Richard Dama, LPC, Counseling & Clinical Hypnotherapy

Keep Your New Year’s Resolution: Quit Smoking

It’s a brand new yeas and now that the alcohol and resolutions have stopped flowing like water it’s time to get serious about carrying through on the promises you made to yourself.

By far, one of the most common/popular resolutions is to quit smoking (the other is to lose weight, but we’ll cover that one tomorrow.) So how can you give yourself the best fighting chance to keep your resolution from being one of the 88% on the scrap heap? Clinical Hypnosis

In the 43 years that I’ve been practicing hypnosis, one of the most common applications has been helping people quit smoking. I tell my clients that over the years I have accumulated a success rate in the high 90% range (as measured by the client being tobacco free six months after the last session), and while the client is obviously motivated to quit, they often react with skepticism at this statistic. “It really can’t be that easy,” is the most frequent response.

Yes, it really can be that easy!

I use a three session program and I’m happy to report that the vast majority of my clients leave the very first session nonsmokers. Almost everyone comes back for the second session to reinforce the tools gained in the first, but the vast majority of my clients will call or email me to say that they are doing so well that they would like to save the third session for later in case they need it. I let them put that session in the ‘bank’ for six months, but I rarely see them again for smoking cessation; although many find that hypnosis was so effective for smoking cessation that they come back for help in other areas of their lives.

Hypnosis is extremely effective at helping people become and remain tobacco-free, but don’t just take my word (and 39 years of experience) for it. Here are the results of some empirical studies showing the effectiveness of hypnosis. The following information was taken from public domain websites, especially: Active hyperlinks are included at the end of the academic citations for those who wish to read the abstracts for themselves:

Hypnosis Most Effective Way to Stop Smoking Says Largest Study Ever: 3 Times Effectiveness of Patch and 15 Times Willpower

Hypnosis is the most effective way of to quit smoking smoking, according to the largest ever scientific comparison of ways of breaking the habit. A meta-analysis, statistically combining results of more than 600 studies of 72 000 people from America and Europe to compare various methods of quitting. On average hypnosis was over three times as effective as nicotine replacement methods and 15 times as effective as trying to quit alone.

Schmidt, Chockalingam, “How One in Five Give Up Smoking”, Journal of Applied Psychology, University of Iowa, October 1992. [Retrieved from:]

Integrating hypnotic methods to facilitate smoking cessation

Of 43 consecutive patients undergoing this treatment protocol, 39 reported remaining abstinent at follow-up (6 months to 3 years post treatment).

University of Washington School of Medicine, Depts. of Anesthesiology and Rehabilitation Medicine, Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2001 Jul;49(3):257-66. Barber J. {Retrieved from:}

Clinical studies show almost 90% of participants quit and remain tobacco free with hypnosis.

A field study of 93 male and 93 female CMHC outpatients showed that after the program, 92% of the men and 90% of the women reported abstinence after 3 months. In the long-term, 86% of the men and 87% of the women reported continued abstinence.

Performance by gender in a stop-smoking program combining hypnosis and aversion. Johnson DL, Karkut RT. Adkar Associates, Inc., Bloomington, Indiana. Psychol Rep. 1994 Oct; 75(2):851-7. [Retrieved from:]

Clinical hypnosis for smoking cessation: preliminary results of a three-session intervention.

Thirty smokers enrolled in an HMO were referred by their primary physician for treatment. Twenty-one patients returned after an initial consultation and received hypnosis for smoking cessation. At the end of treatment, 81% of those patients reported that they had stopped smoking, and 48% reported abstinence at 12 months post-treatment.

Texas A&M University, System Health Science Center, College of Medicine, College Station, TX USA. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2004 Jan;52(1):73-81. Clinical hypnosis for smoking cessation: preliminary results of a three-session intervention. Elkins GR, Rajab MH. {Retrieved from:}

Descriptive outcomes of the American Lung Association of Ohio hypnotherapy smoking cessation program.

During 1997, 2,810 smokers participated in single-session, group hypnotherapy smoking cessation programs sponsored by the American Lung Association of Ohio. A randomly selected sample of 452 participants completed telephone interviews 5 to 15 months after attending a treatment session. Twenty-two percent of participants reported not smoking during the month prior to the interview. Conversely, only 20% of participants who used pharmaceutical products to assist with smoking cessation took them for the recommended treatment duration.

Ohio State University, College of Nursing, Columbus, OH 43210, USA Descriptive outcomes of the American Lung Association of Ohio hypnotherapy smoking cessation program. Ahijevych K, Yerardi R, Nedilsky N. {Retrieved from:}

You can’t argue with the numbers!

If you are finally ready to quit smoking and start leading a more healthy (and wealthy) life, call your friendly neighborhood clinical hypnotherapist and put those cigarettes down forever.

Here’s hoping you have an intentionally great and smoke-free New Year.

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