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Use of Hypnosis in Helping People Quit Smoking

Are you considering to quit smoking? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking accounts for 480,000 thousand deaths in America annually. To add, around 16 million Americans have diseases that are directly caused by smoking. Thus, to quit smoking is one of the best decisions you could make for yourself. However, it is understandable that it takes a lot of effort and support in order to fully let go of cigarette smoking.
man doing hypnosis session

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While there are currently many treatments to help people quit smoking, hypnosis has become the latest buzzword not only in mental health and wellbeing and self-care, the popularity of the use of hypnosis to quit smoking is gradually increasing.

When you hear the word, you would immediately imagine swinging lockets, swirly backgrounds, and people doing other people’s bidding without question.

But what is it really, and how does it work to help people quit smoking? This article will explain what hypnosis is, its types, its benefits, risks, and effectiveness in assisting people in quitting smoking.

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a legitimate therapeutic tool used in helping people cope with and treat conditions. It is popularly utilized in counseling, psychotherapy, and healthcare. Unlike what is depicted in the media, you are conscious and alert during a hypnotherapy session.

People may seem to zone out and be in a sleep-like altered state. However, they are actually in a trance-like mental state during hypnotherapy sessions. This is characterized with highly focused attention, hyper-awareness, and suggestibility.

While the term hypnosis is often used interchangeably with hypnotherapy, they do not mean the same thing. While therapy is a tool, hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis for its therapeutic effects and benefits.

man hypnosis to quit smoking

Types of Hypnosis

There are various ways that hypnosis is used as a tool. Each type varies in practice and use.

Hypnotherapy or Clinical Hypnosis

Clinical hypnosis, also known as hypnotherapy and guided hypnosis, is a kind of psychotherapy administered by licensed clinical practitioners and psychologists. Aside from guiding people to quit smoking, a hypnotherapist may use it to treat conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression.

Here, people undergo a guided process where clinicians use suggestions and repetitions to induce a state of focused attention. Once in this state, the hypnotist or therapist uses guided suggestions to achieve the goals you have with them

Self Hypnosis

This type of hypnosis is for people who want to improve themselves using their own means. It relaxes the mind and allows the user to reach a hypnotic state without the aid of a hypnotherapist or a hypnotist.

With this type, a person uses suggestions and commands directed to themselves. A person can also make use of tools to induce a hypnotic state.  Mobile apps for hypnosis utilize this kind of hypnosis.

Apps may deliver hypnosis via an audio track or through visual means where a person will read a hypnotic script text. Some offer both. Some apps are general, while some are goal specific, such as apps created to help cease smoking or lose weight.

Hypnotherapy for Smoking Cessation

A good program helps motivate a person quitting smoking to go through the process of removing old mindsets and creating new ones to remove cigarette smoking from one’s system slowly. It anticipates blocks and relapses until a person can establish the habit of becoming smoke-free.

Addiction has a bodily (physiological) and mental (psychological) component

  • Physiological: Smoking cessation might lead to cravings and withdrawal symptoms like headaches and insomnia.
  • Psychological: These are underlying beliefs and motivations that support a person’s addiction to nicotine. Persons can also experience emotional and mental symptoms from nicotine withdrawal like irritability, mental fog, anxiety, and depression.

Hypnosis helps a person by addressing the underlying psychological aspects that cause cigarette addiction and their motivations for smoking.

Hypnosis targets triggers and motivations associated with smoking that a person may have developed over time. This may include the urge to light a stick after eating or when stressed.

Hypnosis helps a person break old mindsets and habits such as negative behaviors and thought patterns to have a healthier, new perspective towards smoking.

woman smoking facing a city

Hypnosis to Quit Smoking: How it Works

Hypnosis for smoking cessation is most effective if the hypnosis sessions are customized according to their needs and lifestyle. It also works best for people who really want to quit smoking. It works in two ways:

  • It helps you find a more appropriate replacement when there is a desire to smoke and helps your subconscious to build a habit of it.
  • It helps your brain associate smoking with negative or undesirable sensations and feelings like the bad taste and foul smell it leaves on your mouth. These things make cigarette smoking unappealing to a non smoker.

