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Quit Smoking

Unbiased Look: Hypnosis to Quit Smoking Reviews from Health Professionals

The path to quitting cigarette smoking is littered with the remnants of attempts to do so: every smoker who quits eventually tries a range of methods to quit from nicotine pouches and patches to behavioural counselling and beyond. And, as is the wont of many smokers, many who try quit smoking turn to ‘alternative’ therapies to help, like hypnosis. While hypnosis remains hokey-pokey in reputation, and elicits fears about mind-control, it’s one of the oldest favoured treatments to quit smoking – but rarely gets the credit it really deserves. Hypnosis therapy involves exploiting induced trance-like states to enhance motivation and shift subconscious drivers linked to smoking. In this article, we will take a medical view of the question, combine the reviews of different medical specialists who have studied hypnosis and smoking, and see if hypnosis really is a useful tool in helping people to stop smoking. We will hear from psychologists, general practitioners and addiction specialists on the efficacy and usefulness of hypnosis in boring through the smokescreen of hype and anecdote and into the harsh glare of science.

Quit Smoking
Quit Smoking

What is Hypnosis?

Public misconceptions of hypnosis often reduce it to a campy, showy affair – a horse climbs onto a platform and we are asked to believe he is hypnotised. Consequently, perhaps, hypnosis as part of a psychological therapy also falls victim to myth and misunderstanding. But define hypnosis as, say, ‘the achievement and maintenance of a state of attentive expectancy characterised by relaxation of the muscles and a tendency to hallucinations’, and it looks quite different. In this state, also known as trance or a hypnotic state, people are able to concentrate more intensely on subjects as well as being highly amenable to suggestions. A daydream that is not interrupted is precisely that – a daydream in which some internal motivations prevail over external ones. Hypnosis provides a mechanism for carrying this over into the external world. In the ‘classic’ method of using hypnosis to help people stop smoking, the person first enters a trance or functional daydream, while maintaining some awareness of their surroundings. In this loosened that normally resist anything that smells too much of behaviour change.

For example, in smoking cessation, hypnosis might involve the therapist ‘suggesting’ to the patient, in the hypnotised state, that cigarettes are unpleasant and that the person smokes by associating cigarettes with a sensory experience or negative feeling. Hypnosis reprograms the subconscious feeling of smoking in a way that makes the act of smoking itself — or at least the idea of doing it — a lot less appealing. A typical session for smokers starts with the hypnotherapist suggesting verbal cues and then repeating instructions to enter a relaxed, trance-like state. Once there, the therapist attempts to alter the smoker’s behaviour by instilling aversions to smoking and reinforcing the desire to quit.

According to the theoretical underpinnings of hypnosis, by accessing the subconscious mind, the therapist can affect those habits that the ritual-user does not control and would otherwise be outside the realm of the conscious mind (automatisms and impulses, such as smoking). General expectations? These sessions should take place repeatedly, and attention-shifting suggestions should be reinforced step by step to bring about a gradual and definitive change in habits.

Learn how hypnosis works and what it can provide, and you’ll be better positioned to set realistic goals for this therapy and to select a practitioner who has the background and skill to be effective. 591 words.

Analysis of Health Professional Reviews

Where smoking hypnosis is concerned, opinions from the medical fraternity are mixed. These hypnosis to quit smoking reviews reflect the varied experiences and perspectives of those who’ve used or may have used hypnosis to quit smoking, presenting an objective overview of this therapy.

It is interesting to compare the opinions of different health professionals.Reviews written by psychologists tend to hightlight the benefits for psychological health, drawing attention to the potential for hypnosis to modify long-established cravings and dependancies. GPs could be more reserved, seeing hypnosis as a useful adjunct to therapy rather than an effective stand-alone intervention. Specialists working in the field of addiction can sometimes have negative opinions, pointing out that there is a significantly smaller body of randomised, heavily powered clinical trials documenting the effects of hypnosis treatment when compared with alternative interventions such as nicotine pouches or behavioural therapy.

