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Smoking cessation

Hypnotherapy is a well-known successful treatment for cigarette cessation. Many people I've seen in clinic first tried group sessions, I wouldn't recommend that as one-on-one sessions have a far greater success rate. 

The key is always... "Do you WANT to give up?"

If not, that 'want' must be established first.


See my page on...  Addictions >


Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation: A Randomized Trial. Nicotine & 
Tobacco Research, Vol 10(5), 811-818. 

The purpose of this study was to determine whether hypnosis would be more 
effective in helping smokers quit than standard behavioural counselling when both 
interventions are combined with nicotine patches (NP). A total of 286 current 
smokers were enrolled in a randomized controlled smoking cessation trial at the San 
Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Centre. Participants in both treatment 
conditions were seen for two 60-min sessions, and received three follow-up phone 
calls and 2 months of NP. At 6 months, 29% of the hypnosis group reported 
abstinence compared with 23% of the behavioural counselling group. Based on 
biochemical or proxy confirmation, 20% of the participants in the hypnosis group 
were abstinent at 12 months compared with 14% of the behavioural group. Among 
participants with a history of depression, hypnosis yielded significantly higher 
validated point-prevalence quit rates at 6 and 12 months than standard treatment. It 
was concluded that hypnosis combined with NP compares favourably with standard 
behavioural counselling in generating long-term quit rates. 
Botsford, David. (2007). Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation: An NLP 
and Hypnotherapy Practitioner’s Manual. Norwalk, CT: Crown 
House Publishing Limited. 

This book examines the use of hypnosis for smoking cessation. The book provides 
the reader with an extensive overview of the whole process of helping someone to 
stop smoking. Not only is there great detail on how to approach the client during the 
actual therapeutic session but there is also excellent material which shows the 
therapist how s/he needs to prepare individually for every single client. 
Elkins, Gary; Marcus, Joel; Bates, Jeff; Rajab, M. Hasan; Cook, Teresa. 
(Jul 2006). Intensive Hypnotherapy for Smoking Cessation: A 
Prospective Study. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental 
Hypnosis, Vol 54(3), 303-315. 

This study reports on a prospective pilot trial of intensive hypnotherapy for 
smoking cessation. The hypnotherapy involved multiple individual sessions (8 
visits) over approximately 2 months, individualization of hypnotic suggestions, and 
a supportive therapeutic relationship. Twenty subjects were randomly assigned to 
either an intensive hypnotherapy condition or to a wait-list control condition. The 
target quitting date was 1 week after beginning treatment. Patients were evaluated 
for smoking cessation at the end of treatment and at Weeks 12 and 26. The rates of 
smoking cessation, as confirmed by carbon-monoxide measurements for the 
intensive hypnotherapy group, was 40% at the end of treatment; 60% at 12 weeks, 
and 40% at 26 weeks (p < .05). 
Banyan, Calvin D. (Spr 2006). Two Treatment Groups Hypnosis 
Smoking Cessation Program. Australian Journal of Clinical 
Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis, Vol 27(2), 5-16. 

In this article the author discusses an approach to utilising hypnosis for smoking 
cessation in which clients are screened and placed into one of two treatment groups. 
The screener asks a series of questions in order to determine whether or not the 
client is using cigarette smoking to manage emotions such as fear, anger and guilt. 
Those who are determined as not having significant emotional motivation to smoke 
are placed into a two-session program, and those who appear to have a significant 
emotional component in their smoking behaviour are placed into a five-phase 
hypnotherapeutic program. This article is based on anecdotal evidence intended for 
heuristic value and consideration. 
Emmerson, Gordon J. (Spr 2006). Smoking Cessation: Getting the 
Ego States to Work Together. Australian Journal of Clinical 
Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis, Vol 27(2), 23-29. 

Helping a client to stop smoking is one of the most difficult challenges for a 
hypnotherapist. This paper offers an ego state therapeutic structured method to 
assist in smoking cessation. Every time a client comes to a hypnotherapist to stop 
smoking there is at least one ego state wanting to quit, and one ego state wanting to 
smoke, otherwise the client would be happy either smoking or not smoking. An 
internal dissent exists among the states. The goal of the hypnotherapist is to 
empower the states that can assist the client in not smoking, while at the same time 
give new roles and meaning to the states that had previously smoked. In this manner 
the client can achieve an internal peace in relation to being a non-smoker. 
Lutzker, Daniel R. (Spr 2006). Smoking Cessation. Australian Journal 
of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis, Vol 27(2), 30-34. 

