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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I find support for my smoking addiction?

    Related Topics
    I have been a smoker for over 25 years now and know that it is time to quit before I encounter some serious health consequences. Where can I find support to help me quit smoking?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2


    Dr Philip Lovitt

    Chiropractor, Homeopath, Naturopath

    Chiropractor, naturopath, homeopath specializing in restorative health from Sports injuries to immune System dysyfunction, from young to senior with 37 years experience. View Profile

    Firstly as in any addiction, recognizing they need help, then appropriate counselling/ strrss management.. very hard to go ‘cold turkey’. Therefore nicotine patches, ie substitutes for nicotine can help as well.

  • 1


    Jeremy Barbouttis

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist, Sex Therapist

    Jeremy is an expert in Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, Sex Therapy, Relationships & Addictions. Jeremy is a Clinical Supervisor with the Australian Hypnotherapists Association.Specialisations: Stop Smoking Hypnosis, … View Profile

    I have been using Hypnotherapy to help people to stop smoking for many years. It has been very successful and I know people stop smoking, because I make them return to show me. If there are any difficulties remaining, we address them in the follow-up sessions. However, most people stop smoking in their first session.

    There is evidence to support hypnotherapy as a means to stopping smoking, but something like hypnotherapy and related psychotherapeutic interventions are very difficult to research.

    Many of the stop smoking inteventions referred to in the previous posting are called “evidence-based”, because they can be demonstrated to help with a fairly simplistic research paradigm that often involves a placebo. You cannot have a placebo with hypnotherapy, and there are infinite ways of doing hypnotherapy.

    There is also more discourse these days about how psychological interventions have become simplified in order to fit these narrowly defined paradigms. Standardised psychotherapy has become a predefined step by step approach, often negating the real needs of the individual.

    Nearly everyone I have helped with Hypnotherapy have exhausted the evidence-based approaches. They have taken the champix and zyban, smoked through the patches and gum, and cannot cope with ‘cold turkey’.

    In effect, these approaches have failed for large numbers of people. Who wants to take 17 attempts to stop smoking using these approaches? It would appear the evidence might suggest they don't work on a lot of people.

    Hypnotherapy helps to lever your desire to stop smoking by removing cravings and the habit. 

    A good STOP SMOKING Therapist will also use cognitive behavioural counselling and techniques, among other approaches, to ensure you are fully prepared for your life beginning immediately after the session as a non-smoker.

    Evidence-based approaches work along the principal of lowest common demoninator. Alternative approaches, on the other hand, allow for the individual to be both surprised and to surprise themselves with what they can do. That is what happens with a good STOP SMOKING Practitioner.

    Many Hypnotherapists have a wealth of experience in helping people to stop smoking.

    Jeremy Barbouttis - Clinical Hypnotherapist & Counsellor

  • Shekhar Mahatme


    I am an Accredited Clinical Hypnotherapist. I am passionate to help people become permanent non-smokers & with Weight Loss, Phobias, Anxiety, Stress, Panic Attacks, Addictions, … View Profile

    Based on overseas survey statistics, Hypnotherapy is the most successful method of quitting and staying a permenant non-smoker.
    It does not really matter much how many cigarets you smoke or for how long - for hypnotherapy to work. Because hypnotherapy “re-programs” the subconscious mind which is responsible for habits
    Most of my clients will give up in one session. While a tiny percentage will have a relapse after some months/years (this is usually attributable to an extremely stressful event such as loss of a loved one, relationship breakups, loss of job etc) most will stay non-smokers.


  • 1


    Bruni (Brunhilde) Brewin

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist

    Bruni Brewin is President Emeritus of The Australian Hypnotherapists’ Association (AHA), the oldest and largest National Registration Body for hypnotherapists in Australia founded in 1949, … View Profile

    As a hypnotherapist i would have to agree with comments made by other hypnotherapists. We are often the last choice as most doctors look for the prescription pad which is part of their training, and may refer to a counsellor to support them or one of the accepted therapies like Quit Line.  However, there is research that suggests the efficacy of using hypnotherapy to stop smoking -

    Research -

    In a recent stop smoking study, where smokers attended individual hypnotherapy for stop smoking over three sessions, 81% had stopped smoking after the treatment ended, and at a 12 month follow-up nearly 50% remained smoke free. And 95% of the people were satisfied with their treatment. References: (1) Elkins GR, Rajab MH. (2004) ”Clinical hypnosis for Smoking Cessation: preliminary results of a three session intervention.” International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 2004 Jan; 52 (1):73-81

    90.6% Success Rate for Smoking Cessation Using Hypnosis Of 43 consecutive patients undergoing this treatment protocol, 39 reported remaining abstinent from tobacco use at follow-up (6 months to 3 years post-treatment). This represents a 90.6% success rate using hypnosis. University of Washington School of Medicine, Depts. of Anesthesiology and Rehabilitation Medicine, Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2001 Jul;49(3):257-66. Barber J.