Annotated Paraphrase: Many health professionals believe the treatment can be effective for some smokers, most often those who are highly compliant or highly suggestible – and who really want to quit. Many notable concerns are raised about issues such as the variable skills, motivation and experience found among those providing the service and the lack of standardised protocols for hypnotists, all of which can impact upon its outcomes. Arguments that cite positive outcomes frequently mention hypnosis as a useful intervention to decrease withdrawal symptoms, and to help smokers deal with the emotional aspects of quitting.

Health background categorisation:The categorisation of the feedback helps to draw clear outlines between acceptance and skepticism:

  • Psychologists tend to focus on the therapeutic potential of altering subconscious motivations.
  • General Practitioners often discuss the utility of hypnosis as part of a broader cessation strategy, especially when combined with other methods.
  • Addiction Specialists may require more empirical evidence to fully endorse hypnosis, often comparing it unfavorably with more traditional, well-studied interventions like nicotine pouches.

This analysis aims to strip away biases and provide a clear view of what medical professionals think about hypnosis as a smoking cessation aid, reflecting a range of informed opinions within the medical community.

Efficacy of Hypnosis Compared to Other Methods

Any account of the clinical effectiveness of hypnosis treatment for smoking cessation must be framed against the underlying prevalence of effective treatments already in use, and against the benchmark of any new treatment that is introduced. By examining the success rates of conventional treatments for dysfunction (such as nicotine replacement therapy [NRT] and behavioural therapy) compared with that of hypnosis, one can immediately get a sense of the strengths and weaknesses – relative to well-established treatments – of hypnosis-based approaches.

Compared with the effect of something like the uplugging study, it stands to reason that stopping nicotine – the source of addiction – would be harder The most common comparison might be with nicotine replacement, in which smokers use products such as nicotine pouches that release the addictive substance in measured doses so they don’t feel the immediate withdrawal symptoms that lead them back to the act of smoking. Nicotine replacement doesn’t change one’s behaviour around smoking, often the hardest part to deal with after stopping. It simply manages the physical dependence on tobacco. Hypnosis differs from the NRT routine, and starts where the nicotine replacement stops, by altering the way a smoker’s subconscious mind can deal with the urge. It might even condition the mind not to crave nicotine. In studies, hypnosis is often examined as an add-on, or fidget spinner, to an NRT study. It is in the combination of the two that the results are perhaps most enticing. A 2007 study by Eva Malmström, the renowned Swedish master of stop-smoking hypnosis, found that the group of smokers who were treated with hypnosis together with nicotine replacement therapy were three times more likely to have managed to remain nicotine free after a year, compared with the group that received nicotine replacement only.

Comparison with Behavioural Therapy: Behavioural therapy concentrates on addressing the behaviours around smoking, and aims to change them through habit modification, coping strategies and support strategies. Consciously or not, many view hypnosis as a form of ‘behavioural therapy’ for the subconscious. While behavioural therapy works through conscious strategies and can (but does not always) require the participation of the smoker and a conscious awareness of his or her own efforts, hypnosis focuses on the subconscious, and there is a belief that attending to the subconscious might be easier for some people to follow, as it can replace the conscious challenge of willpower.

Statistical Effectiveness and Clinical Studies: Statistical reports of clinical studies dealing with hypnotically assisted smoking cessation often vary and deliver mixed results. On one hand, some authors report hypnosis of the smoking cessation practise with a comparable success rate like any other method and certainly if done in highly suggestible individuals. On the other hand, reports on the effectiveness of hypnosis to treat smoking activity vary from 5 to 100 per cent return rates which are neither surprising nor contradictory, unless we entertain predefined expectations about the expected efficacy, which flies in the face of Adam Smith’s classic antidote to illusory ‘frames of mind’: The great source of skill and judgment in scientific subjects seems to lie in a happy invention or discovery of simplifying and abridging reasons and arguments, by which the laboured and perplexed enquiries of other people may at once be understood and decided.Such reasons and arguments would no longer pertain to categorical evaluations drawn from the conceptualisation that science and academic disciplines generate, but it would also no longer rely on the often f guided by cognitive and affective ‘frames of mind’ that are difficult, if not impossible, to penetrate with ‘persuasive directives’. Reviews and meta-analyses in the field of psychology often described enhanced success when hypnosis is mixed with other therapies; the synergistic effect often described would certainly favour the smoker more than the usage of any single method.

