Is Smoking an Addiction or Just a Habit?

Filed under: Hypnosis Training

Is Smoking An Addiction Or Just A Habit

If you’re a hypnotist, you’ve probably been asked dozens of times:

“Can you help me quit smoking?”

Hypnotherapy is largely associated with smoking cessation, which isn’t a bad thing. A well-trained hypnotist can obviously help with stopping bad habits and even some addictions. But which is smoking? A habit or an addiction?

Our goal is not to reach a definitive answer to this question. Instead, we aim to decide what is the most useful and beneficial way of thinking, so we can help our clients quit smoking for good. That’s because, as any good therapist knows, a simple change in perspective is sometimes all it takes to achieve tremendous results.

Usually, when a person seeks hypnosis to quit smoking, it means he’s already tried all kinds of other ways with no success. This leads them to believe they have an addiction, which they hope hypnosis will magically fix.

So let’s discuss this.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about:

  • Whether smoking can truly be labeled as an addiction.
  • The real reasons people smoke and how to help them quit.
  • How to learn the best hypnosis techniques for smoking cessation and everything else.

Smoking Is an Addiction: True or False?

It amazes us how so many people firmly believe that smoking is an addiction more powerful than most illegal drugs. They have no doubt at all that it’s easier to stop using heroin or cocaine than to quit cigarettes.

Regardless of how many scientific studies suggest that nicotine is more addictive than these substances, the fact remains that no one has ever seen or been to a detox center for cigarette smokers. We’ve also never heard of smokers who go into convulsions after only a few hours of abstinence. It just doesn’t happen.

We do not deny that nicotine is immensely harmful to any person’s health, but to equate it to the hardest drugs on the market is simply dishonest.

It seems more practical, in our opinion, to look at this from a different angle. We prefer to think of smoking simply as a deeply ingrained and harmful habit that needs to be dealt with. From that perspective, we need to understand what motivates this behavior and causes it to continue.

Why Do People Smoke?

Dabney M. Ewin, M.D., professor of psychiatry and master hypnotist, once asked an interesting question:

“Why do people say cigarettes help them relax? Nicotine is the second strongest stimulant known, only after adrenaline.”

It’s true, nicotine doesn’t help you relax at all. If anything, it’s responsible for stimulating one’s nervous system to the point of causing extreme anxiety and panic attacks.

If you feel relaxed after a cigarette, that’s no doubt an anchored response, or a placebo

Whether through cultural influence or personal experience, you’ve been led to believe that cigarettes have a relaxing effect, and that association causes your body to relax. The cigarette itself and its chemical components, however, are actually harming your ability to relax, and very badly so.

How To Help People Quit Smoking With Hypnosis

For these reasons, Freddy Jacquin and Melissa Tiers, two of the best hypnotherapists in the world, agree with us that we should treat smoking as a habit and not an addiction. Unsurprisingly, their results with clients are nothing short of outstanding.

Their success rate is so high because they’re amazing hypnotists (obviously), but also because they understand that framing smoking as a behavior that needs to change is much better than as a powerful addiction. 

They make sure the client also knows this. They make it very clear for them that what they have is not an addiction like they were taught to think, but simply a habit that needs to change.

With this newer and more resourceful set of beliefs in place, what can we do to change this awful habit that is smoking?

Installing New Habits

Many years ago, our head instructor Mike Mandel came in contact with a hypnotist who would tell his clients to take a sip of water whenever they felt the urge to smoke a cigarette. 

This instruction, which was reinforced by a lot of hypnotic trance work, was meant to install a new and healthy habit that would replace smoking. 

In Mike’s case, he would replace the smoking habit with simply taking a deep and relaxing breath. The idea was, because most people smoke to feel more relaxed, to give them an alternative which has the same benefit would make them stop craving cigarettes. It worked marvelously.

6-Step Tapping Method to Stop Cravings

In addition to installing new behaviors, Mike would teach his clients his original 6-Step Tapping method.

Derived from faster EFT and Chinese medicine, this method consists of applying energetic tapping on six points in the body in order to release discomfort and pain, physical or emotional. The key is to name the problem, then apply the method until the negative emotions have disappeared. 

Watch the video below to better understand the 6-Step Tapping method, then use it to lower and eventually eliminate cigarette cravings.

Other than using it in the session itself, this technique would be offered by Mike as a resource to his clients every time they felt like they needed a cigarette. It’s almost a guarantee they’ll never smoke again for the rest of their lives. 

Mike would then wrap up the session with ego-strengthening suggestions and new identity statements. All of which reinforce the idea that the client just used to have a bad habit, and they were never an addict of any sort. They were always stated in the positive and future paced the client to envision a life of non-smoking.

Use this on other kinds of habits, like nail biting and binge eating, and you’ll find it works just as well.

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