Despite nearly 100,000 people in the UK dying from smoking-related illnesses each year, nearly one sixth of adults are still smokers.
While it wasn’t until the early 20th century that the harmful effects of smoking were explored, studies continue to expose the dangers of the habit. Quitting smoking is a big challenge for a person to face and they will often need more than just willpower. For many people, hypnotherapy is an effective solution.
- Nearly 50 per cent of all smokers die prematurely due to smoking-related diseases.
- The life expectancy of a smoker is about 10 years less than that of a non-smoker.
- In the UK is it estimated only half of long-term smokers live past the age of 70.
- Up to 17,000 children under the age of five are admitted to hospital each year as a result of passive smoking-related illnesses.
It is important for the person to know why they want to quit before any successful attempts can be made. It is common for people to relapse if they are quitting for somebody else. If the individuals are making the decision for themselves, the chances of success can improve.
This fact-sheet will explore why a person should stop smoking. We will look at the benefits of quitting and how hypnotherapy for smoking can help.
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The anatomy of a cigarette
Cigarettes aren’t simply tobacco and paper. During the manufacturing process, a whole cocktail of chemicals are added. With each cigarette, a person will be inhaling harmful substances, including:
Nicotine – This is the drug that stimulates the brain and causes the addiction. If a person smokes regularly, they may experience some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms may include intense cravings, increased anxiety, irritability and headaches.
Tar – After smoking tobacco, tar is the residue that is deposited into the lungs. From here, it enters the bloodstream and gets carried to other parts of the body. Tar contains over 4000 chemicals, over 50 cancer-causing carcinogens and other poisons. This is why smoking is considered one of the biggest causes of disease.
Carbon monoxide – This gas affects how much oxygen the blood can carry around the body. As a result, smoking prevents the body from getting the oxygen it needs to function smoothly. The smoker may experience shortness of breath, low energy levels and poor circulation.
Why stop smoking?
Smoking increases the risk of developing a wide range of health ailments and diseases. But the habit does not only harm the smoker’s health, it can also have a negative impact on the people around them. Children and babies living with people who smoke are vulnerable to many health problems. This includes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and an increased risk of cot death.
Some of the most common smoking-related illnesses include:
- Infertility - Smoking affects the fertility of men and women, making it difficult to conceive.
- Gum disease - As well as staining your teeth, smoking can cause premature tooth loss due to gum disease.
- Heart disease - This is considered the UK’s biggest killer. Nearly one in six cases are smoking-related.
- Lung cancer - More than eight in 10 cases of lung cancer are directly related to smoking.
- Other cancers - This includes mouth, throat, nose, blood, cervical and pancreatic cancer.
Adults who endure passive smoking for a long period of time are also at an increased risk of heart disease and lung cancer. Tobacco is also an irritant; therefore it can make conditions such as asthma worse.
Hypnotherapy for smoking
A great number of people find hypnotherapy for smoking an effective treatment. The method works to break the negative behaviours and thinking patterns associated with smoking. The thoughts and behaviours the smoker holds is often what prevents them from successfully giving up.
When a person makes the decision to stop smoking, the key aspect is to let go of the routine and change their perspective of cigarettes. Breaking an addiction like this is a challenge. Many people find changing how they think about something difficult. As hypnotherapy focuses on this change, it is fast becoming one of the most popular forms of treatment.
When considering stop smoking hypnosis, the first thing the person has to do is make sure they are choosing to quit for themselves. Hypnosis for smoking has been found to be most effective when the person really wants to quit.
Hypnotherapy works by putting the individual into a deep, relaxed state. During this time the mind is more open to suggestion. At this point, the hypnotherapist will look to change the thought patterns of the smoker. They will make suggestions such as, “I do not want a cigarette” or “the smell of cigarette smoke makes me nauseous”. The hypnotherapist may ask the individual to imagine unpleasant smells and feelings that they can associate with smoking. The person may also be taught various stop smoking hypnosis techniques so they can practise at home.
Many people find stop smoking hypnosis is enough to break the habit, while others prefer to combine the treatment with NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) or medication. This helps to tackle both the physical and the mental addiction together. By exploring all the options, a person should be able to find a suitable and effective treatment.
It is important to remember that hypnotherapy for smoking is not a quick fix. While for some people, just one session is enough to quit smoking (or continue the journey alone), others may benefit from follow-up sessions. The ultimate aim of stop smoking hypnosis is to empower people to take control of their addiction. Hypnotherapy for smoking will promote healthier behaviours. It can help the individual to develop new patterns of thinking.
