The Secret of Stopping Smoking - Without Cravings or Weight Gain
Do you remember hearing about that person who’d smoked their whole life since aged ten, forty a day, then woke up one morning and decided to quit? Crumpled the pack into the bin and never thought about it since. No cravings, no withdrawal symptoms. How did they do that?
A woman gets pregnant and stop smoking. She tells her friends, it was easy! What’s the fuss about? Then, a few years later, friends invite her to a party, offers her a cigarette and she thinks, ‘one won’t hurt’, and pretty soon she is back smoking again. She tells me, ‘I don’t have any willpower’. ‘You don’t?’ I ask. ‘So how did you stop for three years then?’ ‘That was then, I don’t have any now.’
But it wasn’t willpower that helped her quit - she had a reason.
Think of the time when you reached a decision, yet it was so easy it was almost as if there was no decision involved. You probably went on to accomplish your aim effortlessly and when people looked at you and commented, ‘lucky’!, you knew it wasn’t, because luck is when preparation meets opportunity. More likely the majority of your unconscious beliefs supported your decision.
You know of other times in your life, or a person you know who is always struggling, one step forward and two steps back, going round in circles, never getting anywhere. It’s not that they are weak, it’s just that they have conflicting (often termed negative) beliefs or mixed feelings.
These examples help us understand why some people find it so hard to quit, when others find it so easy. This is the first secret,
When you reach a decision, it’s easy to quit
However, reaching a decision can be tricky, can’t it? Because the problem for many people is that they have conflicts or mixed feelings about quitting. Although they know all the reasons to quit, (health, anti-social, money, smell, partner/ children etc) in spite of their best intentions, part of them still wants to smoke. ‘It’s my crutch,’ or, ‘a drink and a cigarette goes together’. You fear losing something if you quit.
In spite of all it’s dangers, smoking provides some people with a valuable benefit or ‘secondary gain’. A women with two young children tells me, “I really want to give up smoking, but when the children are misbehaving, it’s my opportunity to take ten minutes out for myself to de-stress. It’s ‘my time’. If I give up smoking, what will I do? (By the way, our client can learn a technique which relaxes them in seconds, anytime, any place).
Another example. Smokers often say, ‘It helps me relax’. If you think about it, this is puzzling because your heart rate usually goes up by ten beats a minute when you smoke - owing to all the stimulants in the tobacco. Hardly the response one would expect if you were relaxing.
As you grew up, into your twenties, you tended to smoke during social occasions. It was a bonding experience, sharing the pack of cigarettes around with your friends. Those sociable, fun, pleasurable experiences then became associated with smoking. This is rather like the TV advertisement, which mixes images of glamorous, exciting locations and attractive people with the product they are selling. After a while their product looks more interesting!
Recently a client explained: ‘It’s not that smoking relaxes me, it’s just that when the craving comes, unless I respond to it immediately, the tension mounts, then when I have that first puff, I feel a sense of relief.’ If you believe smoking helps you relax (and many smokers do) you are probably forgetting that the craving to smoke was the cause of your feeling stressed in the first place!
While we are on the subject, did you know that as well as taking the pleasure out of life, stress is a major cause of ill health? When you experience too much stress, your immune system is undermined and your defences against disease and ill health are weakened. You’ve heard the expression, ‘I was run down when I caught a cold’. When your immune system is depressed, you are vulnerable to whatever virus is about at the time. Of course there are viruses floating in the air, just as there are carcinogens (cancer producing agents) floating around in our bloodstream constantly. However, when you are healthy, your immune system neutralises them easily.
The second secret of quitting is to reduce stress.
You will have noticed that most people started smoking between the age of ten and twenty. Sociologists refer to this as the socialisation period, when we are extremely sensitive to being part of the group and anxious about being excluded. Remember back when you were at school? We started smoking then because we desperately wanted to fit in, we succumbed to peer group pressure.
Years later, you decide to quit and you may have experienced cravings, anxiety, bad temper and irritability. Yet these are common signs of habit breaking and not necessarily of chemical addiction. The part of you which protects your habits is battling with the part of you which wants to stop.
