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Quitting Smoking

Now that you've decided to stop smoking, a combination of addiction counselling and hypnotherapy is probably the best option, and for over 50 years this has been a tried and tested method for stopping. Over the years there have been many studies which show that that talking therapies including counselling and hypnotherapy are the most successful method of stopping smoking and popular as they do not involve taking any drugs or chemicals of any kind.

We all know the health risks of smoking, and most of us know that kicking the habit is the single biggest improvement to health a smoker can make. But that doesn’t make it any easier to kick the habit. Whether you’re a teen smoker or a lifetime pack-a-day smoker, quitting can be tough.

To increase your chances of success, you need to be motivated, have social support, an understanding of what to expect, and a personal game plan.  It is possible to learn how to replace your smoking habits, manage your cravings, and join the millions of people who have kicked the habit for good.

Counselling and Hypnotherapy Treatment with David Lloyd-Hoare Bsc(Hons) MBACP(Accred)

The main difficulty for smokers wanting to quit the habit is that they consciously know all the reasons for giving up smoking, and may even have a smoking related illness, but something keeps telling them that smoking is okay or that they can give up ... later. This “voice“ comes from the unconscious part of the mind, which has been ‘programmed’ at the first experience of smoking and has not changed at all since then. That first experience was usually in the early teenage years, with a group of others, when smoking was ‘naughty but nice’ a means of keeping in with the group, and being adult.

By using hypnosis to kick the habit we can re-educate the unconscious part of the mind about smoking, changing those earlier lessons into up to date information about the smoking habit, its expense, health risks, anti-social nature, and the effects it is having on the individual’s life (and their children’s health perhaps). Once both the unconscious and conscious parts of the mind are in agreement, a person finds it easier to give up smoking.

"... giving up smoking is by far the biggest step towards avoiding lung cancer anyone can take" The Times 26.02.07

“You will only need two sessions to stop smoking as this therapy is so successful"

The two sessions include:

  1. An initial interview to discover if there is any anxiety linked to the smoking habit, and details of their smoking routines.

  1. The person being guided into hypnosis.

  1. A suggestion programme for increased calm and confidence to offset any stress or irritability that may result from giving up smoking.

  1. A programme to re-educate the unconscious part of the mind about smoking, along the lines outlined above, and personalised to the client involved.

  1. A post hypnotic suggestion for use if they are tempted to smoke, by others.

You will take away a CD, with a hypnotherapy programme on it to support you through your first month as a Non-Smoker. (This can be easily transferred to MP3 format for your iPod, iPhone or MP3 player)

A success rate of these two session programmes is very high at least 90%!

Why Quitting Can Seem so Hard

Smoking tobacco is both a psychological habit and a physical addiction. The act of smoking is ingrained as a daily ritual and, at the same time, the nicotine from cigarettes provides a temporary, and addictive, high. Eliminating that regular fix of nicotine will cause your body to experience physical withdrawal symptoms and cravings. To successfully quit smoking, you’ll need to address both the habit and the addiction by changing your behaviour and dealing with nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

Relieving Unpleasant and Overwhelming Feelings without Cigarettes

Managing unpleasant feelings such as stress, depression, loneliness, fear, and anxiety are some of the most common reasons why adults smoke. When you have a bad day, it can seem like your cigarettes are your only friend. Smoking can temporarily make feelings such as sadness, stress, anxiety, depression, and boredom evaporate into thin air. As much comfort as cigarettes provide, though, it’s important to remember that there are healthier (and more effective) ways to keep unpleasant feelings in check. These may include exercising, meditating, using sensory relaxation strategies, and practicing simple breathing exercises.

