People tend to smoke because of the belief systems (or narratives) that they have built up around the habit over time; that it helps calm them down, it gives them something to do with their hands or it helps them digest a meal. Often these belief systems are so deep rooted that they go unchallenged by our conscious brains and allow us to carry on smoking. This is why hypnotherapy can help as it works with our thinking patterns at a much deeper level.
One of the stories I hear many a time in my clinic is that ‘my Uncle Bob smoked 50 a day since he was 13 and lived until he was 90.’ Smokers will clutch onto stories like so as to convince themselves that the harmful effects of cigarettes are false and overblown.
This would also suggest, however, that the main incentive to giving up smoking is about mortality. Though the links with COPD and Lung Cancer are undeniable, the consequences of smoking stretch out much further than life versus death.
If mortality isn’t a big enough incentive – try looking at some of these:
For the body
Cigarettes actually contain 30 different chemicals that actively cause cancer. The chemicals can also give rise to poor circulation and cold hands and feet.
Every hour in the UK, 14 people die from smoking related causes. This is six times higher than the total deaths from car accidents, murder, manslaughter, poisoning and HIV combined. The BMA reports that 16% of all deaths are related to smoking
For the Lungs
As well as the links to lung cancer, smoking can cause and exacerbate asthma.
For the Heart
Smoking is one of the primary causes of the hardening of the arteries – this is known as COPD which is evident in 20% of smokers. About 26,000 people die of COPD each year and death is usually drawn out and painful.
Smoking can cause infertility. It is thought that infertility can also be passed down to the children of smokers as well. In men, smoking over a long time can lead to impotence and erectile dysfunction. The BMA estimates that 120,000 are impotent through smoking. Smoking can lower sperm count and sperm mobility.
For the ego
As blood vessels are constricted through smoking, smokers become very pale and ‘grey’ looking. The chemicals in cigarettes also destroy blood vitamins (particularly C and A, both vital for healthy skin). Smoking can also give eyes a more bloodshot look as well as causing premature wrinkling, especially around the lips and eyes. Circulation issues can also affect gums with many smokers losing their teeth in middle to old age.
For the Mind
Smoking is linked to many psychiatric diagnosis such as anxiety and depression, agoraphobia, panic disorders and dementia.
Hypnotherapy can be a positive and powerful way of giving up smoking. The treatment is quick at only one two hour session.