Hypnosis has helped thousands to stop smoking, and it can work for you. Smoking cessation is one of the most commonly recognized applications of hypnosis, and rightfully so. For most people, smoking is a matter of habit, and that’s why hypnosis is so effective for helping people to quit, because hypnosis is all about reprogramming the subconscious mind to remove old habits and beliefs and adopt new routines and attitudes.
When you smoke, toxins are carried by your blood to every organ in your body. At the same time, the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke keeps red blood cells from carrying as much oxygen as normal. As a result, the cells throughout your body are deprived of the oxygen that they need to work properly, the American Lung Association (ALA) says.
Smoking increases the risk for these health problems:
In the long run, cigarettes rob many smokers of life itself. People who smoke lose an average of 13½ years from their life; and half of all lifetime smokers die early from smoking-related causes.
Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds and 400 other toxins. These include nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide, as well as formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, and DDT.
Nicotine is highly addictive. Smoke containing nicotine is inhaled into the lungs, and the nicotine reaches your brain in just six seconds.
Nicotine in small doses acts as a stimulant to the brain. In large doses, it’s a depressant, inhibiting the flow of signals between nerve cells. In even larger doses, it’s a lethal poison, affecting the heart, blood vessels, and hormones. Nicotine in the bloodstream acts to make the smoker feel calm.
As a cigarette is smoked, the amount of tar inhaled into the lungs increases, and the last puff contains more than twice as much tar as the first puff. Carbon monoxide makes it harder for red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. Tar is a mixture of substances that together form a sticky mass in the lungs.
Most of the chemicals inhaled in cigarette smoke stay in the lungs. The more you inhale, the better it feels – and the greater the damage to your lungs.
Despite these grim statistics, there’s good news, too. For one thing, it’s never too late to stub out that last cigarette. “Even if you’re a 70-year-old who has smoked for decades, you can reap benefits by quitting,” says Norman Edelman, M.D., chief medical officer of the ALA. These benefits start as soon as you quit. Within 20 minutes of quitting, your heart rate drops. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood returns to normal. The longer you stay quit, the more benefits you’ll see. Within one year, your added risk for coronary heart disease will fall to half that of a smoker’s. Within 15 years, your risk is that of a nonsmoker.
If these health benefits don’t motivate you to quit, “then do it for those around you,” Dr. Edelman says. A 2006 Surgeon General’s report shows just how risky secondhand smoke can be. When adult nonsmokers are around cigarette smoke at home, in the car, or at work, their risk for lung cancer and heart disease rises by up to 30 percent. In babies and children, secondhand smoke can also cause SIDS, respiratory problems, ear infections, and asthma attacks.
Hypnosis works because it goes after the habit where it lives – your subconscious mind. That is where all habits are formed and reformed. It is helpful to know that our autonomic system is in the subconscious. That’s the system which tells our hearts to beat and our lungs to breathe. Fortunately this is all taken care of by our subconscious – automatically. Everything that is done for our benefit, originates here. Habits by definition are those repetitive behaviors that you do “without thinking.” Thinking is a function of the conscious, everything else is in the subconscious. Hypnosis bypasses the conscious mind and speaks directly to the subconscious. That’s why it’s so successful. Some habits are easier to eliminate than others, and your subconscious can be your greatest ally in your quest to successfully stop smoking. A habit is most often eliminated by replacing it with another habit – in this case the habit of smoking is replaced by the habit of NOT smoking. That is what hypnosis does, and that is why it works.