Learn How to Manage Stress without Smoking:

Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief: Relaxation Exercises to Reduce Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

Stress Management: How to Reduce, Prevent, and Cope with Stress

Ways to Create Your Personal Stop Smoking Plan

Designing your personal game plan

Tailoring a personal game plan to your specific needs and desires can be a big help. List the reasons why you want to quit and then keep copies of the list in the places where you’d normally keep your cigarettes, such as in your jacket, purse, or car. Your reasons for quitting smoking might include:

Questions to Ask Yourself

To successfully detach from smoking, you will need to identify and address your smoking habits, the true nature of your dependency, and the techniques that work for you. These types of questions can help:

For many people, an important aspect of quitting smoking is to find alternate ways to handle these difficult feelings without smoking. Even when cigarettes are no longer a part of your life, the painful and unpleasant feelings that may have prompted you to smoke in the past will still remain. So, it’s worth spending some time thinking about the different ways you intend to deal with stressful situations and the daily irritations that would normally have you reaching for a cigarette.

Take the time to think of what kind of smoker you are, which moments of your life call for a cigarette, and why. This will help you to identify which tips, techniques or therapies may be most beneficial for you.    

Start Your Stop Smoking Plan with START

How to Quit Smoking and Manage Cravings

 After quitting, you may feel dizzy, restless, or even have strong headaches because you’re lacking the immediate release of sugar that comes from nicotine. You may also have a bigger appetite. These sugar-related cravings should only last a few days until your body adjusts so keep your sugar levels a bit higher than usual on those days by drinking plenty of juice (unless you’re a diabetic). It will help prevent the craving symptoms and help your body re-adjust back to normal.

Keep the pounds off  

Weight gain is a common concern when quitting smoking. While it’s true that many smokers put on weight when they stop smoking, the gain is usually small, on average 3-5 pounds. Weight gain occurs because the oral gratification of smoking is replaced by the self-soothing mechanism of eating. To maintain a healthy weight, it’s important to find other, healthy ways to deal with stress and other unpleasant feelings rather than mindless eating. Eating a healthy diet and staying active can help you maintain your current weight.

Manage changes in mood

Mood changes are common after quitting smoking as a result of nicotine withdrawal. They will be especially pronounced if you have been using cigarettes to manage your moods and relieve stress, depression, or anxiety, for example. After quitting, you may be more irritable, frustrated, restless, angry, or despondent than usual. You may also experience headaches, trouble sleeping, and difficulty in concentrating. However, these changes usually get better in 1 or 2 weeks as the toxins are flushed from your body and you find other, healthy ways to manage your moods. Let your friends and family know that you won’t be your usual self and ask for their understanding.

Finding the Resources and Support to Quit Smoking

There are many different methods that have successfully helped people to quit smoking, including:

You may be successful with the first method you try. More likely, you’ll have to try a number of different methods or a combination of treatments to find the ones that work best for you.

 Going “Cold Turkey”

Giving up smoking by going ‘cold turkey’ simply means that you stop smoking using your willpower alone and without using any medicines or other aids to help you. To do this, you will need to be able to ignore any withdrawal symptoms and refuse to give into temptation. It’s the least complicated way to stop smoking, yet can often be the hardest.

Whether you can give up smoking for good through willpower alone will depend on how motivated you are to stop.

One of the main benefits of going cold turkey to stop smoking is that it costs virtually nothing. And another plus point is that you don’t have to take any nicotine substitutes or drugs.

There are plenty of things you can try to help make going cold turkey easier.  Find a temporary substitute for smoking, such as chewing gum or drinking a glass of water each time you want a cigarette.


Change your routine to stay away from situations where you would usually have a cigarette. You might find it easier to stop if you don’t go to the pub for the first couple of weeks. Or you might want to tell your work colleagues that you’re stopping so they don’t invite you out for cigarette breaks during the day.


Know your triggers and stay away from them if possible. So if you usually have a cigarette with a glass of red wine in the evening, try having a different drink or going out for a short walk instead.


Make a list of why you want to stop and carry it with you. Read through it when you have a craving and remind yourself why you’re stopping.


Set targets and reward yourself when you get to them. But remember, stopping smoking is for the rest of your life, so you might not find time-based targets very helpful. Why not sign up for a charity run or save all the money you would have spent on cigarettes to pay for a holiday.


Remember that the only reason you feel better when you have a cigarette is because you're feeding your withdrawal symptoms.


