Have you been Hypnotised into becoming a smoker?

The Illusion of Smoking Addiction

If you’re on this site, you probably know that hypnotherapy is known to be extremely effective for people looking to quit smoking. Have you ever wondered why? I’m going to let you know the secret in this blog post.

Hynotized to Smoke

Most people believe that people are “addicted” to cigarettes. This is surprisingly - not what is actually happening. The reason why hypnosis is so effective in fixing smoking addictions is because smokers have been hypnotised into becoming smokers.

Now I don’t mean this was done formally by a hypnotist putting the smoker into a trance and then suggesting the “benefits” of cigarettes. But - bear with me as I explain - the smoker has been “hypnotized” through culture, conditioning, and - most importanly - beliefs.

Here is some proof: hypnosis has cured smokers who say that
  • Smoking relaxes them.

And has also cured smokers who say that

  • Smoking helps them concentrate.

Hypnotherapy has cured long-term smokers who need to smoke during the day because:

  • Smoking keeps them alert during the tiring workday.

and cured chronic smokers who need to have a cigarette just before bed because

  • They need that cigarette to help them sleep.

All smokers believe that these effects are “real” because they experience them. But if they analysed the situation properly they would realise the effects cannot be “real” because other smokers experience the exact opposite. What is going on?

Making sense of the “addiction”

In the book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, written by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, he describes a form of mass hypnosis where the entire Dutch nation went mad over tulips. Sensible, level-headed people were buying tulip bulbs for insane prices. He documents a case where a single tulip bulb was sold for a year’s income. Clever people did it, rich people did it, the old and the young all participated in this mass delusion.

In the same fashion we all suffer from a delusion about smoking. Nicotine has an addictive component - it binds to the receptors of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain - which brings a sense of relief, and also damages them - which causes elevated levels of stress.

However, and this is crucial, the addictive component is not very strong. After an initial period of discomfort, the “addict” can recover completely and become completely normal - with NO (ZERO) desire for nicotine again.

Why doesn’t this happen more often then? It is because the addicted person does not know this. All he knows is that he feels a certain discomfort or a certain desire and all his conditioning tells him that it is going to get worse unless he gives in! He , you see, that he is an “addict” and that - therefore - giving in is part of this “addiction”.

The effect of nicotine may not be strong enough on it’s own, but combined with the belief (the hypnosis) that it is an addiction that gives him pleasure, relieves his stress, helps him concentrate, or whatever is his particular belief about the practice is enough to keep him smoking despite being aware of it’s many distasteful effects.

A smoker may know that smoking is harmful, but as long as he believes he “needs” it - he will continue to smoke. It may be an expensive, smelly, and unhealthy habit but he will continue to smoke to get it’s imagined “benefits”.

Smoking Habits

Because smoking cannot possibly be providing the contradictory “benefits” that individual smokers firmly believe it does, we can ask ourselves - where do their beliefs come from? After all, these are sensible, level-headed, intelligent people who do not believe things without reason.

The answer is best understood in the word - ASSOCIATION. Different people smoke at different times and in different situations. This is because they have developed the habit of smoking in a certain situation and they then associate the benefit they need in that situation with the act of smoking. For example, a smoker may “light up” before a big meeting because he - in his habitual ritual - he believes that will give him the focus and concentration he needs. Yet another smoker may puff away like a chimney before going to bed in the belief that it relaxes him and gives him that good night’s sleep he so richly deserves. A group of smokers will suck in lungfuls of tar together in the firm belief that this helps them socialize while at the same time a solitary smoker will take his weekly walk next to the river blowing smoke around his face in the equally firm belief that it helps him enjoy his solitude in nature.

Each smoker has developed habits from very early on in their smoking experience - that they associate with the act of smoking. This association makes them believe that it is the smoking that gives them their benefits without ever realising that it is simply the result of a waking hypnotic habit.

Smoking Rituals

Now it is easy to see why smokers have their smoking rituals. Smokers are creatures of habit - they will smoke in certain situations and with certain triggers. Even “chain-smokers” have specific routines and triggers associated with smoking. They may smoke upon waking up, after meals, during breaks, while driving, or in certain social situations. These routines and triggers become strongly ingrained and contribute to the continuous pattern of smoking.

Once you know what is happening - you have taken a step ahead in the game and can finally get to control your smoking rather than letting it control you. Knowledge, truly, is power.

The Good News

The good news is that quitting smoking is - quite literally - easier than you think. Because you have been hypnotised into it - it is easy to get hypnotised out of it as well. Here is the 4-R framework I have developed for quitting smoking:

  1. First, realize that quitting smoking is easier than you believed. Simply knowing this gets rid of a lot of pressure (and fear) many smokers feel when they first decide to quit this nauseating habit.
  2. Second, recognize the triggers and situations that habitually trigger your desire to smoke. Knowing what causes the desires and understanding the triggers helps you overcome the patterns.
  3. Third, replace the situations where you would smoke with healthier alternatives. This depends on your specific triggers but start by replacing the act of smoking with another - better - alternatives. For example, drink a glass of water, or chew gum, or call a friend, or meditate.
  4. Lastly, relax! Quitting smoking is truly easier than you know. It is not a big, bad, demon that you need to fight but rather a small and miserable little habit you can - and will - eventually get rid off completely.

Follow these steps and you too will soon be smoke-free!

Hypnotherapy for Smoking

While quitting smoking on your own is definitely viable, if you do want some help professional hypnotherapy has a great track record in helping smokers snuff out their smoking habits. Because smoking is such a mental game can help to get support if you need it.

Have you asked yourself why nicotine patches work for some people and don’t for others? Yes - it’s because some people believe it works for them while others expect it to have some physical effect while ignoring the mental. Hypnotherapy helps because it can work with the mind in a somewhat more direct fashion and so gives you a greater chance of success.

Would you like help in some area of your life? Consider Hypnotherapy. It is a safe, effective, and powerful treatment that works! Click here to book in a session today and unlock a world of possibilities for a happier, healthier you.