Hypnotherapy Vs. Nicotine Replacement Therapy; What's The Best Way To Quit Smoking?
5 min read
Hypnotherapy Is More Effective Than Nicotine Replacement Methods To Quit Smoking
Long gone are the days where 1950’s transparent marketing encouraged us all to take up smoking! From posters featuring a heavily pregnant woman stating, ‘The smooth taste expectant mothers crave!’ to an athlete dripping in gold medals with the quote, ‘Athletes relax with the smooth taste of Lucky Strike cigarettes…’, these nicotine filled cigarettes were affordable and deemed ‘healthy’.
However, it is a totally different story in our 21st-century lives. With the average cost of a 40-a-day smoking habit reaching £140 a week and the lifetime costs of smoking on average £140,000, many of the 7.2 million smokers in the UK are struggling to pay for their habit financially – let alone the devastating effects smoking has on their bodies, including heart disease and a whole host of cancers.
With many smokers coming to terms with the negative financial and health impacts (both physical and mental) of smoking, a number of different ways to quit smoking have emerged; including nicotine gums and patches, vape pens, and hypnotherapy.
How Does Hypnosis Work?
Growing in popularity due to its positive impact on mental health, hypnotherapy is on the rise! But why is it so different from other smoking cessation avenues and how does it help?
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), such as gums, patches, vape pens and other forms of smoking cessation support, are all physical and external – most of them are giving your body the nicotine that is it craving from the cigarette, meaning the chemical dependence remains. It is important to remember that NRT is not treating the problem of nicotine addiction. Rather, Nicotine Replacement Therapy quite literally puts a plaster over the problem, whilst continuing to feed the negative behaviour. With side effects and relapse rates higher with NRT, hypnotherapy is gaining more and more traction.
Smoking, just like all habits, is a learnt behaviour embedded deep in the core of our mind. When we use hypnosis, we create a state of deep relaxation where positive suggestions are absorbed and can help change our old negative behaviours for new, more helpful ones, like stopping smoking.
Some people like to think that while you’re under hypnosis your unconscious mind is being ‘reprogrammed’ with suggestions such as “You are confident, completely confident, that you are going to overcome your cigarette smoking habit…you will not miss smoking at all”.
Read our Q&A article on hypnosis.
But don’t just take our word for it, take a look at the study below.
A controlled, randomised study was conducted at the North Shore Medical Centre in Salam, Massachusetts between October 2006 and May 2009. The consenting 122 individuals involved were used to compare the efficacy of hypnotherapy alone, as well as hypnotherapy used in conjunction with NRT. All study participants were current smokers in hospital, suffering from cardiac or pulmonary illness.
These patients were evaluated over the course of 26 weeks – with a review at 12 weeks – after being separated into three groups:
- NRT – Received nicotine replacement therapy for 30 days
- H – Received 90 minute hypnotherapy sessions
- HNRT – Received nicotine replacement therapy alongside hypnotherapy
A fourth group was made up of 42 patients, called ‘Self-Quit’, for individuals who declined treatment.
All patients received counselling and self-help materials while admitted to hospital, with the self-quit group also receiving standard counselling. However, the self-quit group had no further contact until 26 weeks post-hospitalisation.
Patients receiving NRT were given a free one-month supply of nicotine patches – with the initial dose based on the number of cigarettes they smoked prior to hospitalisation – plus nicotine gum or lozenges to administer as needed to control their cravings and reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Hypnotherapy and NRT groups had intensive 30-minute counselling sessions in hospital and had five follow-up telephone calls with additional counselling at 1, 2, 4, 8, and 12 weeks after hospital discharge.
So, how did they get on?
From the results, it was found that Group 2 (Hypnotherapy) patients were more likely than Group 1 (NRT) to be non-smokers at both 12 weeks and 26 weeks after hospitalisation.
At 12 weeks, 43.9% of patients in Group 2 were self-reported non-smokers compared to just 28.2% of patients that received NRT.
Group 3 (NRT and Hypnotherapy) patients offered similar results from Group 2. In multivariable regression analysis for diagnosis, Group 2 and Group 3 were over three times more likely than Group 1 to abstain from smoking at 26-weeks post-discharge.