Anecdotal Reports of Experience By Health Professionals Who’ve Used Hypnosis And Which Suggest it Does Work, Especially Patients Like It and Are More Compliant With Treatment. example, some medical practitioners (perhaps using hypnosis more successfully than others) report good anecdotal reasons to believe that hypnosis does indeed work, especially through greater patient compliance and satisfaction – ie, patients who quit under hypnosis are sometimes more ‘up for’ the process, in that it requires less effort and deliberation than other treatment methods, and hence can generate something akin to an ‘effortless’ experience of quitting.

In short, hypnosis is unlikely to be helpful for all smokers; however, it has considerable potential for smokers who are amenable to suggestive therapy, especially when incorporated into a multicompetent smoking-cessation programme that includes other tools such as nicotine pouches and behavioural therapy that are adapted to the smoker’s specific needs and circumstances.

Challenges and Criticisms in Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation

Despite this promise, hypnosis to stop smoking besets a host of limitations and concerns. Here’s a brief overview of the challenges and critiques of hypnosis to help bring yourself back to reality about hypnosis for smoking cessation.

Key challenges experienced by practitioners and patients alike: #1. A fundamental problem with using hypnosis in smoking cessation is that the role of the practitioner isn’t standardised. Not all hypnotherapists are equally skilled or trained, and this variance in practitioner ability can determine how effective a given session is from one hypnotherapist to another. #2. Many patients are resistant to hypnosis or have troubles entering into a trance-like state through medical or psychological intervention, thereby reducing its potential effectiveness.

Review of Studies by Healthcare Professionals: While some healthcare professionals advocate for hypnosis as a useful tool for stopping smoking, others are more skeptical in the face of limited empirical evidence supporting its efficacy. Many critics point out that evidence telling us about the effectiveness of hypnosis for stopping smoking is limited in scope and quality, with many of the studies being methodologically flawed or underpowered (ie, with too small of a sample size). Without more rigorous validation through the scientific process, hypnosis might continue to lack mainstream acceptance by healthcare providers.

Myths vs. Facts The second issue is the prevalence of misunderstandings and myths associated with hypnosis as a therapy. For example, patients sometimes think that, in hypnosis, they will lose control or be manipulated by the hypnotist, which results in apprehension and reluctance to try hypnosis. If the general public understands the true nature of hypnosis and has realistic expectations, we believe there will be greater openness and embracing of efforts to improve smoking cessation.

Ethical and practical considerations: Apart from the evidence for using hypnosis as a smoking-cessation strategy, there are also ethical and practical considerations to consider. Ethically, responsibility to the medical profession depends in part on adherence to professional standards and guidelines, as well as to the safety and wellbeing of patients being treated. Practically, because utilisation of hypnosis comes with potential cost, availability of qualified practitioners and limits on insurance coverage, it is not universally accessible to all, which can make it difficult for its widespread use.

But carefully modifying treatment to the unique needs and preferences of the individual, mixed with nicotine pouches and counselling could still allow hypnosis to be utilised to promote smoking cessation for some of its users.

Recognising these pitfalls, alongside its criticisms, enables the hypnosis for smoking cessation industry to further progress and enhance its treatments in ways that can ultimately serve smokers wishing to quit.

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nicotine pouches


From this tour of hypnosis as a cessation of smoking through the eyes of health practitioners, we have taken a glimpse on the realistic efficacy of hypnosis for smoking cessation, and how it got so contested. We have strived to merge the voices of opponents and proponents, zooming into the nuances of an issue that is embattled and controversial, and at the same time revealing its advantages and disadvantages.

Critical reviews of hypnosis efforts by health professionals have emphasised the need for tailored treatments and better scientific validation of hypnosis as a mainstream smoking cessation intervention. Some programmes continue to promote hypnosis as an effective means to reduce cravings and change smoking habits, but others remain sceptical about the need for more empirical evidence, given the variability of hypnotists’ skill and interventions.