Smoking cessation is probably the most frequent reason for consulting a 
hypnotherapist. Many approaches exist and research has identified some of the 
factors pertinent to success. This paper discusses the author’s techniques evolved 
over a period of more than 45 years and the reasons underlying the changes that 
occurred. It is suggested that the most effective approach tends to be permissive, to 
involve the patient’s own concepts and words, and to be tailored to the individual’s 
needs. Case studies are cited to illustrate major points. 
Shirley, Barry. (Spr 2006). Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation. 
Australian Journal of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis, Vol 27(2), 

Many hypnotherapists in private practice deal with clients trying to overcome their 
addiction to smoking tobacco products. Methods vary considerably, ranging from 
the use of direct suggestion hypnotherapy by repetition through to hypnotherapy 
combined with cognitive behaviour therapy. This article presents a method used 
with success in my private practice where the emphasis is on repetitious direct 
suggestions and the use of a no pain, no gain philosophy. 
Lynn, Steven Jay; Kirsch, Irving. (2006). Smoking Cessation. In 
Lynn, Steven Jay; Kirsch, Irving (Eds.), Essentials of Clinical 
Hypnosis: An Evidence-Based Approach. Dissociation, Trauma, 
Memory, and Hypnosis Book Series, (pp. 79-98). Washington, DC: 
American Psychological Association. 

In this chapter, the authors summarize a sizable literature indicating that hypnosis 
can play a useful role in smoking cessation. They then describe a two-session 
cognitive-behavioural program to achieve smoking cessation as an example of the 
way that hypnosis can be used to master long-standing habitual patterns of self-destructive behaviours. 
Bonshtein, Udi; Shaar, Izhar; Golan, Gabi. (2005). Who Wants to 
Control the Habit? A Multi-Dimensional Hypnotic Model of 
Smoking Cessation. Contemporary Hypnosis, Vol 22(4), 193-201. 

The article describes and demonstrates a short-term psychotherapeutic intervention 
model for smoking cessations, which integrates behaviour and cognitive apparatus 
with hypnotic techniques. This model puts exclusive emphasis on examination, 
creation and intensification of the patient’s motivation to eradicate the habit, by 
strengthening self-control, integrating suggestions that are tuned to the patient’s 
needs, and using aversion techniques in the hypnotic state. This model has been 
found efficient in our clinical work, can be used to treat other habit disorders and 
creates an opportunity for empirical research that examines the efficacy of this 
integrative model as compared to other methods. 
Rosewarne, Pamela. (May 2004). Hypnosis and Smoking. Australian 
Journal of Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis, Vol 32(1), 86-102. 

This study reports the use of hypnosis with a young woman who was seeking to 
resolve her smoking addiction. Early in treatment it became clear that she had 
unresolved grief, loss, and anger concerning her sexual abuse as a young child by 
her father who had died many years previously. This experience had hindered her 
emotional development, current emotions and lifestyle, and contributed to her low 
self-esteem, negative feelings of self-worth, and subsequent smoking addiction. 
Hypnosis was incorporated into an extensive period of counselling, and was 
effectively used to enable this client to cease her smoking addiction, to conclude her 
unresolved grief and anger, and to use her newly found peace as a means of ego-strengthening, confidence building, and promoting positive future expectations. 
Elkins, Gary R.; Rajab, M. Hasan. (Jan 2004). Clinical Hypnosis for 
Smoking Cessation: Preliminary Results of a Three-Session 
Intervention. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental 
Hypnosis, Vol 52(1), 73-81. 

This study presents preliminary data regarding hypnosis treatment for smoking 
cessation in a clinical setting. An individualized, 3-session hypnosis treatment is 
described. Thirty smokers enrolled in an HMO were referred by their primary 
physician for treatment. Twenty-one 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 posttreatment. Most patients (95%) were satisfied with the treatment they 
Barber, Joseph. (Jul 2001). Freedom from Smoking: Integrating 
Hypnotic Methods and Rapid Smoking to Facilitate Smoking 
Cessation. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental 
Hypnosis, Vol 49(3), 257-266. 

