smoke cessation is neededYou have made the decision to quit smoking and you have tried numerous times, still you smoke. Finally, as a last resort, you remember that your Great Aunt Janie quit for life after trying hypnosis and decide to investigate it. After a search online or asking friends, you decide to have an appointment with me. As you drive to see me, you smoke as many cigarettes as you can possibly squeeze in, even lighting one last one up before you come into my office. You are nervous and feeling maybe even a little silly.

As I review your paperwork, you squirm. Maybe even using the bathroom to throw some water on your face. What if this doesn’t work? Even more pressing, will you miss your old friend? You begin to fight tears just thinking about saying good bye.

Sound familiar? Sound possible? Well, I encounter this reaction with many of my soon to be nonsmokers. Nervous laughter, fighting tears or just babbling on without the seeming ability to stop talking. I get it, this is more than just quitting, this is a war on your senses!

From your first cigarette, the chemicals released into your body affect your brain and your body. The intake of nicotine increases the levels of dopamine and epinephrine in your brain. Dopamine plays a major role in reward and pleasure centers. This helps us identify rewards and take action that moves us towards those rewards. Thus we begin to relate cigarettes to reward. Next, there is a release of epinephrine or adrenaline, which increases cardiac output and raises glucose levels in the blood to prepare for a “fight or flight” response. This combination helps create the “nicotine buzz” you experienced with those first cigarettes.

This high causes lightheadedness, elevated mood and pleasure. Bam! This is what makes people want to keep smoking and become hooked.  However, this high will not come again after the first couple of cigarettes because the nicotine raises the brain’s expectations of what pleasure should be. A person becomes reliant on cigarettes because their brain is chasing that feeling of pleasure that they once had. (Sound like the description of a gateway drug?)

Although many young people experiment with cigarettes, other factors influence whether someone will go on to become a regular smoker. Having friends (peer pressure) or relatives who smoke and parents’ attitude to smoking all influence the decision. As young people become adults, they are more likely to smoke if they misuse alcohol or drugs. Regardless of the expense another factor is living in poverty. Because poverty makes it more likely that someone will encounter stress. Most adults say that they smoke because of habit or routine and/or because it helps them relax and cope with stress.

Therefore, I ask many questions about your habit to understand your triggers and motivators. I observe your body language and watch facial expressions. All the while, I am working on helping you to understand how hypnosis works and helping you to lower those doubts and fears. I include stress reduction because as I stated earlier, smokers tend to light up when stressed.

The trance portion of the session is when the “magic” happens. While the conscious logical mind may doubt, argue, fear or whatever emotion comes up for you, the subconscious mind works to give you your wishes. If it is your wish to be smoke free, then smoke free you will be. This portion is recorded and given to you, for back up at a later date, should you want it. You leave the office smoke free because this time you really quit smoking! Here is the true story of one of my former smokers: One Clients Story


The best reward for me is the call 6 months, a year or more later, from the friends and family of the former smoker who want to know if I can help them quit smoking too. I dream of living in a smoke free world and each of you who quits, helps to bring me another person closer to seeing that dream become a reality.