Smoking is a dangerous and addictive habit that affects the lives of millions of people around the world. We now know the dangers of cigarette smoking and smokers are urged to quit smoking for the benefit of their own health. This is not easy to do, as most smokers begin at an young age. The average age at which many people begin to smoke is thirteen years old.
A habit formed at such a young age is not easily broken. Nicotine affects the body in many ways and it is hard to pull free without some assistance. Nicotine addiction is only one of many different diseases associated with smoking. Most smokers will need assistance to quit smoking and a variety of different methods exist for this very purpose.
There are many reasons why people begin smoking and develop an addiction to cigarettes. The main reason that people begin to smoke is peer pressure. Some young people think it looks "cool" when portrayed on television, in movies, and in advertisements. It also is forbidden which makes it all the more alluring to rebellious teenagers, hence the low starting age for many people. This young age makes quitting smoking more difficult in your later years.
Media can also have an impact on the decision to begin smoking. Smoking portrayed on television or in movies can lead you to think that smoking is a harmless activity. Parents can wield the biggest influence over their children by setting a good example and not smoking, or quitting smoking. Mothers and fathers who smoke are much more likely to have children who smoke.
Smokers begin to crave nicotine, a drug within tobacco. Nicotine can affect your body and mind in many negative ways. Nicotine, once inhaled into the lungs reaches the brain in a matter of just eight seconds. Once there, nicotine affects your heart rate and blood pressure. Over time it can increase your bad cholesterol levels and cause the narrowing of your arteries. Nicotine in concentrated doses is a lethal poison, so imagine the damage it inflicts on your body. Nicotine is also addictive and one of the reasons many people cannot quit smoking.
Smoking can affect your health on a variety of levels. Low stamina is one side effect of smoking. More serious smoking related diseases include emphysema and cancer. Strokes and heart disease are also closely linked to cigarette smoking. A person who stops smoking will greatly reduce their chances for these diseases for every year they go without smoking.
The outcome of these medical conditions caused by smoking is grim. Lung cancer is nearly always fatal unless caught very early and a full 80% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. Lung and heart disease can subtract years from your life unless you are able to quit smoking. Emphysema cannot be cured but only managed, plus the damage to your lungs cannot be repaired. Stop smoking benefits include a healthier, longer life and a better quality of life.
There are several different ways to quit smoking, and you must choose the best method for you as an individual. Nicotine gums and patches are designed to help slowly release you from the nicotine addiction. These only work for about 10% of the people who use them. Going cold turkey is another option and this works for up to 11% of the smokers who try to quit this way. Other well known methods to quit smoking include an herbal kit that can show you how to quit smoking. It has a success rate similar to that of nicotine gums and patches.
Hypnotherapy is a popular and effective option for those who want to quit smoking without weight gain or withdrawal. Hypnotherapy has a high success rate with smokers who are trying to quit smoking. Hypnotherapy might sound like an extreme solution but it delivers solid results up to 70% of the time. This success rate is far greater that of other methods.
The reason hypnotherapy is so effective is that it while the physical addiction to nicotine makes up only about 10% of the smoking addiction, the emotional and mental aspects of the habit make up about 90% of the smoking addiction. Hypnosis treats this aspect of the addiction.
In addition, 45% of the smoking behavior is caused by stress, and hypnotherapy has proven to be a safe and effective tool that can help reprogram the mind to divert it away from stressful thoughts, and towards more positive and relaxing thoughts. In addition, the very essence of hypnosis is that it incorporates a state of deep relaxation.
And about 45% of the smoking behavior is caused by conditioned responses. This occurs when smoking is associated with other activities and events at the unconscious level of mind. For example, if you smoke and simultaneously watch television, your unconscious will associate the image of a cigarette in your hand with the image of the TV. Every time you see the TV, your unconscious flashes an image of the cigarette in your hand, and you feel an urge to smoke.
Hypnotherapy for smoking cessation is regularly used to "extinguish" the conditioned responses by disassociating the unconscious links between cigarettes and TV, drinking coffee, working on your computer, driving, or any other situation where an unconscious association has been created.
In summary: Although most smokers believe that their inability to quit smoking is based on their addiction to nicotine, in truth it is the psychological aspects of a smoking addiction that present the largest barriers. Hypnotherapy was accepted by the American Medical Association in 1958 as an effective tool. And hypnosis for smoke cessation is the second most common use of hypnotherapy today.
While hourly rates for hypnotherapists climb higher and higher, there are some effective self hypnosis programs on the market that can greatly reduce the cost of obtaining hypnosis treatment. Since everyone is unique, there are no specific "magic" words or post-hypnotic suggestions that will work for everyone. So when choosing a self hypnosis program, look for programs that incorporate a broad variety of hypnotic and NLP techniques in a series of at least six or more sessions to achieve the best possible results. In any event, the fee for the very best self hypnosis programs equates to much less than the amount that an average smoker wastes each and every month on buying cigarettes.