Power of suggestion helps quitters

Christene and Wayne Bowers, seen with grandson Kael, 6, both quit smoking while under hypnosis.
Christene and Wayne Bowers, seen with grandson Kael, 6, both quit smoking while under hypnosis. Christopher Chan

"MOST smokers say they would like to quit, and have already tried once."

This is what the government's "Quit Now" website says.

So how do you quit?

There are plenty of options - ranging from cold turkey to medications to acupuncture - but one method in particular is raising eyebrows - hypnosis.

But is it really that simple?

As the Quit Now website says: "The aim of hypnotherapy for supporting quitting may be to put suggestions in people's non-conscious mind to weaken the desire to smoke or strengthen someone's will to stop".

"The usefulness of hypnosis for quitting smoking has not been thoroughly studied, with research producing conflicting results," the site stated.

"It has not been shown that hypnotherapy increases the likelihood of quitting in the long term, although counselling or other treatments that may be offered with it can be helpful to some smokers."

Christine Bowers reckons she used to smoke 60-70 cigarettes a day.

"I'd just be sitting at home, bored, and end up having coffee with friends and just smoking, smoking, smoking," she said.

Her husband Wayne said he only smoked 25 a day - but had been doing so since he was 14 years old.

But instead of turning to the more typical quitting options, the Bowers decided they'd try something different - hypnosis.

"I haven't had a cigarette since," Mr Bowers said.

"No cravings, nothing."

"It's not like you imagine it," Mrs Bowers added. "You're still fully aware of everything that's going on."

"But when you finish, it's like you've never had a cigarette before in your life."

For more information on how to quit visit the government website quitnow.gov.au

Topics:  hypnosis, quit, smoking



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