Your body gets rid of nicotine as quickly as 48 hours after your last cigarette. This means that your withdrawal symptoms can be intense for the first two or three days, but you will feel better after the third or fourth day. Trying to cut down gradually just prolongs the withdrawal process.

Stopping smoking using willpower alone can be difficult but it’s not impossible – it all depends on how motivated you are.

Medication therapy

Smoking cessation medications can ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings, and are most effective when used as part of a comprehensive stop smoking program monitored by your physician. Talk to your doctor about your options and whether an anti-smoking medication is right for you. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved options are:  

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Nicotine replacement therapy involves "replacing" cigarettes with other nicotine substitutes, such as nicotine gum or a nicotine patch. It works by delivering small and steady doses of nicotine into the body to relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms without the tars and poisonous gases found in cigarettes. This type of treatment helps smokers focus on breaking their psychological addiction and makes it easier to concentrate on learning new behaviours and coping skills.

Non-Nicotine Medication

These medications help you stop smoking by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms without the use of nicotine. Medications such as bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix) are intended for short-term use only.


Varenicline helps to reduce your withdrawal symptoms and interrupts the way nicotine affects your body. This means that if you do succumb to temptation and have a cigarette, the nicotine won’t affect you as much as it used to.

You will need to take varenicline for seven to 14 days before stopping smoking and usually for 12 weeks after that. Varenicline can have some side-effects, in particular feeling sick or vomiting. In addition, you may get headaches, insomnia, vivid dreams, increased appetite, diarrhoea and dizziness. It can also make you feel drowsy or depressed. However, although these may be unpleasant, it’s worth trying to remember that the possible long-term health risks of smoking are likely to be far worse.

Additional Tips to Deal with Cravings and Withdrawal Symptoms

Tips for Managing Other Cigarette Cravings

Cravings associated with meals

For some smokers, ending a meal means lighting up, and the prospect of giving that up may appear daunting. TIP: replace that moment after a meal with something such as a piece of fruit, a (healthy) dessert, a square of chocolate, or a stick of gum.

Alcohol and cigarettes

Many people have a habit of smoking when they have an alcoholic drink. TIP: try non-alcoholic drinks, or try drinking only in bars, restaurant-bars, or friends’ houses where smoking inside is prohibited. Or try snacking on nuts and chips, or chewing on a straw or cocktail stick.

Cravings associated with social smoking

When friends, family, and co-workers smoke around you, it is doubly difficult to quit or avoid relapse. TIP: Your social circles need to know that you are changing your habits so talk about your decision to quit. Let them know they won’t be able to smoke when you’re in the car with them or taking a coffee break together.  

In your workplace, don’t take all your coffee breaks with smokers only, do something else instead, or find non-smokers to have your breaks with.

"Just thought I would drop you a line to tell you that since seeing you over two months ago, I have not craved a cigarette, in fact the thought of one makes me feel physically sick. My husband still insists on continuing with his acupuncture which obviously still doesn't work as he smokes just as much as he ever has, I am pushing him to come and see you. I lit a cigarette for him the other day, and had no urge to smoke it, in fact the taste made me sick. Thanks for changing my life for the better, I am forever grateful and will recommend you to anyone who really wants to quit for good." Janice of Brixham, Devon

Keep a craving journal

For the first week or so of quitting, make entries into a log book to monitor your daily progress. Note the moments in your life when you crave a cigarette as these are your triggers to smoking. Are there certain people or environments that trigger your cravings? If you smoke, how does it make you feel? Jot down some other things you can do to feel the same way. Later, when you’re having a bad day, you’ll be able to look back at the comments you wrote in week one to get perspective on how far you’ve come.

Get support from others

Let your friends and family in on your plan to quit smoking and tell them you need their support and encouragement to stop. Look for a quit buddy who wants to stop smoking as well. You can help each other get through the rough times.

Bupropion hydrochloride

Bupropion hydrochloride is sometimes prescribed to help reduce cigarette cravings. The way it works isn’t fully understood at the moment, but it’s thought to affect the parts of your brain connected to addiction and withdrawal.

