Hypnotism to Quit Smoking

Once you decide to go for hypnotism to quit smoking, what should you expect?

Many stop smoking hypnosis treatments consist of a single session, lasting between sixty to ninety minutes.

Precise methods vary between practitioners but after you make your appointment and arrive at the clinic the first thing you should expect, is an interview.

The answers you provide, relating to your smoking habits and possibly your perception of yourself as a non-smoker, will generally provide the information used for creating imagery and suggestions that will be used during the time you are actually hypnotized.

"Some methods try to weaken people’s desire to smoke, strengthen their will to quit, or help them concentrate on a quit programme" (Abbot, Stead, White and Barnes, 2005) but the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (2010) says that practitioners use clinical hypnosis in three main ways:

  1. Encouraging mental imagery in a focused state of attention. The mind seems capable of using imagery, even if it is only symbolic, to assist us in bringing about the things we are imagining.
  2. Presenting ideas or suggestions to the patient. In a state of concentrated attention, ideas and suggestions that are compatible with the individual's goals seem to have a more powerful impact on the mind and body, and are therefore more readily translated into desired changes.
  3. For unconscious exploration, to better understand underlying motivations or identify whether past events or experiences are associated with causing a problem. It seems that hypnosis avoids the critical censor of the conscious mind, which often interferes with the discovery and ability to make use of new possibilities.

Typical Hypnosis Induction Stages

The next thing you should expect is for your hypnotist to begin hypnotic induction, the first phase of hypnotism, which helps you to relax and prepares your entry into a state of deepened hypnotic trance.

  • Exercises - such as tensing and then relaxing muscle groups around the body to release any tension.
  • Focused attention - Focusing on your breathing or focusing your mind/gaze on an imaginary spot on the ceiling or a picture on a nearby wall
  • Recital of an induction script - The words and techniques used by your hypnotist to keep you relaxed.

Hypnosis Therapy

A deepening phase often follows the induction script. This helps you go into an even deeper trance. These may be associated with downward movement and your hypnotherapist counting downward from 10 to 1.

This leads to the actual (Post-Hypnotic) therapy in which suggestions are made for you to stop smoking or for you to imagine yourself as a non-smoker.

Finally, you are gradually awoken from trance state until you are fully awake.

You should ensure that you feel fully awake before leaving your session. You should not feel numb and have all of your normal sensations (sight etc.).

Your hypnotist may also teach you self-hypnosis for you to practice hypnotism to quit smoking after the session or provide you with material to take away such as a stop smoking hypnosis CD.


You should now be fairly confident about hypnotism to quit smoking and you might these these other articels helpful:


Abbot NC, Stead LF, White AR, Barnes J. (2005) Hypnotherapy for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD001008. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001008.

American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (2010) Media guide on hypnosis. Available at: http://www.asch.net/MediaPress/MediaGuideonHypnosis/tabid/105/Default.aspx (Accessed 27 May 2010).

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