How Effective is Hypnotherapy for Smoking Cessation?

Hypnotherapy for Smoking

Hypnotherapy for smoking cessation is one of the methods that help people quit smoking. Other methods include acupuncture, behavioral therapy, and medications.

Quitting smoking has a significant positive impact on people’s health, even as they age.

Various types of hypnotherapy are used to help people quit smoking.  Some methods attempt to reduce people’s desire to smoke, increase their determination to quit, or assist them in focusing on a ‘quit program’.

Hypnotherapy is an old but effective method used during smoking cessation programs. The reason behind its success is because there is no risk linked to it. Some people may quit the habit entirely after receiving even just one session.


What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation and focus mimicking the feeling of daydreaming. This state can be induced through a method called hypnotherapy.

During this, the therapist guides the patient into a deep sleep but is still aware. In this case, the person is more open to suggestions that can help change their mindset.

It is used to treat issues like anxiety, stress, depression, and, most importantly, smoking addiction.

Therapists suggest good thoughts and ask the person to explore their subconsciousness and comprehend and solve the issues.

hypnotherapy to quit smoking


Can Hypnotherapy Help with Smoking Cessation?

A review from 2017 has found that hypnosis does wonders for people who want to quit smoking.

It showed evidence that when hypnotherapy is combined with other methods, it can yield more effective results. [ref]

This therapy works by weakening the urge to smoke by acting on the underlying impulses. It can also improve your willpower to quit this habit.

If you are taking a program to quit smoking, hypnotherapy might help you increase focus as well.

During a hypnotherapy session, a smoker will be told that the body needs to be protected from smoke, smoking is poison, and there are benefits to being a non-smoker.

Self-hypnosis can also be used for this, which has advantages like more compliance and lower costs, and you will only need one session.


How Many Sessions of Hypnotherapy to Quit Smoking?

Among all methods that help you quit this habit, only hypnotherapy has an 85% success rate with only one session.

Other options like nicotine patches have 13% and nicotine gum had 11%, which is disappointing when compared to hypnotherapy.

So, you do not need more than one session for complete cessation. You will be asked to visit the therapist after that for a monthly check-up to make sure the effects are maintained.

Most people quit for more than a year, and relapse rates are rather low.


What does the Research say About Hypnotherapy to Quit Smoking?

Hypnotherapy has been characterized as a successful therapeutic intervention by professional medical groups in different countries for several years [ref].

Not only smoking cessation but it has also shown improvement in symptoms in cases of irritable bowel syndrome, chronic pain, and asthma.

Furthermore, this method is more effective in the short term, as shown by a study from 2021 where 86% of the participants did not smoke for six months, and after that, only 36% maintained this habit [ref].

In 2019, a study reported hypnosis intervention in four sessions for three individuals aged 18, 30, and 35.

After follow-ups of 3, 6, and 12 months, the subjects reported permanent cessation and satisfied feedback. [ref]

While medicines and nicotine patches have been an effective way to quit smoking, it is usually followed by relapse.

This is why hypnotherapy has received so much attention. A study found that nicotine replacement was less effective when compared to hypnotherapy.

It concluded that hypnotherapy subjects were more likely to permanently quit after a year than those who received nicotine replacement [ref].


Risks Associated with Hypnotherapy:

Quitting smoking is a challenging task for every person with an addiction. As we have explained the benefits of hypnotherapy, there might be a few challenges associated with it as well.

At the same time, the majority of the cases are more on the positive side without any risks. Evidence against hypnotherapy is very limited.

There is very little research suggesting that it could cause possible side effects. However, they are rather mild and transient.

This harmful effect is possible only if the subject is not brought back to the pre-hypnotic state.

An author from the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis has introduced the Howard Alertness Scale (HAS), a tool to help people understand their normal level of alertness and compare it to how they feel during and after hypnosis.

This scale could assist therapists in making sure that their patients return to their normal level of alertness after hypnosis, as a result, improving therapy and making patients feel safer and more in control.


FAQs About Hypnotherapy for Smoking Cessation:

  • What is the most successful method for smoking cessation?

Hypnotherapy has emerged as an effective method to quit smoking. You can try hypnosis to quit smoking and lose weight as well.

This is a safe approach that allows patients to be at ease and abstain from cigarettes permanently.

  • How much is hypnosis to quit smoking?

In the USA, hypnotherapy can cost you from 75$ to 125$ or more. It depends on your insurance plan as well. This is a good price considering you only require one session for permanent results.

  • What is self-hypnosis to quit smoking?

There are videos online that allow you to go into a state of hypnosis all on your own. This is a safe alternative for hypnotherapy by a professional. You can also use a mobile application for this purpose.


What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

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