Smoking – Are you ready to quit?

By Juliet Hollingsworth

National no smoking day – what a huge day for smokers. The first national no smoking day was in 1984 and was intended to help people quit smoking. I wonder how many smokers choose not to smoke on this day, how many decide to quit on this day and how many ignore it?

Writing regular blog posts isn’t always easy, despite only being short, it often takes hours and hours. Smoking could be my jumping for joy “YES – fist pump – I’ve got an easy subject today” moment as I then spend a short amount of time encouraging every smoker to stop because; actually there isn’t really any proven advantage to smoking. I considered this route! Then I questioned whether it would benefit anyone. It certainly wouldn’t help the people that are desperate to stop smoking, those that know all the reasons they should stop but cannot find the strength to do so. It wouldn’t really help the people that don’t really want to stop – they’d just feel bad! And I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t encourage people to seek my help.

So how could Hypnotherapy help?

What I can tell you is how I can help you. I don’t want to fool you. A client recently said to me “So are you just going to use relaxation? I thought you were going to re-programme me”. How I wish life was so simple. I wasn’t going to just use relaxation but imagine if I could go around re-programming people. I’m not sure if it would be funny or dangerous. Unfortunately, as much as I try to be superwoman and occasionally … just sometimes … do allow people to think I have superpowers, I don’t! I cannot make you forget that you ever smoked but I can use the techniques that I am highly qualified in using and have been using for over ten years to make quitting smoking far easier than if you were to try and do it alone.

The most common questions are what is hypnosis? and how does it work? They are good questions and as yet I don’t believe anyone has really found the answers. When I use hypnosis, I find it is the same feeling as when I am completely absorbed in my own mind. I am unaffected by my surroundings and other people. Sometimes a test would deem me relaxed, at other times I am in a heightened state (when out running for example). When I am in a state of hypnosis, I often lose track of time. I am in a state of mind where my body is not being negatively influenced by my mind and conscious thought. I wonder if I am consciously unaware (whilst still being able to stay safe).

I have heard footballers speak about playing a match at Wembley but being completely unaware of the spectators. They are absolutely 100% in their “zone”. Within this state of mind we are strong. By finding the ability to enter this state of mind, using it to challenge the mind, change our thought patterns and become the person we want to be or have the thoughts we want to have we can achieve so much more. Taking back control from the cigarette can be easy when doing this within a hypnosis session specifically designed to help a smoker stop smoking.

The programme

The quit smoking programme I use is spread across two one-hour sessions, one week apart. In the first session we speak about smoking, the reasons you smoke and why you feel a need to reach for a cigarette at the times you do. We come up with a plan for the week in between the two sessions. When you come back for your second session the amount you are smoking should have decreased dramatically along with the desire to reach for a cigarette. In this session we will use hypnosis to challenge your brain and way of thinking. You can find your own strength to stop the habit for good and walk out of the room a non-smoker, forever.

The amazing, encouraging statistics

Now for the easy part of my job writing this, just in case anyone does need the extra nudge!
There are many reasons to stop smoking, the health benefits of stopping are huge. Instead of telling you how bad smoking is for your health because – lets be fair – all smokers know this, I would prefer to tell you the amazing health benefits of stopping;

  • Around 12 hours after quitting smoking, the level of carbon monoxide in the blood drops back to normal.
  • After one day, your risk of heart attack drops. (People who smoke have a 70% higher chance of having a heart attack).
  • After three days your body has removed all nicotine from itself.
  • After two weeks your blood vessels will begin to repair themselves.
  • Within nine weeks any coughing or shortness of breath should have decreased.
  • Within nine months the lungs will begin to repair themselves.
  • After stopping smoking for one year the excess risk of heart disease has halved.
  • Within five years of quitting smoking, the risk of developing mouth, throat, oesophagus and bladder cancers is reduced by half. Women’s risk of cervical cancer is also decreased.
  • After five years of not smoking, your risk of having a stroke is similar to that of a non-smoker.
  • Within 10 years of quitting, your risk of dying from cancer is now half that of a smoker’s.
  • By year fifteen of no cigarettes the risk of heart disease is the same as if you had never smoked.

To me, these statistics are amazing. There is a lot of fear surrounding health and smoking yet if you stop today you could be pretty much back to normal health within fifteen years. This seems like a long time but even within just one day your body is starting to right itself. The highest proportion of smokers in the UK are aged 25 – 34. If you fall into this category by the time you are 40 – 49 you could be back to normal health! Fantastic.

Extra reasons to make you consider quitting

If you are concerned about our incredible NHS there is another reason to stop smoking now. It is estimated that smoking costs the NHS £12.6bn …. Wow. What a difference it would make if they could use those funds elsewhere.

There are also concerns about the amount of waste the tobacco product manufacturing process generates. The last estimate, from 1995, suggested that the industry produces more than 2.5 million tonnes of manufacturing waste; much of which contains nicotine and other dangerous chemicals. It is likely that the figures are higher today.

The packaging and labelling of tobacco products is resource-intensive in terms of the paper, plastic and chemicals that manufacturers use. Millions of tons of packaging waste, much of it plastic, ends up as litter. Similarly, the disposal of cigarette waste after consumption causes harm to the environment. In beach clean-up efforts around the world, cigarette butts comprise the largest component of the waste.

If you feel that you would like to help yourself or help the planet by quitting smoking, you could do so more easily with the added assistance of two hypnotherapy sessions.

References (2019). Holy Smoke! 15 Surprising Benefits of Quitting Smoking. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Mar. 2019].
Tobacco Atlas. (2019). Environment | Tobacco Atlas. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Mar. 2019].