Earlier this year, the results of more than 600 individual studies on more than 72,000 people were combined to get an overall success rate from several methods of smoking cessation. On average, each one had a success rate of about 19 per cent. As you might expect, the highest success rate was among the group of people with serious heart problems, with a 36 per cent success rate – although even that was a disappointingly low rate.
Across the board, however, the most successful treatment was hypnotherapy. Patients were given suggestions whilst in a relaxed hypnotic trance and the success rate was 30 per cent.
Next was combination therapy with a success rate of 29 per cent. More than one therapy, such as exercise and breathing methods or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) combined with hypnosis, was used. Old fashioned methods, such as having stale cigarette smoke blown in your face, was surprisingly successful at 25 per cent. Acupuncture followed with 24 per cent. GP advice was the least successful. Some people were successful with just sheer willpower – at six per cent. Self-help books or magazines came in at nine per cent and nicotine gum at 10 per cent.
Hypnotherapy can be very effective when giving up smoking and many people are surprised at the level of success that can be achieved in just one session. According to the British Society of Medical & Dental Hypnosis, the latest hypnosis techniques have been up to 60 per cent successful from just one session.
However, for hypnotherapy to work on anything, you must want it to work and want it enough. For example, if you really love smoking and you are only going along to hypnosis because your partner asked you to, then it is not as likely to work.