Notes that hypnotic intervention can be integrated with a Rapid Smoking treatment 
protocol for smoking cessation. Reported here is a demonstration of such an 
integrated approach, including a detailed description of treatment rationale and 
procedures for such a short-term intervention. Of 43 consecutive patients (aged 27–
66 yrs) undergoing this treatment protocol, 39 reported remaining abstinent at 
follow-up (6 month to 3 yrs posttreatment). 
Ahijevych, Karen; Yerardi, Ruth; Nedilsky, Nancy. (Oct 2000). 
Descriptive Outcomes of the American Lung Association of Ohio 
Hypnotherapy Smoking Cessation Program. International Journal 
of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol 48(4), 374-387. 

Examined smoking cessation and factors associated with success in smokers 
completing a single-session hypnosis smoking cessation program. 452 smokers 
(aged 18–77 yrs) completed the session, then completed follow-up phone interviews 
5–15 months subsequently. Results show that 65% reported 1 or more smoke-free 
periods (average 40 days) following program completion. 22% of subjects reported not 
smoking the month previous to interview. Successful quitting was significantly 
associated with higher income, no other smokers present in the home, and perceived 
ease of hypnotisability. Gender, marital status, age, years of education, employment 
classification, and number of cigarettes smoked per day exerted no influence. 
Green, Joseph P. (2000). Treating Women who Smoke: The Benefits 
of Using Hypnosis. In Hornyak, Lynne M. (Ed); Green, Joseph P. 
(Ed), Healing from Within: The Use of Hypnosis in Women’s Health 
Care. Dissociation, Trauma, Memory, and Hypnosis Book Series, (pp. 
91-117). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 

The author briefly outlines several health risks facing women who smoke. The 
author summarizes the general effectiveness of smoking cessation therapy and 
discusses the merit of adding hypnotic suggestions to cognitive-behavioural 
treatments for smoking. After briefly reviewing the risks and benefits of nicotine 
replacement therapy, the author points out 4 special considerations for clinicians 
working with women who are trying to quit smoking. Finally, the author illustrates 
how hypnotic suggestions can be incorporated into a multimodal, cognitive-behavioural treatment plan for smoking. 
Douglas, Donald. (1999). Stopping Smoking: A Study on the Nature 
of Resistance and the Use of Hypnosis. In Seidman, Daniel F. (Ed); 
Covey, Lirio S. (Ed), Helping the Hard-Core Smoker: A Clinician’s 
Guide, (pp. 213-223). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates 

Discusses the nature of addiction and resistance to treatment with special reference 
to the uses of hypnosis in smoking cessation programs. The chapter describes the 
smoking addiction as acting at once like a tenacious regression to the earliest life 
function of respiration and as a sinister retrovirus advocating the heathen demon 
weed tobacco and taking over the life of the host: regressive and pre-emptive 
addictive processes that derive from comfort-seeking, locked in by the stop–smoke 
cycle and defended by the complexities of the borderline syndrome. 
Hatsukami, Dorothy K.; Lando, Harry. (1999). Smoking Cessation. In 
Ott, Peggy J. (Ed); Tarter, Ralph E. (Ed); Ammerman, Robert T. (Ed), 
Sourcebook on Substance Abuse: Aetiology, Epidemiology, Assessment, 
and Treatment, (pp. 399-415). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon. 

This chapter describes the types of treatments that have been developed for 
smoking cessation, the effectiveness of these treatments, and future directions for 
this area. Topics include: behavioural treatments (provider advice, self-help, formal 
programs, multicomponent treatment strategies, hypnosis and acupuncture, 
commercial programs and products, evaluation standards); and pharmacological 
treatments (nicotine replacement, nicotine replacement combinations, nonspecific 
medications, symptom-targeted medications, other smoking cessation products). 
Bayot, Agustín; Capafons, Antonio; Cardeña, Etzel. (Oct 1997). 
Emotional Self-regulation Therapy: A New and Efficacious 
Treatment for Smoking. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Vol 
40(2), 146-156. 

