Thursday, November 20, 2008

Great American Smokeout is Today

Today marks the 33rd Annual Great American Smokeout, an event originally intended to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, the American Cancer Society's website is built to funnel wannabe ex-smokers into NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) and even drugs like Chantix.

There is a brief paragraph on hypnosis on the site, but it's on a secondary page and is mentioned almost as an afterthought... sort of like "well, the results of hypnosis are inconclusive, but hey... if you want to try it go ahead."

Now, it's become sort of a mission of mine to point out the dangers of Chantix, and to an extent, the other prescription drugs created to assist with smoking cessation. In spite of the warnings on the labels and in commercials, the public remains largely unaware of just how serious the side-effects can be.

As you can find elsewhere on this blog as well, Chantix is currently involved in multiple lawsuits related to users who committed suicide shortly after taking it. There have also been cases where seizures have occurred and led to auto accidents, which is why the Federal Aviation Administration banned its pilots from using the drug earlier this year.

Regardless of the outcome of these lawsuits (which, if like other lawsuits brought against Pfizer and the other Big Pharma giants, will likely end in settlements), the plain truth is that it simply isn't worth the risk.

There are just too many other ways to quit smoking that don't involve imbibing chemicals that interact with your psychology.

So, if you want to quit smoking, cross Chantix, Zyban and Wellbutrin off your list. You are strong enough and resourceful enough to quit without them.

You don't need NRT, either. There is overwhelming evidence that the majority of the addiction to smoking is mental, not physical. NRT methods only address physical symptoms; they do nothing to address the myriad associations you have with smoking, nor do they address your beliefs and attitudes related to smoking, which are powerful factors in determining your long-term success in becoming a non-smoker.

To put it simply - your body isn't nearly as addicted to cigarettes as is your mind. Once the mind forgets about the habit, whatever physical attachments remain are insignificant. It's just like going to the movies and, while absorbed in the story, forgetting about smoking until the movie is over and you exit the theatre, There is no battle with will power; no cravings or withdrawal.

When you deal with the mental aspect, quitting becomes far easier. For those with a sincere desire to quit, and who are through making excuses or rationalizations, the mental adjustment is enough to get through the stressful situations or other negative emotional experiences that would otherwise lead to relapse.

To be fair, the American Cancer Society's website does recommend counseling sessions for smoking cessation. However, it also says that the greater the length and frequency of the sessions, the greater your chances for success. That's just not true.

Whenever I discuss my clients' experiences, please keep in mind that I am not endorsing hypnosis as a magical cure-all that works 100% of the time. The truth is that what is discussed and covered during a session of hypnotherapy, in combination with the techniques employed, is what determines the individual's success.

That said, the majority of my clients are successful quitting after one session lasting approximately 1.5 hours. This success has been measured over time, with many of them now smoke-free for three, four and five or more years. They haven't had another puff after that initial session.

Remember that when you see another commercial telling you that, because you've been smoking a long time, it should take a long time to quit.


Your mind is the most powerful tool you have at your disposal. So if you've chosen today as your stopping point, don't give your brain a chemical cocktail of pharmceutical drugs; instead, let it operate at its maximum capacity and lead you to success naturally.

Hypnosis is one of many ways to achieve that outcome. Find one that suits you and you'll be on your way to success.

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