You will need to take bupropion hydrochloride for seven to 14 days before you stop smoking and you can carry on taking it for up to seven weeks. Bupropian hydrochloride can have side-effects including insomnia, headaches, dizziness, a dry mouth and feeling or being sick. You may also notice that you find it harder to concentrate and that it makes you feel drowsy. However, although these may be unpleasant, it’s worth trying to remember that the possible long-term health risks of smoking are likely to be far worse.

Non-medication Therapies

There are several things you can do to stop smoking that don’t involve nicotine replacement therapy or prescription medications:


A popular option that has produced good results. Forget anything you may have seen from stage hypnotists, hypnosis works by getting you into a deeply relaxed state where you are open to suggestions that strengthen your resolve to quit smoking and increase your negative feelings toward cigarettes. Click Here to go to the Quit Smoking Hypnosis page.


One of the oldest known medical techniques, acupuncture is believed to work by triggering the release of endorphins (natural pain relievers) that allow the body to relax. As a smoking cessation aid, acupuncture can be helpful in managing smoking withdrawal symptoms.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Nicotine addiction is related to the habitual behaviours (the “rituals”) involved in smoking. CBT therapy focuses on learning new coping skills and breaking those habits.  Click Here to go to the CBT page.

Motivational Therapies

Self-help books and websites can provide a number of ways to motivate yourself to quit smoking. One well known example is calculating the monetary savings. Some people have been able to find the motivation to quit just by calculating how much money they will save after they quit. It may be enough to pay for a summer vacation.

Helping a Family Member Quit Smoking

It’s important to remember that you cannot make a friend or loved one quit smoking; the decision has to be theirs. But if they do make the decision to stop smoking, you can offer support and encouragement and try to ease the stress of quitting. Investigate the different treatment options available and talk them through with the smoker; just be careful never to preach or judge. You can also help a smoker overcome cravings by pursuing other activities with him or her, and by keeping smoking substitutes, such as chewing gum and sweets, on hand.

If a loved one slips or relapses, don’t make them feel guilty. Congratulate them on the time they went without smoking and encourage them to try again. Most smokers require several attempts to successfully quit for good.

Parents of Teen Smokers

Most smokers try their first cigarette around the age of 11, and many are addicted by the time they turn 14. This can be worrying parents or guardians, but it’s important to appreciate the unique challenges and peer pressure teens face when it comes to quitting smoking. While the decision to quit has to come from the teen smoker him or herself.

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What to Do If You Relapse

Quitting smoking didn’t work, now what?

Having a small setback doesn’t mean you’re a smoker again. Most people try to quit smoking several times before they kick the habit for good. Identify the triggers or trouble spots you ran into and learn from your mistakes.   

Why is Quitting so Difficult?

About Nicotine

Nicotine is a drug found naturally in tobacco. It is as addictive as heroin or cocaine. Over time, a person becomes physically dependent on and emotionally addicted to nicotine. The physical dependence causes unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit. The emotional and mental dependence (addiction) make it hard to stay away from nicotine after you quit. Studies have shown that smokers must deal with both the physical and mental dependence to quit and stay quit.

How Nicotine Gets in, Where It Goes, and How Long It Stays

When you inhale smoke, nicotine is carried deep into your lungs. There it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and carried throughout your body. Nicotine affects many parts of the body, including your heart and blood vessels, your hormones, the way your body uses food (your metabolism), and your brain. In fact, nicotine inhaled in cigarette smoke reaches the brain faster than drugs that enter the body through a vein (intravenously or IV). Nicotine can be found in breast milk and even in mucus from the cervix of a female smoker. During pregnancy, nicotine freely crosses the placenta and has been found in amniotic fluid and the umbilical cord blood of newborn infants.

Different factors affect how long it takes the body to remove nicotine and its by-products. In most cases, regular smokers will still have nicotine or its by-products, such as cotinine, in their bodies for about 3 to 4 days after stopping.