Describes emotional self-regulation therapy, a recently-developed suggestion 
technique for the treatment of smoking, and presents data attesting to its efficacy. 
Of the 38 individuals who completed treatment, 82% (47% of the initial sample) 
stopped smoking altogether and 13 % (8% of the initial sample) reduced their 
smoking. A follow-up at 6 months showed that 66% (38% of the initial sample) of those 
who had completed the treatment remained abstinent and reported minimal 
withdrawal symptoms or weight gain. In a no-treatment comparison group, only 8% 
reduced their smoking or became abstinent. 
Brown, Donald C. (Sep 1997). A Hypnosis Smoking Cessation 
Programme. Australian Journal of Clinical Hypnotherapy and 
Hypnosis, Vol 18(2), 91-102. 

The author presented a smoking cessation programme that was developed during 28 
years of hypnosis use in his teaching family practice at Dalhousie University. A 
brief patient assessment was presented together with a number of efficient and 
practical scripts. The approach was to teach patients autohypnosis to replace 
outdated smoking habits, with at least three daily trances. Subjects were instructed 
to use audiotapes made of their trances. They were given smoking cessation and 
hypnosis literature to facilitate autohypnosis. Twelve hypnosis books are 
recommended for further reading. Handout contents to the attendees at the 
Assembly are listed in the Appendix. 
McMaster, Norman L. (Sep 1997). Quit Smoking: From a Hypo-Behavioural-Cognitive Approach. Australian Journal of Clinical 
Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis, Vol 18(2), 83-90. 

This paper examines smoking from the viewpoint that it is learned behaviour. A 
learned behaviour which when learned very well drops out of consciousness and 
becomes an ingrained habit pattern. Furthermore, a habit pattern that is largely 
carried out below the level of conscious awareness. The strategy used to learn to 
smoke can be used with a different content to quit the habit. 
Green, Joseph. (Sum, 1997). Smoking Cessation: Hypnotic 
Strategies Complement Behavioural Treatments. Psychological 
Hypnosis 6(2) [American Psychological Association Division 30 
(Society of Psychological Hypnosis)]. 

Several studies have shown that hypnosis can be an effective method of achieving 
smoking cessation. Since hypnotic protocols vary widely from one clinician or 
researcher to the next, it is not surprising that studies employing hypnotic 
techniques report a wide range of success. Chances of achieving long term 
abstinence increase when hypnotic suggestions are incorporated into a treatment 
program that is grounded in well-established cognitive-behavioural strategies. 
Additional techniques that should be used to create effective smoking cessation 
treatment programs are provided. 
Green, Joseph P. (1996). Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy for 
Smoking Cessation: A Case Study in a Group Setting. In Lynn, 
Steven Jay (Ed); Kirsch, Irving (Ed); Rhue, Judith W. (Ed), Casebook 
456 Journal of Heart-Centred Therapies, 2010, Vol. 13, No. 1 
of Clinical Hypnosis, (pp. 223-248). Washington, DC: American 
Psychological Association. 

Presents a case study of a 37-yr-old female who underwent hypnotherapy for 
smoking cessation. The study demonstrates an application of S. J. Lynn’s smoking 
cessation program within a group format. Learning, practicing, and employing self-hypnotic skills are centrepieces of the approach. In addition to illustrating the 
various cognitive, behavioural and hypnotic skills germane to Lynn’s smoking 
cessation program, the author highlights relevant historical and interpersonal 
variables associated with the case. 
Capafons, A., Amigo, S. (1995). Emotional Self-regulation Therapy 
for Smoking Reduction: Description and Initial Empirical Data. 
International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol. 43, 

Self-regulation therapy (Amigo, 1992) is a set of procedures derived from cognitive 
skill training programs for increasing hypnotisability. First, experiences are 
generated by actual stimuli. Clients are then asked to associate those experiences 
with various cues. They are then requested to generate the experiences in response 
to the cues, but without the actual stimuli. When they are able to do so quickly and 
easily, therapeutic suggestions are given. Studies of self-regulation therapy indicate 
that it can be used successfully to treat smoking. 
Sorensen, G., Beder, B., Prible, C. R., Pinney, J. (1995). Reducing 
Smoking at the Workplace: Implementing a Smoking Ban and 
Hypnotherapy. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 
Vol. 37, 453-60. 

