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Hypnotism To Stop Smoking

Updated on October 7, 2014

It worked for my Dad!

This is the way I always pictured a hypnotist... they don't really use a watch like this, though.
This is the way I always pictured a hypnotist... they don't really use a watch like this, though. | Source
I had always thought that hypnotists were simply there to entertain people, I never imagined they could really help someone with a medical issue!
I had always thought that hypnotists were simply there to entertain people, I never imagined they could really help someone with a medical issue! | Source

My Dad has been smoke free for close to 30 years now!

I remember when I was a child growing up in the 1960s, my Dad would smoke cigarette after cigarette. It wasn't too bad most of the time, but when we were in a closed car and it was too cold to have the windows open, UGH! Frustrating! And it wasn't just that it smelled bad, sometimes it made me feel strange effects. I'd start to feel lightheaded and even a little shaky if I was exposed to the second hand smoke for too long. I almost felt as if I was smoking every cigarette that he was smoking!

I know when I was a teenager, I bugged him quite a bit about quitting. But I know from being that close to someone who smokes, it is NOT an easy habit to kick. Not at all. In fact, I'd even venture to say that it may be harder to kick than a drug habit... well, maybe not, but still it is an extremely difficult habit to kick!

It's no wonder that every year, one of the New Year's resolutions that people make most often is to stop smoking. I knew people I used to work with who tried to quit. They would last about a week or maybe two weeks. Then something would trigger that need to smoke again... and they'd be back outside during their breaks, smoking again.

Finally, about the time my husband and I got married, I got word that my Dad had quit smoking for good. I had trouble believing it at first, but I thought, that's great!

I know when I was in High School I would purposely choose the topic of not smoking to write about any time we were given a writing assignment to do. Then I would ask my Dad to read it... devious, I know! That didn't work, though.

I learned that the person who has the smoking habit has to be the one who initiates quitting, or it won't work. Well meaning people will try to "talk sense" into a person. That doesn't work to make someone stop, though, unless they make up their own mind to finally kick the habit.

I think it's very similar to losing weight. You can talk to someone until you are blue in the face, about the health risks of being very overweight and about all of the other reasons to lose it... but it won't work unless the person wants to be the one to decide to finally break the bad habits.

Anyway, I wasn't really sure that my Dad had quit, until I saw him again and he wasn't smoking. We got married in Washington State and my Dad was living in Wisconsin at the time. It was during one of our visits around the time of our wedding, almost 30 years ago now, that I realized, hey, he really DID quit this time.

A Hypnotist To Quit Smoking? Really?....YES REALLY!

I asked him how he did it and just about fell off the chair when he told me he went to a hypnotist. REALLY? A hypnotist? Yep, then he proceeded to tell me how he did it. Now I was under the impression that a hypnotist was an entertainer. He was the one who put a whole room full of people to "sleep" in a comedy show, then made them all MEOW out loud, or pretend to purr, moo, or make any assortment of funny animal sounds either in unison, or one at a time. Then the audience would laugh at the person who was hypnotized and making these sounds. Or the hypnotist would make audience members flap their arms as if they were wings and other silly things like that. All the time, the point was usually to entertain folks.

I had NEVER heard of using hypnotism for a medical or health purpose. After talking with my Dad, though, and being around him for a few days, I became a believer! He has been totally smoke-free for over 30 years now. He turned 76 years old in January of 2013, and I honestly believe if he had kept up his several pack a day habit of smoking that he would not be with us today. I honestly believe that quitting smoking saved his life, and added quality YEARS to his life!

The neat thing is when he told me what happens to him whenever he feels like putting his hand into a pack of cigarettes... he "envisions" SNAKES crawling (or slithering, whatever the heck it is that snakes do)... out of the pack of cigarettes. Hey, that would sure work for me! It has worked successfully for him for years now. I thought it was fascinating. This imagery is powerful enough to keep him from reaching for a cigarette.

I've heard that hypnotism doesn't work for everyone. I honestly do believe if other methods have failed, as they did for my Dad, then maybe it's worth a try! Hypnotism can be done one of three ways. One can go in person to a hypnotist, to their office, much like consulting any other health professional, and receive treatment there. Another way is to use a set of audio recordings to do self hypnosis. And the third way I have learned that this can be done is to use a set of videos for hypnosis.

Hypnosis is simply going into a person's subconscious mind, and it uses the power of one's own brain to help them to overcome a bad habit, or even to overcome a fear or phobia of something. Being hypnotized means that one is in a state of very deep relaxation and can then receive suggestions. It can be a valuable tool to teach one to relax and overcome stress, as well as helping them to quit a bad habit.