How Nicotine Hooks Smokers

Nicotine causes pleasant feelings and distracts the smoker from unpleasant feelings. This makes the smoker want to smoke again. Nicotine also acts as a kind of depressant by interfering with the flow of information between nerve cells. Smokers tend to increase the number of cigarettes they smoke as the nervous system adapts to nicotine. This, in turn, increases the amount of nicotine in the smoker's blood.

After a while, the smoker develops a tolerance to the drug. Tolerance means that it takes more nicotine to get the same effect that the smoker used to get from smaller amounts. This leads to an increase in smoking over time. The smoker reaches a certain nicotine level and then keeps smoking to keep the level of nicotine within a comfortable range.

When a person finishes a cigarette, the nicotine level in the body starts to drop, going lower and lower. The pleasant feelings wear off, and the smoker notices wanting a smoke. If smoking is postponed, the smoker may start to feel irritated and edgy. Usually it doesn't reach the point of real withdrawal symptoms, but the smoker gets more uncomfortable over time. At some point, the person smokes a cigarette, the pleasant feelings return, and the cycle continues.

Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms Can Lead Quitters Back to Smoking

When smokers try to cut back or quit, the lack of nicotine leads to withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal is both physical and mental. Physically, the body reacts to the absence of nicotine. Mentally, the smoker is faced with giving up a habit, which calls for a major change in behaviour. Both the physical and mental factors must be addressed for the quitting process to work.

Those who have smoked regularly for a few weeks or longer, and suddenly stop using tobacco or greatly reduce the amount smoked, will have withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms usually start within a few hours of the last cigarette and peak about 2 to 3 days later when most of the nicotine and its by-products are out of the body. Withdrawal symptoms can last for a few days to up to several weeks. They will get better every day that you stay smoke-free.

Withdrawal symptoms can include any of the following:

• Dizziness (which may only last 1 to 2 days after quitting)

• Depression

• Feelings of frustration, impatience, and anger

• Anxiety

• Irritability

• Sleep disturbances, including having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, and having bad dreams or even nightmares

• Trouble concentrating

• Restlessness or boredom

• Headaches

• Tiredness

• Increased appetite

• Weight gain

• Constipation and gas

• Cough, dry mouth, sore throat, and nasal drip

• Chest tightness

• Slower heart rate

These symptoms can lead the smoker to start smoking cigarettes again to boost blood levels of nicotine back to a level where there are no symptoms.

Smoking also makes your body get rid of some drugs faster than usual. When you quit smoking, it may change the levels of these drugs, which can cause problems. Ask your doctor if any medicines you take need to be checked or changed after you quit.

When Smokers Quit

What Are the Benefits over Time?

20 minutes after quitting:

Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.

12 hours after quitting:

The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

2 weeks to 3 months after quitting:

Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.

1 to 9 months after quitting:

Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) start to regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.

1 year after quitting:

The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker's.

5 years after quitting

Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2-5 years.

10 years after quitting:

The risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. The risk of cancer of the larynx and pancreas decreases.

15 years after quitting:

The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker's.

These are just a few of the benefits of quitting smoking for good. Quitting smoking lowers the risk of diabetes, lets blood vessels work better, and helps the heart and lungs. Quitting while you are younger will reduce your health risks more, but quitting at any age can give back years of life that would be lost by continuing to smoke.

Now that you've decided to stop smoking, I can offer you a combination of addiction counselling and hypnotherapy that will stop you smoking in only two sessions.

Tips for Parents of Teen Smokers

Telephone to make an appointment to make these easy changes in your life today.

What to Do Next?

“……….. I am writing this to convey my thanks , I have now given up smoking for a month today. The hypnosis treatment, augmented by patches etc has worked in respect of giving up smoking. I used to smoke about 35 cigarettes a day costing me on average 12 a day - I had a voracious appetite for nicotine and tobacco smoke.

Once again thank you very much , and I would be pleased to act as a referee in respect of assuring potential clients of your competency in this field.”

Yours faithfully, J H F Teignmouth, Devon

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