Stop Smoking

ash tray with cigaretteSmoking : What are the facts?

Nicotine is one of the fastest acting and most addictive drugs known to mankind. It is a powerful poison. The nicotine content of just one cigarette, if injected into the veins, would kill a human being. It is a stimulant – not a relaxant. The reason why people think that cigarettes relax them is that they need their ‘fix’ to bring them up to the same level that everyone else is at!

Recent reports (BBC News Website, 16th January 2011) indicate that smoking damages the body in minutes rather than years.

According to this report, published in Chemical Research Toxicology, the chemicals which cause cancer form rapidly after smoking. The damage begins just moments after the first cigarette is smoked.

As well as nicotine, each cigarette contains more than 4,000 different chemicals, many of which are toxic (harmful to the body). More than 60 of them cause cancer (are carcinogenic). As well as nicotine, cigarettes and cigarette smoke contain tar, carbon monoxide, oxidant gases, benzene, polonium – amongst many other poisonous substances.

According to the NHS website, these substances can have harmful effects, such as causing the thickening and fatty degeneration of the arteries, which then causes heart disease. Tobacco smoke can also increase the acidity of the stomach acid, thereby creating a further risk of peptic ulcers (ulcers in the stomach or small intestine).

So the effects of cigarettes can be fast, serious and wide ranging and that is just on your health! As everyone knows (including you!) they are also expensive, smelly and anti-social.

What are the benefits of quitting?

However, the good news is that the changes to your body when you stop smoking can be just as rapid as when you smoked your first cigarette.

Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette
– Your blood pressure drops to normal
– Your pulse rate drops to normal
– The temperature of your hands and feet returns to normal
Between 2 weeks and 3 months
– Your circulation improves
– Walking becomes easier for you
– Your lung function increases by up to 30%
Within 8 hours
– Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal
– Oxygen level in your blood increases to normal
Between 1 and 9 months
– Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decreases
– Lung cilia re-grow, increasing your ability to handle mucus and to clean your lungs
– Your body’s overall energy increases
Within 24 hours
– Your chance of heart attack decreases
By 5 years
– Lung cancer death rate for average smoker almost halves
Within 48 hours
– Your nerve endings, that have been damaged by smoking, start to re-grow
– Your ability to smell and to taste things is enhanced
By 10 years
– The rate of lung cancer deaths reduces to almost that of a non-smoker
– Pre-cancerous cells are replaced
– Your risks from other cancers decreases
Within 72 hours
– Your bronchial tubes relax making breathing easier
– Your lung capacity increases
But all of these benefits are lost when you start smoking again!

Source: Institute of Clinical Hypnosis

Can hypnosis really help?

Unfortunately, there are no miracle cures. No-one is able to wave a magic wand and turn you into a non-smoker (sorry!)

But, hypnosis has helped many people to quit smoking permanently.  For example, surveys reveal:

Science Daily (Oct. 24, 2007) — Hospitalized patients who smoke may be more likely to quit smoking through the use of hypnotherapy than patients using other smoking cessation methods. A new study* shows that smoking patients who participated in one hypnotherapy session were more likely to be non-smokers at 6 months compared with patients using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) alone or patients who quit “cold turkey”. (*American College of Chest Physicians [October 24 2007]. Hypnotherapy For Smoking Cessation Sees Strong Results. Retrieved from ScienceDaily, January 23, 2011)

The European Respiratory Journal (1999; Vol 13; pp231-232) [pdf], cites hypnotherapy as one of the most effective interventions for giving up smoking with a higher success rate than other methods such as nicotine gum.

The Journal of Dental Education (2001; Vol 65; No. 4) [pdf] critically reviews some of the findings from clinical and experimental research studies. The article emphasizes the need for further research but indicates that studies reveal that hypnosis is a significant treatment for smoking cessation.

What is important is your determination to succeed – you have got to really want to stop smoking. This also means being realistic about when you choose to give up smoking – if you have family, relationship, financial or work pressures which are making you feel overly stressed, then it may be better to try to deal with these before attempting to give up cigarettes.

What does Gateway Hypnosis offer?

At Gateway Hypnosis we offer a 3 stage process where we help you to:

– develop strategies to cope without smoking,
– deal with your stress in a more constructive way,
– stop smoking whilst minimizing the withdrawal side effects.

This will involve 3 sessions (a total of 4.5 hours) including a follow up session.

You will also be given a CD to use between sessions.