The method my Dad used was to go in person to see a hypnotist, so I honestly don't have enough knowledge about the other two methods to know whether they really work or not. All I know is, my Dad is now a "snowbird" ... he lives in Missouri, and goes to Florida or west to Arizona every winter to escape the cold and ICE.

And now, I'll be able to call him again every year on his birthday, (the good Lord willing), and wish him a VERY Happy Birthday. That's something I honestly wasn't sure I would have been able to keep doing for so many years if he had kept up his smoking habit.

Good luck to anyone that is trying to kick a smoking habit. It is so very difficult, but a VERY worthwhile thing to do. Just ask anyone who is blessed to be able to wish a parent a Happy 76th Birthday, when they once thought they might never get to do that. :)


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    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Me neither, traslochimilano, I'm so glad he quit! Thanks for reading and commenting! :)

    • traslochimilano profile image

      traslochimilano 5 years ago from USA


      I don't like smoking.

    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      You're right, sunasia22, thank you so much for stopping by and for your very thoughtful comment! :)

    • sunasia22 profile image

      sunasia22 6 years ago from Philippines

      Your Dad chose to live,and what really stops him from smoking was his eagerness to live longer, "He choose life, not smoking!" Voted up! Marked awesome and interesting!

    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Thank you, molometer! It sure is a terrible habit, I am so thankful my Dad was able to quit! :) Thinking about his 75th birthday coming up inspired this! :) Thanks for your thoughtful comment! :)

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      What a inspirational hub, well done. I know a few people that have had the hypnosis and stopped smoking.

      It is a dreadful habit and all the more difficult as people of a certain age were bombarded with smoking advertising for so many years. It became the norm to smoke.

      voted up.

    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Hi Sharyn's slant! Thanks for stopping by and for your thoughtful comment as well! SO glad hypnotism is available as a method to stop for those that want to but haven't been successful other ways! Thanks for your kind words. :)

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Great article Kathy with perfect ending words. I wish I could quit. It is a very difficult habit to break. I do know a female friend that quit using hypnotism. It worked for her!

    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Wow, Angie, I had no idea you were a hynotherapist, that's great! :) And you are right, my nagging never did work! He had to want to stop for anything to work. Thanks for your thoughtful comment! ;)

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 6 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Hi KathyH ... I was a clinical hypnotherapist before I retired and I can absolutely confirm that hypnotism is probably the best way to cure smoking. I had a lot of success with my stop smoking technique but there were people I would not even start working with. These were the people who were trying to stop smoking for someone else ... their wife, husband or child had nagged them to seek help. If they did not actually want to stop smoking for themselves I told them that, regretfully, I would not work with them. They simply always failed ...

      My tutor would give people one session of hypnosis to stop them smoking ... he would charge an awful lot of money for this one session but his success rate was phenomenal.

      Hypnosis is an awesome tool for ridding oneself of unhelpful behaviour ... I'm so glad your dad got such effective help.

    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Thanks pmccray, I sure hope it does help your husband. Thanks for your thoughtful comment and up votes as well. :)

    • pmccray profile image

      pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

      I kicked the habit in March of 2001 and never looked back. Made a covenant with God which helped strengthen my will power. This may help my husband. Excellent hub, interesting subject matter. Voted up, marked useful and interesting.

    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Thank you for your great comments, Tsadjatko! You are so right, different things work for different people, but it is so worthwhile to quit any way you can! :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 6 years ago from https:// online/ hubpages. html

      Nicotine is extremely addictive and ciarettes a very effective delivery system. If you want to stop, the thing to remember is that there is no silver bullet, but many different ways to stop. What works for one person may not work for another ... gum may work for one while the patch another, hypnotism for one and cold turkey another - we are all unique and affected by unique life experiences, personality, environment and desires.

      I have an acquaintance, a media personaity who smoked 2 packs a day of Marlboro reds, and battled for years to stop, feeling the guilt associated with subjecting his children to this habit, quiting even for a couple years and starting again - nothing seemed to really work ... until one day he injured his eye in an accident. He did not want to lose his eye which wasn't healing when the doctor told him if he'd stop irritating the eye with his cigarette smoking it might have a chance to heal - that was all it took as he feared losing his eye more than losing the habit!!!

      SO if you are slowly killing yourself with those cancer sticks but want to stop - DON'T GIVE UP - keep trying different ways until you find what works for YOU!

      Nice Hub!

    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Thanks shawn002, I was very surprised that it worked after all the things he had tried before, and I'm very happy that it did work! :) Thanks for stopping by!

    • shawn002 profile image

      shawn002 6 years ago from USA

      Wow that's incredible and astonishing too many hypnotism can help someone in this way