No Tobacco Day

by Juliette Hollingsworth

Today is World No Tobacco Day 2020, organised by The World Health Organisation. The focus this year is protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use.

“The aim of the global campaign is to debunk myths and expose devious tactics employed by these industries. It will provide young people with the knowledge required to easily detect industry manipulation and equip them with the tools to rebuff such tactics, thereby empowering young people to stand up against them. This is especially important right now as studies show that smokers have a higher risk for a severe case of coronavirus. WHO calls on all young people to join the fight to become a tobacco-free generation.” WHO

If you weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of smoking, you will always come to the same conclusion – only an idiot would choose to be a smoker. This is something that all smokers know. Even those that continually protest about free choice and the like. No one was born wanting to smoke, it is something smokers have learned how to do. Even after that first cigarette I do not believe that you immediately wanted another one. You had to teach yourself how to want that next one, from then on it became a habit.

Did you know?

In the last year “Tobacco companies spent over USD 9 billion in marketing and advertising and the world lost 8 million lives from causes related to tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke” WHO

That is 4.5 deaths per second that are currently happening, worldwide as a result of smoking related illnesses.

BUT if you stop smoking, within twenty-four hours of having your last cigarette your chances of a heart attack have decreased. Within forty-eight hours your nerve endings are starting to regrow, and your smell and taste improves!

Depending on whether you are high risk or low risk your chances of getting lung cancer could be back to that of a non-smoker within ten to fifteen years. As could your risk of heart disease!

Do you notice?

It is interesting to consider how the withdrawal symptoms from nicotine are so slight that most smokers cannot even notice them. The enjoyment that a smoker gets from a cigarette is the feeling of peace, tranquillity, and confidence that the body had before becoming a smoker in the first place.

The only way I can describe this to a non-smoker is by likening it to the feeling we get when the constant noise from building works outside, or a car alarm that has been going for a long time suddenly stops. We get very used to the noise inside our head and begin to barely notice it but that feeling of relief and calmness when it stops is astonishing.

A smoker creates that nervous feeling in the body by becoming a smoker and then smokes each cigarette to calm the “noise” not smoking causes.

So, you see it is not actually the not smoking that causes the ‘hunger’ pangs it’s the smoking itself. Non-smokers do not need to smoke a cigarette to feel calm and relaxed, which is the norm for a non-smoker.

Take regular breaks

If you smoke, you may have come to rely on the regular break you are entitled to as a smoker. Whether that be permission from yourself or permission from an employer.

You DO NOT need to smoke to take a break. Regardless of whether you are at work as an employee, spending the day with friends or family or working in your home – you are always entitled to a break as regularly as the smoker. So, take your regular five minutes outside, if you have relationships with other smokers continue to take your breaks with them, if not maybe take those five minutes to do something else for yourself.

As you become a non-smoker, enjoy it, continue to observe other smokers. Noticing the cigarette, how quickly it burns away, how quickly the smoker must smoke another cigarette – just to feel the same way you will be starting to feel all the time. The smoker is not enjoying the cigarette, but they cannot enjoy themselves without it. Everything about what the smoker is doing is automatic. They are smoking the cigarette without really acknowledging what they are doing.


Hypnosis is sometimes colloquially referred to as a form of ‘attentive receptive concentration’, put simply; a state of concentration in which one is more open to suggestion and new ideas. We can consider hypnosis as an elaborate form of suggestion that occurs within a specific context. Hypnosis has also been referred to as a non-deceptive placebo. Research has shown that both non deceptive and deceptive placebos generate similar results.

This placebo of hypnosis can be generated by suggestion in the same way as any environmental cue that produces an involuntary change in your beliefs, experiences, behaviour, and corresponding physiological states. When using hypnosis some people will feel an altered state of consciousness, but this does not mean it is an unknown state of consciousness.

Many people will feel relaxed due to the nature of the situation, for example laying on a bed or in a comfortable chair however hypnosis does not require relaxation and a relaxed person is not always in hypnosis. Some people experience time distortion and others a feeling of disconnection from the body. Other people feel normal. There is no right or wrong, though it does seem to be the case that the more someone uses hypnosis the easier they find it to achieve a focused state of mind.

For support and to start your journey toward a tobacco free future, contact Juliette or the team at Oak Park Clinic.