    87% Reported Abstinence From Tobacco Use With Hypnosis A field study of 93 male and 93 female CMHC outpatients examined the facilitation of smoking cessation by using hypnosis. At 3-month follow-up, 86% of the men and 87% of the women reported continued abstinence from the use of tobacco using hypnosis. Performance by gender in a stop-smoking program combining hypnosis and aversion. Johnson DL, Karkut RT. Adkar Associates, Inc., Bloomington, Indiana. Psychol Rep. 1994 Oct;75(2):851-7. PMID: 7862796 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    81% Reported They Had Stopped Smoking After Hypnosis Thirty smokers enrolled in an HMO were referred by their primary physician for treatment. Twentyone patients returned after an initial consultation and received hypnosis for smoking cessation. At the end of treatment, 81% of those patients reported that they had stopped smoking, and 48% reported abstinence at 12 months post-treatment. Texas A&M University, System Health Science Center, College of Medicine, College Station, TX USA. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2004 Jan;52(1):73-81. Clinical hypnosis for smoking cessation: preliminary results of a three-session intervention. Elkins GR, Rajab MH.

    Hypnosis Patients Twice As Likely To Remain Smoke-Free After Two Years Study of 71 smokers showed that after a two-year follow up, patients that quit with hypnosis were twice as likely to remain smoke-free than those who quit on their own. Guided health imagery for smoking cessation and long-term abstinence. Wynd, CA. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 2005; 37:3, pages 245-250.

    Hypnosis More Effective Than Drug Interventions For Smoking Cessation Group hypnosis sessions, evaluated at a less effective success rate (22% success) than individualized hypnosis sessions. However, group hypnosis sessions were still demonstrated here as being more effective than drug interventions. Ohio State University, College of Nursing, Columbus, OH 43210, USA Descriptive outcomes of the American Lung Association of Ohio hypnotherapy smoking cessation program. Ahijevych K, Yerardi R, Nedilsky N.

    Hypnosis Most Effective Says Largest Study Ever: 3 Times as Effective as Patch and 15 Times as Effective as Willpower. Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking, according to the largest ever scientific comparison of ways of breaking the habit. A meta-analysis, statistically combining results of more than 600 studies of 72,000 people from America and Europe to compare various methods of quitting. On average, hypnosis was over three times as effective as nicotine replacement methods and 15 times as effective as trying to quit alone. University of Iowa, Journal of Applied Psychology, How One in Five Give Up Smoking. October 1992. (Also New Scientist, October 10, 1992.)

    New Scientist Magazine

    In 1992 New Scientist Magazine published the results of an extensive clinical study on the most effective smoking cessation methods. Frank Schmidt and research student Chockalingam Viswesvaran of the University of Iowa carried out a meta-analysis, statistically combining the results of more than 600 studies covering almost 72,000 people from America, Scandinavia and elsewhere …

    It shows single session hypnosis increased a smoker’s success chance by 1000% from 6% to 60%.

    Success rates for different smoking cessation methods

    • 60% – Single session Hypnosis
    • 24% – Acupuncture
    • 10% – Nicotine Replacement Therapy
    • 6% – Willpower alone

    Proving that hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking, according to the largest ever scientific comparison of ways of breaking the habit. Willpower, it turns out, counts for very little. 

    Hypnotherapy has come a long way since then with improvement in training in hypnosis, counselling and psychotherapy skills with most people stopping on the first session and die-hards, or relapses for emotional reasons maybe taking a little longer or needing to come back, as mentioned by my colleagues above.  Some people make up the cost of a session in one week if they are not in a health fund, or the health fund does not cover it.  A well trained hypnotherapist is certainly something the smoker should consider.

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