If at first you don't succeed - quitting smoking
Researchers from the school of public health at the University of Toronto, published in BMJ open on the amount of attempts the average smoker takes before they succeed in quitting smoking.
They noted that a Canadian primary producer of medication suggested that those who were successful with them would have five to seven attempts before success. They also noted that the American cancer society suggested eight to 10 attempts, and the Australian cancer society suggested 12 to 14 attempts. They wanted to suggest that people shouldn’t give up hope.
They surveyed over 4000 smokers who wanted to stop. 1277 were successful in stopping for at least a year, and the research team followed them for a further three years, interviewing them at intervals of every six months.
The average attempts of these 1277 who were successful ranged between six and 30. They suggested that even if people were discouraged at hearing how difficult it is to stop, they should not quit quitting.
So, what does this mean to a person considering hypnotherapy, or someone offering it? We could boast about our success rates, or carp about the low success rates of the Canadian pharmaceutical company. But it seems far more effective to broadcast the benefits.
We can educate the public on the nature of addiction to smoking. The physical addiction is broken after just four days without smoking. After that it is just the psychological addiction that needs to be quelled. Psychological addiction refers to:
- The reasons that you started smoking.
- What you got out of it.
- The pull of the crowd that you smoked with then.
- The pull of the crowd that you smoke with now.
- The triggers that get you to smoke.
- The habitual things or activities that you smoke along to.
All of these individual parts to your smoking behaviour can be addressed in a bespoke hypnotherapy session that can also tackle larger issues such as work pressure, stress and anxiety, according to individual need. It is because of the attention to the individual that hypnotherapy is going to be far more successful than a generalised tablet.
About the author
Matthew Hall. Master in clinical hypnosis, addictions expert and weight-loss expert.
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