Smoking cessation programs may be an important component in the 
implementation of worksite smoking policies. This study examines the impact of a 
smoke-free policy and the effectiveness of an accompanying hypnotherapy smoking 
cessation program. Participants in the 90-minute smoking cessation seminar were 
surveyed 12 months after the program was implemented (n = 2642; response rate = 
76%). Seventy-one percent of the smokers participated in the hypnotherapy 
program. Fifteen percent of survey respondents quit and remained continuously 
abstinent. These results suggest that hypnotherapy may be an attractive alternative 
smoking cessation method, particularly when used in conjunction with a smoke-free 
worksite policy that offers added incentive for smokers to think about quitting. 
Johnson, D. L., Karkut, R. T. (1994). Performance by Gender in a 
Stop-Smoking Program Combining Hypnosis and Aversion. 
Psychological Reports, Vol. 75, 851-7. 

Past studies of performance by gender in prevention and treatment programs have 
reported reduced success with women and have suggested a need for stronger 
interventions having greater effects on both genders’ smoking cessation. A field 
study of 93 male and 93 female CMHC outpatients examined the facilitation of 
smoking cessation by combining hypnosis and aversion treatments. After the 2-wk. 
program, 92% or 86 of the men and 90% or 84 of the women reported abstinence, 
and at 3-mo. follow-up, 86% or 80 of the men and 87% or 81 of the women 
reported continued abstinence. Although this field study in a clinical setting lacked 
rigorous measurement and experimental controls, the program suggested greater 
efficacy of smoking cessation by both sexes for combined hypnosis and aversion 
Carlson, Jon. (1994). Multimodal Treatment for Smoking Cessation. 
In Lewis, Judith A. (Ed), Addictions: Concepts and Strategies for 
Treatment, (pp. 113-122). Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishers. 

[argues that] effective clinical practice [for smoking cessation] requires the 
utilization of a multimodal approach rather than traditional unimodal ones / in the 
approach that is presented [in this chapter], generic hypnotherapeutic suggestions 
are coupled with behaviour modification strategies, as well as adjunctive treatment 
such as exercise, relaxation, and diet modification / provides an overview of 
intervention approaches / presents the author’s 3-step multimodal procedure: (a) 
assessment, (b) intervention, and (c) treatment adherence/follow-up 
Spiegel, D., Frischholz, E. J., Fleiss, J. L., Spiegel, H. (1993). 
Predictors of Smoking Abstinence Following a Single-Session 
Restructuring Intervention with Self-Hypnosis. Journal of the 
American Psychiatric Association, Vol. 150, 1090-7. 

OBJECTIVE: This study examined the relation of smoking and medical history, 
social support, and hypnotisability to outcome of a smoking cessation program. 
METHOD: A consecutive series of 226 smokers referred for the smoking cessation 
program were treated with a single-session habit restructuring intervention 
involving self-hypnosis. They were then followed up for 2 years. RESULTS: Fifty-two percent of the study group achieved complete smoking abstinence 1 week after 
the intervention; 23% maintained their abstinence for 2 years. Hypnotisability and 
having been previously able to quit smoking for at least a month significantly 
predicted the initiation of abstinence. Hypnotisability and living with a significant 
other person predicted 2-year maintenance of treatment response. CONCLUSIONS: 
These results suggest that it is possible to predict which patients are most likely and 
which are least likely to respond to such brief smoking cessation interventions. 
Viswesvaran, C.; Schmidt, F. (1992). A Meta-Analytic Comparison 
of the Effectiveness of Smoking Cessation Methods. Journal of 
Applied Psychology, 77, 554-561. 

Viswesvaran and Schmidt (1992) performed a meta-analysis on 633 studies of 
smoking cessation and examined 48 studies in the hypnosis category that 
encompassed a total sample of 6,020 participants. Hypnosis fared better than 
virtually any other comparison treatment (e.g., nicotine chewing gum, smoke 
aversion, 5-day plans), achieving a success rate of 36%.

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