Nonetheless, hypnosis may help people interested in suggestive therapy to stop smoking. And for those considering hypnosis, it’s important to remember that hypnosis can be part of a universe of treatments – combined with nicotine pouches and behavioural therapy, its use may enhance smoking cessation treatment and help people stop smoking for good.

I hope that this survey shows that hypnosis is definitely worth considering as a smoking cessation tool. However, I want to end by reminding readers that anyone who is thinking of having hypnosis to quit should consult their qualified healthcare provider first, and should apply other helpful resources, especially those that fit the teachings of personality styles. In this way, smokers and their therapist or healthcare provider will have a better chance of designing a plan that considers each client’s particular needs – and of giving them the best chance to succeed.

FAQs: Common Questions About Hypnosis to Quit Smoking Reviews

In these sections, we attempt to answer frequently asked questions about cessation hypnosis, informed by the reviews and comments from health professionals:

1. Is hypnosis a reliable method for quitting smoking?

For some – the very suggestible, the very motivated to quit – hypnosis can work. But it can also be hit-and-miss. If you wonder whether hypnosis might be right for you, consult a qualified practitioner.

2. How does hypnosis compare to other smoking cessation methods?

Hypnosis offers just one more way to quit and it could work best for those who like it and respond to it. Although a few studies have shown that hypnosis can be as effective as NRT or behavioural therapy for quitting, more research is needed to settle whether it works in the long run.

3. Are there any risks or side effects associated with hypnosis for smoking cessation?

Most people find hypnosis safe but, like all medical or psychological procedures, it can have side-effects. People are more likely to experience side-effects if they go to a non-qualified practitioner. It may happen that you go to sleep or have a temporary headache from a hypnosis session. Emotional responses can also become intense during or following a hypnosis session, since you are more open to suggestions, and then take a few days to come down. If you have any concerns at all, discuss the matter with your healthcare provider (GP) before you arrange to be hypnotised.

4. How many hypnosis sessions are typically required to quit smoking successfully?

Will it take one hypnosis session to give up smoking, or 10 or 30? The answer, of course, depends on the nature of the addiction, how motivated the individual is to quit smoking, and whether or not they are hypnotisable. Some people might well get off the hook after just a few sessions of hypnosis. Some, however, might need weeks or months of intensive therapy.

5. Can hypnosis be used in combination with other smoking cessation methods?

Yes, hypnosis can theoretically be added to the array of other smoking-cessation treatments such as nicotine pouches, behavioural therapy and support groups, to improve the total effectiveness of the cessation effort and increase the chances for success.

These FAQs serve to inform and guide smokers who are exploring the option of using hypnosis to quit smoking. Any material on the website should not replace the advice and recommendations of a healthcare provider in a clinical or one-to-one setting; it is provided for your own education and understanding only, and cannot replace expert examination and consultation, diagnosis or medical advice.

Related literature

  1. Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation: A Review
    • This review article provides an overview of the efficacy and mechanisms of hypnosis in smoking cessation, summarizing key findings from clinical studies and meta-analyses.
  2. Hypnotherapy for Smoking Cessation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
    • This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluate the effectiveness of hypnotherapy as a smoking cessation intervention, examining its efficacy compared to other treatments.
  3. Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials
    • This systematic review critically assesses the evidence from randomized controlled trials on the use of hypnosis for smoking cessation, highlighting methodological issues and clinical implications.
  4. Comparative Effectiveness of Different Hypnotherapy Treatments and the Role of Direct Suggestion in Smoking Cessation: A Network Meta-Analysis
    • This network meta-analysis compares the effectiveness of different hypnotherapy treatments for smoking cessation and explores the role of direct suggestion in achieving successful outcomes.
  5. Hypnotherapy for Smoking Cessation: A Review of the Evidence
    • This comprehensive review examines the evidence supporting the use of hypnotherapy for smoking cessation, discussing its mechanisms, efficacy, and clinical implications.
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