could improve your odds of quitting by choosing a different approach. Most people try stopping with willpower, but unfortunately research studies estimate this approach works for 6 per cent of smokers at best. So what’s the alternative?

Research indicates the method you choose to support your quit smoking effects determines your chance of success. One of the largest ever studies on smoking cessation revealed some surprising results¹. The study by Frank Schmidt and research student Chockalingam Viswesvaran of the University of Iowa carried out a meta-analysis of a range of smoking cessation treatments, statistically combining the results of more than 600 studies covering almost 72,000 people. The Schmidt and Viswesvaran findings were published in the New Scientist in 1992 and its finding are as relevant to the would-be-non-smoker today as they were then.

The study concluded hypnotherapy was the most effective way for a smoker to quit. In fact, they found that 1 in 5 smokers had quit with the aid of hypnosis. This was a major breakthrough, which unfortunately is rarely mentioned by the national media when offering advice on the most effective methods of stopping smoking.

Success rates were measured on whether ex-smokers remained non-smokers at least one year later. It is important to be aware of any measurement criteria when deciding which smoking cessation method is right for you. Be careful of the small print. Many studies, including those conducted by private and public health services, measure stop smoking status on shorter time frames. Success rates for stopping smoking at 4 week, 3 months and 1 year for the same type of treatment will vary and reduce over time. Therefore, if you are keen to increase your chances of success, check your chose treatment’s success rate over the longest time period possible.

Contrary to the widely held belief that smoking is a nicotine addiction, the study found nicotine replacement products, such as gum and patches, produce a relatively poor success rate with only 10 per cent (gum) and 13 per cent (patches) of smokers remaining non-smokers one year one – an increase of 7 per cent on willpower at best. This rate increased when combined with counselling to 20 per cent (nicotine patches); suggesting smoking is a psychological habit rather than addiction. If it smoking was true physical addiction, the success rates should have been significantly higher.

Since 1992, there have been further developments in to pharmaceutical treatments including Zyban and Champix to help smokers. Although more impressive than nicotine replacement therapy, research into these methods suggest long-term success rates are also relatively low – 18 per cent and 22 per cent respectively².

In fact, more ‘alternative’ treatments fared much better at helping smokers quit long term in Schmidt and Viswesvaran study (measuring stop smoking status at least one year). For those who tried, acupuncture, 24 per cent managed to successfully stop smoking, and for aversion therapy, 25 per cent quit.

However, it was stop smoking hypnosis therapy that produced the most impressive results. 30 per cent of smokers successfully quit smoking using only the most basic suggestion hypnosis methods, including tapes and CD. This increased to over 60 per cent remaining non-smokers one year on for smokers undergoing private therapy using the latest relaxation techniques. Furthermore even more advanced techniques that go beyond suggestion hypnotherapy was reported by Von Denendroth (1968) to produce a success rates of 94 per cent³ in study of over 1,000 smokers measure 18 months post-treatment.

If you are serious about quitting smoking, make sure you give yourself the best possible chance to succeed and get support from a treatment that has been tried, test and proven to work. With the correct support, you could be one of the millions of ex-smokers who’ve successfully kicked the habit.

Want to find out more?

We off all new clients a complimentary 15-minute telephone consultation, so if you’d like to find about our unique ‘Stop Smoking in One Hour’ hypnotherapy technique, or call Katie Glen on 020 8712 5981 today.

¹New Scientist (Robert Matthews, Issue 1845, October 1992). Collected from statistics from more than 600 studies, covering almost 72,000 people in America, Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe and including 48 studies of hypnosis covering 6000 smokers. ²ash.org.uk, accessed June 2009. ³Von Dendenroth, T. (1968) American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis

 

 

¹Lynch et al. Cognitive behavioural therapy for major psychiatric disorder: does it really work? A meta-analytical review of well-controlled trials. Psychological Medicine, 2009. ²Barrios, Alfred A. ‘Hypnotherapy: A reappraisal’ Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice , Vol 7 (1): 2, Jan 1, 1970