So what is the best way to quit smoking?
This controlled study evidences that hypnotherapy is more effective than Nicotine Replacement Therapy in improving smoking abstinence in patients hospitalised for a smoking-related illness and could be an asset to post-discharge smoking cessation programs.
Most smokers begin for a number of reasons; stress, social situations/pressures, weight loss - the list goes on.
But over time, your body and mind come to accept that the only way to deal with these kind of situations and life challenges is to reach for cigarettes and smoke. Even when using nicotine replacement products, you remain stuck in the cycle of coping with stress by self-medicating with this powerful neurostimulant.
At Heal, we believe the best way to quit smoking, and to stay a non-smoker, is to use hypnosis and its therapeutic benefits as part of a multidisciplinary approach.
Heal’s online Stop-In-7 Smoking Cessation Treatment Plan combines a range of techniques from Hypnotherapy, C.B.T, and Mindfulness-based therapies. This 7 day course is expertly curated and accessible from the comfort of your own home, without the need for face-to-face therapy. We provide you with — and guide you through — everything you need to break through your habit and stop smoking once and for all.
I had wanted to give up for ages but always failed until I came across this treatment.
Before treatment my day was geared around when I was going to have a cigarette and I would rush home sometimes to have one or rearrange my day around them. I only smoked when I was alone as I felt ashamed and the smell upset others. I can honestly say that the Stop-in-seven treatment was excellent and the support wonderfully reassuring. It was all encompassing about how one was making oneself ill but also encouraging about how much better one would feel after giving up. One of the hardest aspects of the week was when we had to change the brand of cigarette. Oh how I craved for my own brand of cigarette I had smoked for 30 years. As I write this I think I can now call myself a non-smoker and it is amazing I have given up. I had wanted to give up for ages but always failed until I came across this treatment. Physically I don’t cough anymore and I can smell better and am eating healthier and enjoying it more. Emotionally I feel stronger clearer and realise I am proud of myself for eventually stopping the habit which I never thought I would. I would recommend Stop-in7 treatment to anyone trying to stop smoking. It is well organised extremely supportive and it works. Thank you.
I have tried various methods including hypnosis sessions previously, but to no avail.
Alex, I just wanted to take a moment to contact you. Since taking your Stop Smoking course It’s been a revelation ! It’s not even like I am an ex-smoker… I am a NON SMOKER ! I literally have not had a single thought about wanting to have a smoke ! For years on and off I have stopped and started again.. The lead up to the main event and the fact that the videos are available after the main session have proven to be just what is needed ! I have tried various methods including hypnosis sessions previously, but to no avail. So I just wanted to say a big thank you from me and my wife.
30g of rolling tobacco is roughly equivalent to 60 cigarettes.
50g of rolling tobacco is roughly equivalent to 100 cigarettes.
1 bowl of tobacco is roughly equivalent to 2.5 cigarettes.
4 bowls of tobacco is roughly equivalent to 10 cigarettes.
8 bowls of tobacco is roughly equivalent to 20 cigarettes.
1 small cigar is roughly equivalent to 1.5 cigarettes.
1 medium cigar is roughly equivalent to 2 cigarettes.
1 large cigar is roughly equivalent to 4 cigarettes.
Heal’s online Stop-In-7 Smoking Cessation Treatment Plan is expertly curated and accessible from the comfort of your own home, without the need for face-to-face therapy.
Combining techniques from Hypnotherapy, C.B.T, and Mindfulness-based therapies, this 7 day course provides you with — and guides you through — everything you need to break through your habit and stop smoking once and for all.
- "Hypnotherapy is more effective than nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation: Results of a randomized controlled trial". Hasan, Faysal M; Zagarins, Sofija E; Pischke, Karen M; Saiyed, Shamila; Bettencourt, Ann Marie; Beal, Laura; Macys, Diane; Aurora, Sanjay; McCleary, Nancy. Complementary Therapies in Medicine; Kidlington Vol. 22, Iss. 1, (Feb 2014): 1-8.
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