July 13


Are Smokers Addicted to Nicotine?

By Brian Lynch

July 13, 2020



Definitely not.

Smoking Is Only a Strong Habit

I’m a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, specializing in smoking cessation, and I am here to tell you the truth about smoking and addiction. Smoking is not addictive, but it IS a really, really strong habit.

Unfortunately, many of the people who are supposed to be helping smokers to quit don’t know enough about either the habit or the subconscious mental process that keeps people smoking and that fights their desire to stop.

And the television commercials that carry the message that quitting is HARD, it’s ADDICTIVE, don’t help. These are ads from the corporations that sell nicotine replacement therapy items like pills, patches, and gum – a $14 billion a year industry. They want smokers to believe that continuing to put nicotine into their bodies while they’re trying to get rid of that same drug makes sense, because they suggest that smokers will gradually reduce their nicotine intake and then it will be easy to quit.

They know better, but they still need to make money!

What I Know About “Smoking Addiction”

I called every hypnotherapist in my area to ask them about hypnosis for smoking. They all told me that cigarettes cause addiction and they required four sessions to treat it at $100 to $150 per session.

Several doctors also told me that smoking was addictive and wanted to prescribe pills, and nicotine gum and skin patches. They were not taught in medical school the smoking information I know through experience: that people can easily quit smoking without medication.

I know that smokers can completely quit smoking and repair their health after just ONE hypnosis session because I’ve been helping them to do exactly that for years. I estimate that about 98% of my clients break their smoking habit and never even bother to use the free follow-up session that I offer.

The few people who don’t quit smoking through my hypnosis program the first time, and come back for a second appointment, tell me that stress caused them to start smoking again. That’s why I include stress reduction in my hypnosis, but unfortunately some people need to practice some of my other stress reduction techniques to fully stop their smoking habit.

ALL my clients seem able to stop smoking after one session for at least seven to ten days, without feeling strong cravings. But a small number of them are “triggered” by some stressful thing in their lives and slip back into the smoking habit, even though I warn them that this will happen if they smoke again.

“Smoking Addiction” Facts You Should Know

Here are some “smoking addiction” facts:

  • According to the medical encyclopedia MedlinePlus, medication like Zyban or CHANTIX for smoking cessation can have serious side effects, including:
  • Headaches, problems sleeping, sleepiness, and strange dreams.
  • Constipation, intestinal gas, nausea, and changes in taste.
  • Depressed mood, anger, agitation, thoughts of suicide and attempted suicide.

In addition, use of this medicine is linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

(Source: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007439.htm)

  • There are many medical studies and smoking-related health articles showing the advantages of using hypnosis over other therapies. One study showed that “Hospitalized patients who smoke may be more likely to quit smoking through the use of hypnotherapy than patients using other smoking cessation methods.” (ScienceDaily, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071022124741.htm).
  • I know nicotine is not addictive because stopping smoking doesn’t cause severe withdrawal symptoms. Smokers have maybe a little headache or feel grumpy. But nothing like truly addictive drugs like alcohol, cocaine, or heroin. Withdrawal from those drugs includes nausea, shaking, severe pain, and death.

I worked for eight years in a world-famous drug treatment center, and I’ve seen real addiction. Smoking is nothing more than a strong HABIT. And anyone can break a habit if given the proper guidance.

  • Many people in the licensed medical and helping professions don’t take hypnosis seriously as a valid therapy. Actually, smoking is the only issue that doctors have referred their patients to me for help! My father was a doctor, a specialist in Internal Medicine, so I think I understand the reluctance they have to using a hypnotherapist for assistance.

They feel safe in prescribing medication and they feel that addressing emotional or mental issues are beyond their scope of practice. Consequently, they often don’t realize the role of a person’s subconscious mind in supporting bad habits instead of supporting needed change.

Why Quitting Smoking Can Be Difficult

Many people quit smoking without any help, every day, after a stroke, or heart attack, or women finding they are pregnant. Their strong desire to quit overcomes their smoking habit, and that desire is the only requirement for success.

But many other people know the wisdom of Mark Twain words: “Quitting smoking is easy; I've done it a thousand times."

So why is it so hard for people to change their bad habits? And why is it so easy, and quick, for a hypnotherapist (or using self-hypnosis) to help a person stop smoking?

(By the way, hypnosis works great to make many changes, but they usually take a bit longer – smoking is an issue that most people can give up right away.)

The reason people have so much trouble in making life changes is that . . . they are not really in complete control of their lives, the part of their minds that play a role in decision making.

You Are Not Entirely Who You Think You Are!

We all identify with our conscious minds because that’s all that we directly know. The conscious mind knows facts: we are Joe, or Mary, born on this date, in that place, etc. We use it for logic, for communication, and for generally understanding our world.

We are not taught about our subconscious minds, nor how to talk to them. But it’s our subconscious that is really running our lives because it is the oldest part of our brains, the part containing our emotions, our memories, and our survival mechanisms.

Your subconscious mind has one primary purpose: to protect you. When you develop a bad habit, it usually takes a while for you to overcome your subconscious mind’s objections. You may remember that when you started smoking, it felt horrible – coughing, feeling sick, sore throat and lungs. Your body was warning that this was a bad idea and your subconscious was silently screaming at you!

But you knew this was a GOOD idea because all your friends were smoking, and you were going to feel and appear more like an adult. (All smokers start before the ages of 20-25.) So you kept on smoking and convinced your subconscious that it was good. With repetition, it became a VERY strong habit.

As every hypnotherapist learns early about the human mind, “What the thinker thinks, the prover proves.” And now that you are older and worried about your health and being a smoker is a lousy role model for your children or grandchildren, you want to stop.

But your subconscious mind thinks that smoking is GOOD for you, and it’s going to protect you by keeping you smoking at all costs!

It hears the lectures about shortening your life and how it’s a bad way to die, and the pleas from loved ones. But this doesn’t have much effect because it’s all in conventional, logical words and your subconscious listens in the language of emotions and visions. It’s like a stubborn eight-year-old that won’t listen to reason.

Your subconscious is a different part of you, like a familiar but different person you don’t really know, who is making decisions for you. And you need to figure out how to talk to that person, or find someone who can!

Hypnosis is the Language of the Subconscious

This Thinker and Prover theory says that your subconscious mind believes what it is taught and will prove it by controlling your ability to make life changes. Your perception of the world is determined by what your subconscious mind believes. If you tell yourself that you are addicted to cigarettes and that quitting will be hard, then your mind will certainly make it very difficult to stop smoking. You end up fighting your own mind!

But if you could talk to your subconscious mind and convince it to help you quit instead of sabotaging your efforts to stop, it would be MUCH EASIER to leave that smoking habit behind.

But how can you open your subconscious to receive positive suggestions to stop smoking?

Your subconscious only listens to words that cause emotions and creates images. I know a gentle way to open your subconscious mind to the information it needs to cause it to join your effort and support your desire to quit. It takes about an hour, and after that, quitting becomes easy, usually without feeling any cravings!

If you’re ready to quit that dangerous, nasty smoking habit, give me a call at 727-612-8164 to make an appointment. It may save your life!

Brian Lynch

About the author

Brian Lynch is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist specializing in smoking cessation and weight management.

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