You’ve heard the expression, ‘Devil on one shoulder and angel on the other?’ Most people use this as a metaphor for mental conflict, when the two parts of the mind are battling against each other. When that happens, part of you is affirming, ‘I must not smoke’, ‘I must not smoke’, while the other part is egging you on saying, ‘Go on, just have one, one wont hurt.’
The problem is, as you know, one will hurt. It will re-trigger the habit and before long you will be smoking as many as you were previously.
It is these mental conflicts, or mixed feelings, which are the cause of the cravings and misery you may have experienced when you tried quitting previously. Finally you succumb to the pressure and light up that one and before you know it, you are right back into the habit again. That’s what happened to Francis Boulton of Royston:
“It is very disabling when you can't quit. I’d tried everything, gum, inhalers, patches and willpower. You start making excuses. ‘Not much point trying because I'll make everyone's life a misery. When I'd given up before I ended up with cravings, got aggressive as though everyone was against me. Starting an argument as a way of giving me an excuse to have the cigarette. I wasn't nice, very antisocial. I had got to the point of giving up giving up.
A close friend of mine had it done and I never would have imagined him giving up. He smoked more than me. It’s definitely given him a boost. He’s down the gym every day now, totally changed his life. Just like him, I had one session. It was fantastic, I had no pangs, nothing. You feel, if I can give this up, then I can do anything.
That was 18 months ago and I’m still excited. People ask me and I just say there’s not much to it, it’s just simple, there’s no hocus-pocus, no magic, you are not asleep, it’s hard to explain why it works because it’s so simple. I tell them, it just works.
I don’t endorse hypnosis to give up smoking. I endorse you. I work in London and there are lots of stop smoking services springing up, taking advantage. I recommend the Hertford Stop Smoking Centre. What does it matter if you take a day off and travel there? Just try it; it will change your life. - Francis Boulton of Royston
When we say smoking is a habit, we are not discounting the very real battle you may have experienced when attempting to quit. Habits are very powerful. Imagine trying to ‘forget’ how to swim or trying to ‘forget’ how to drive a car!
And remember, this particular habit began at a formative period in your life, when you were very sensitive to being excluded from the group. Because you wanted to fit in, you were determined to smoke. Remember that first cigarette? You coughed, choked, felt ill, nevertheless you were determined to smoke. Personally, I would have smoked if it killed me!
I remember, aged 15 in the woods at the back of the playing fields with a roll-up machine and pack of liquorice papers. I wanted to look like Clint Eastwood. That’s when all the Spaghetti Westerns first came out.
A client exclaimed, ‘That’s right! I used to practise in front of the mirror!’ She was checking to see she was holding it like the current film star. Another said, ‘I used to practise inhaling front of the mirror’. Do you remember inhaling? It was the macho thing in my group, you felt like a sissy if you couldn’t inhale.
But what about nicotine? Isn’t it addictive? It’s true that about 80% of the clients who visit us believe they are addicted.
A client I saw three years ago told me that his brother rang him prior to his session. Reminded him, ‘Even though I quit ten years ago, using willpower - and I’m never going to start again - I still get these cravings.’
You’ve probably heard a number of stories like that. Yet your GP will tell you that all the nicotine is out of your system within 48 hours. So what about all those people who still have cravings, weeks, months, years after quitting?
If you remain convinced that nicotine is addictive, you have to wonder why all the research indicates that patches, gum, in fact all the nicotine replacement methods aren’t very effective.
Method % who quit No. of subjects No. of trials
Nicotine patch (self referral) 13 2,020 10
Nicotine patch (Doctor initiated) 4 2,597 4
Nicotine gum (self referral) 11 3,460 13
Nicotine gum (Doctor initiated) 3 7,146 15
Effectiveness of nicotine replacement therapies to achieve smoking cessation. Chockalingham & Schmidt (1992). Law & Tang (1995).