Benefits and Risks of Using Hypnosis to Quit Smoking

Cigarette bud on a table

There is no known risk associated with using hypnosis as long as these are done with a certified hypnotist or hypnotherapist. On the other hand, there are several benefits:

  • It is safe. It is a safe approach that can be used not only in quitting smoking but also in various conditions.
  • It can be combined with other methods. To ensure efficacy and success, people can use hypnosis as an adjunct to different approaches like nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and medications.
  • It is a cheaper alternative to therapy sessions. Hypnosis is generally cheaper than counseling and other approaches like CBT. To add, hypnosis is readily available through websites and apps.

Effectiveness of Hypnosis in Helping People Quit Smoking

Here are some research that support the effectiveness of hypnosis in smoking cessation:

  • Whether it is done face-to-face with a clinician or some sense of accountability offered by apps, support helps people quitting smoking. A study in 2019 found that providing behavioral support as an adjunct to receiving medications increase quit rates.
  • Evidence from a 2014 study done by Faysal et. al reported that using hypnosis works well as a treatment for smoking cessation when used in addition to NRT, like nicotine gum, patches, and lozenges. To add, they reported that hypnotherapy is more effective than NRT. In the study, patients who were hospitalized for a smoking-related illness showed improvements in abstaining from smoking cigarettes.
  • Data from a randomized trial done in 2008 found that the use of hypnosis as a treatment for people quitting smoking led to significantly higher quit rates than standard behavioral counseling.
  • A study done about ancillary self hypnosis found that a single 45-minute session of hypnosis coupled with psychotherapy yielded a higher number of results than other long-term smoking cessation treatments.
  • A research study by Elkins et al. showed that intensive hypnotherapy was effective for smoking cessation. The measurements were at 40%  at the end of the treatment and 60% twelve weeks after the treatment.

Self Hypnosis Techniques that You Can Do at Home


This is one of the methods that you can use to reach a state of relaxation and induce a trance by yourself. Create a vivid imagination of yourself as a non-smoker. Think of all its benefits and be as detailed as possible. 

Over time, it will be easy to retrieve these visualizations and the feelings attached to them. These will help you associate rewarding behaviors with quitting, making it easier for you to stop smoking.


This is one of the most basic methods to help you fall into a trance and make you more open to suggestions. There are a few ways to do this.

You can simply look for a comfortable position where you can lay down. You can count in your head, do controlled breathing, and practice alternating between tensing and relaxing your muscles.

Hypnotic Recordings

Hypnotic apps make use of hypnotic recordings to help break poor mindsets that hinder you from quitting smoking. These reset your behavior patterns and get rid of your cravings.


How much does it cost to get hypnotized to quit smoking?

The rate for hypnosis sessions for cessation of smoking ranges from $75-125. Using hypnosis apps such as Quit will help you cut costs!

Does hypnosis really work for quitting smoking?

According to a metaanalysis conducted by the University of Iowa on more than 600 studies, hypnosis is the most effective treatment to help people  stop smoking.

How many hypnosis sessions does it take to stop smoking?

It varies widely, but many people see instant improvements after just a session. However, in order to reprogram behaviors and unlearn wrong mindsets, it is important to follow a program.

Hypnosis May Be A Good Option

If you’re at your wit’s end and did everything at your disposal to quit smoking, there’s no harm in trying hypnosis.

If you’re uncomfortable asking for clinical help, using an app designed specifically to use hypnosis to aid people to quit smoking might just be the right approach for you.

 Not only is it efficient, it’s chemical free and way cheaper than consulting with professionals. With the app, hypnosis can be delivered to you at the comforts of your home.

Quit: Hypnosis to Stop Smoking uses hypnosis through a soothing yet powerful voice from a certified hypnotherapist. If you want to start somewhere on your journey to quitting smoking, download our free app and let us help you let go of your habit.

Download: Quit for iOS |Android

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Quit: Hypnosis to Stop Smoking

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