Benefits of quitting
It is never too late to quit smoking. Whatever age the smoker is, if they make the decision to stop, their health will benefit. However, the sooner a person quits; the faster the body can recover and the risk of developing serious health conditions will decrease.
There are many benefits to stopping smoking, including:
As carbon monoxide affects how much oxygen the blood can carry, the body can find it difficult to function properly. When a person stops smoking, the carbon monoxide in the blood lowers. This allows the lungs and muscles to work the way they should. It also means more oxygen reaches the brain, boosting alertness and energy.
Improved immune system
Smoking causes the immune system to drop. This makes the body more susceptible to colds and flu. Quitting allows the immune system to remain healthy.
Longer life expectancy
If a person quits smoking by the age of 30, their life expectancy can increase by 10 years. Even if a smoker is 60 years old, quitting can still add three years to their life.
Within nine months of giving up, lung capacity is said to increase by as much as 10 per cent. This allows the body to carry out daily tasks without the loss of breath. The “smoker’s cough” should also disappear and any breathing conditions, such as asthma should be reduced.
Many smokers reach for a cigarette when in a stressful situation. The immediate hit of nicotine after withdrawal may make them feel relaxed but in the long-term, smoking increases stress levels.
Younger looking skin
Smoking prematurely ages the skin. Regular smoking can leave the skin dull, dry and prone to wrinkles. When a person decides to stop smoking, the effect is reversed as the skin begins to receive the nutrients it needs. Over time, the appearance of the skin should dramatically improve.
The average cost of a 20-pack of cigarettes is £8.00. If a person is smoking 20 cigarettes a day for 10 years, they will have spent nearly £30,000. Quitting smoking could mean a person is £250.00 richer per month.
Stop smoking timeline
Time since last cigarette:
Effects on the body:
Blood pressure and heart rate returns to normal.
Carbon monoxide levels drop back to normal.
The body starts to clear out the mucus build-up in the lungs.
Breathing becomes easier and energy levels increase.
Appearance of skin improves.
3 to 9 months
Lung function can improve by up to 10 per cent.
Risk of suffering from a heart attack falls to about half of that of a smoker.
Risk of developing lung cancer falls to about half of that of a smoker.
Risk of suffering heart attack falls to that of a non-smoker.
Common fears and misconceptions
When making the decision to stop smoking, many people have some initial worries. Common fears include:
Weight gain – Nicotine is an appetite suppressant, so it is possible for a person to feel hungrier after quitting. This is not the case for everyone but it is worth preparing for. If a person is ready to stop, they could stock up on healthy foods to nibble on when feeling hungry. They can also increase their levels of physical activity.
Not having a social tool – For some people, smoking is considered a social tool that brings people together. However, the smoking ban in the UK was introduced in 2007. Since then, smoking outside has become a more isolated experience. It is important for people to remember that they are able to stay inside with those who do not smoke. Quitting doesn’t have to damage a social life.
Feeling it’s not “the right time” – A common excuse and sadly it is unlikely there will ever be a “good time”. Life will always have its ups and downs. The trick is to learn to cope with them without turning to a cigarette. This is where self-hypnosis can help.
As mentioned, a person is more successful in quitting if they make the decision themselves. If they have a goal in mind, they can work towards it and stay focused. Once the commitment to change has started, a person should seek help. Stop smoking hypnosis is one approach that can help a person kick a habit. Contacting a local medical professional can let the smoker know their options.
Other ways to quit
Whether a person is considered a heavy smoker or a social smoker, the thought of quitting can be daunting. According to Patient, two in three smokers want to stop smoking. Yet many people feel they couldn’t last a day without a cigarette. Hypnotherapy for smoking is one treatment that many people turn to and find effective. Sometimes it can work one its own, though it may complement another treatment.
Other ways to stop smoking include:
Nicotine replacement therapy
When a person chooses to quit smoking, a GP may recommend treatment in the form of NRT. This works by releasing small amounts of nicotine steadily into the bloodstream without the addition of the chemicals found in cigarettes. These help to control the cravings a person may experience when withdrawal symptoms kick in. NRT comes in different forms, including skin patches, chewing gum, tablets and nasal spray.
Stop smoking medication
There are two medications available on the NHS that can help you quit the habit.
Zyban (bupropion) – While is it unclear why, experts believe it affects the part of the brain involved in the addictive behaviour. A course of Zyban treatment will typically last between seven and nine weeks.
Champix (varenicline) – This works by preventing nicotine from attaching to parts of the brain that respond to it. This reduces the reinforcing effects of smoking and helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms. It is often suggested that a person take Champix for a course of 12 weeks to successfully stop smoking.
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