The best results I’ve heard for patches is 16% effective. And yet that’s about half the success rate of a placebo (a fake medicine containing nothing). You have to ask yourself, how can ‘nothing’ be almost twice as effective as the most successful of the nicotine replacement therapies? This is what Stephen Porter of Hertford said:
“I’d stopped smoking previously for periods of two to five years but it’s always been an enormous fight, and one was always conscious that one would like a cigarette even after years of quitting. Patches were a complete and utter waste of time. I’d spoken to others who had stopped so I booked the appointment.
This time it was very easy. I had no desire to smoke after the one session. This was a huge difference from my previous experience. When I walked out after the session there was no desire, no withdrawal symptoms. I couldn’t really understand it, found it hard to believe. I tell people that what HSSC do is very effective. It has made it extremely easy for me to say no. It’s up to me now whether I chose to smoke – rather than being controlled by the tobacco habit. But since I don’t have any cravings, why would I want to?
After the session I quickly lost the smokers cough and, since I was on 40 a day, financially it’s made a huge difference. I don’t have to go to the cash machine so often. I’d certainly recommend this to other smokers, the bottom line is, it works.” - Stephen Porter, Hertford
Our discussion of the power of habits reminds me of a situation when I was calling on a friend socially. I didn’t have time to stop, so was chatting at the door. Perhaps a few minutes passed when I heard his telephone rang inside the house. My friend seemed oblivious to this, but I found my concentration wavering. The telephone rang again, there didn’t seem to be any movement inside the house, I found myself getting more and more agitated.
Then it rang a third time, and (although I didn’t actually do this), I could imagine elbowing past my friend and diving for the telephone, snatching it up with a gasp of relief! I would feel so relaxed, but my heart would have been pounding.
If this ‘rings a bell’ for you, it’s because you have also been trained to pick up the telephone before it rang three times. Maybe we need patches to stop picking up ringing phones!
This leads us to the third secret: You don’t need willpower to quit!
I tell clients that they don’t need willpower to quit, because willpower implies fighting against something. Many of our clients tell us that quitting was easy:
“I really didn’t expect it to work, but I proved myself wrong. Standing there with a drink, with friends smoking away it was no problem at all. I actually kept a pack of cigarettes in the car for 10 months, just in case, but I never felt tempted. I was on forty a day but I’ve never had cravings since that one session in November 2002.” – Simon Bennet, Bishops Stortford
I remember teasing a client, saying, ‘In any battle between me and you, you will win!’ Of course they already knew that, but I wanted them to realise I wasn’t going to fight them. Then I continued, ‘But you have to realise, in any battle between your conscious (one tenth above the surface) and unconscious mind, your unconscious will win, because it’s the nine tenths of the iceberg below the surface’.
So if you want to quit easily, without cravings or willpower, you need to realise that whenever there is a conflict between the conscious and the unconscious mind, the unconscious will win, every time, because the unconscious is around 90% of the total of the mind.
Using our specialist methods, our clients typically report that they quit smoking easily with no cravings. This is because we are able to resolve any conflicts at an unconscious level, and it is these conflicts or ‘mixed feelings’, which are the cause of the cravings experience by many quitters. However, when both parts of your mind are working together, becoming a non-smoker is effortless. That’s what Sally Sperring of Puckeridge discovered:
“I’d seen the Advert in the local paper with people saying how easy it was. I wanted to believe the Ad, but it was almost as though I booked the appointment to prove it wrong. During the hypnosis session I just didn’t feel hypnotised. I honestly thought it wasn’t going to work for me. I really expected that I would be feeling ‘way out’, ‘anaesthetised’ or something, but it wasn’t like that, I was aware of everything. Right after the session, it was just like the advert said. I just didn’t crave a cigarette. It’s wonderful and can’t believe how easy it’s been to be free from the weed at long last after 17 years. People who know me can’t believe how I’ve packed up smoking. I have told my story many times and people are fascinated. I’m over the moon AND I haven’t put on any weight.”
Many of our clients are concerned about gaining weight. You may have experienced it yourself. When you gave up previously, you found yourself replacing the cigarettes with food. Some experience a kind of emptiness, or a feeling of, ‘something’s missing.’
If you’ve struggled with quitting, you are familiar with the battle between your willpower and the craving to smoke. You feel ‘torn’, ‘mixed up’, and if you are like most people, you feel those emotions in the pit of the stomach.
Years ago we learnt we could stuff down those uncomfortable feelings by filling our stomachs with food. Ah, that feeling of relief! But then a few hours later it comes back again, so you eat some more… and so it goes on. At some point you have gained so much weight that you think, This is ridiculous! I can’t go on like this… So you start smoking again.
But it’s not that smoking keeps you slim, ask any obese person who smokes! But for you, the conflict between your desire to quit and the habit of smoking is now resolved. Without that tense, churning feeling in your stomach, you can finally relax. You are no longer stuffing down your feelings with food. So now the weight can come off.
Our client often tell us they experience something quite different…
“That night, straight after the session, I went out. Lots of people were smoking but it didn’t affect me anymore. The cravings were gone, it was very strange, Really very peculiar. Every time I saw someone else it made me even more determined to remain a non-smoker.
I’m fitter now than I’ve ever been. I’ve joined a gym. I’ve lost over a stone and a half. It’s all been very positive. Three of my friends have also been now.- Danny Spalding, Hertford
In spite of previous experiences of weight gain, Kevin Lyth commented: “As a 20-30 a day smoker I had already tried will power and patches but they hadn't worked. I'd heard about the success of HSSC so I booked.
The session was very interesting. I wasn't expecting an in-depth talk prior to the treatment, but it answered all my questions and really opened my eyes to the truth about smoking.
It's eleven months now. I can smell and taste my food, which I certainly couldn't before. In spite of that, I've never felt any cravings to overeat. I haven't gained weight; in fact I've lost it.”
– Kevin Lyth, Hertford
Mick Andrews, a taxi driver from Harlow: “I keep leaflets in the back of my cab and when people ask, ‘Did you put on weight?’ I tell them, no and I don’t fiddle with my hands either, because I feel like I’ve never smoked.”
The fourth secret: Weight gain is often caused by mixed feelings
“When I’d tried previously, many times it hadn’t worked. My wife and people at work had said, for goodness sake, have a cigarette you look so miserable! This time it was different, just one session, and now, no struggle and no urge to eat or gain weight.
I don’t pressure my wife to stop, because I know it has to be her decision. But I’d say to you, if you want to quit call now. If you don’t, save your money. You will need it to buy your fags for the next six or seven weeks.”
- William Souch, Bishops Stortford
So now you’ve read four of the secrets, how do you feel about quitting now?
Discover Where You Are With This 'Quit Quiz'
Where are you in your decision to quit?
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100%
Imagine never smoking again… Which of the following apply?
I can’t imagine relaxing without a cigarette
I’ll never get over my smoking addiction
A drink and a cigarette go together
I know I’ll be irritable without my cigarettes
There’s something missing
I’m afraid I’ll fail at quitting
I feel jittery.
· If you checked 80% or over, congratulations! You are very clear about your decision to quit
· If you checked any of the questions, then you have mixed feelings about quitting. The more you ticked, the more conflicts you have! These mixed feelings have sabotaged you before. Now for the good news!
The fifth & greatest secret is that these conflicts are easy to resolve.
Prove it for yourself without risk! For the next ten days you can either
1. Book a free consultation. Experience how easy it is.
2. Or, purchase the Quit Kit from our website – money back guarantee. http://www.stopsmokingcentre.co.uk/products.htm
3. Or, if you want to book, just…
Call 0800 093 9714 (during UK office hours)
“I’ve had no cravings since the session. It feels as though I’ve never smoked. The main benefit has definitely been my health. I’ve also realised how freeing it is to be a non-smoker. It was dictating what I did, where I went. I never realised how much it was controlling me. Now I don’t worry about that, I can go anywhere I like. The treatment is life changing – simple as that.” - Sue Smith, Waltham Cross.
Stop Smoking in one hour at
The Hertford Stop Smoking Centre
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