Being part French, I often heard the story of Jeanne Calment, the world’s oldest person. She died aged 122 in France, having been a smoker for most of her life.
When she was 70 years old, she ‘sold’ her house to a solicitor, the understanding being that she could live in there until she died, free of charge, but that the solicitor would take over the house upon her death.
It was a gamble both ways. The solicitor, pretty sure that Madame Calment would die fairly shortly, particularly as she was a smoker, felt he was in for a bargain. But Madame Calment had no intention of passing on. In fact, she lived for a further 52 years, well outliving the solicitor and his successors.
So yes, she won lotto!. However, if you are a smoker, or you know of a smoker, here are some facts. With every cigarette smoked, approximately three thousand different chemicals are inhaled.
Nine hundred of those are toxic. Some will stain teeth and fingers, some will give the smoker a whole variety of cancers. I don’t need to go on any further, the graphic illustrations on a packet of cigarettes do this.
But, why does this demonstrable fear of death, disease and progressive ill health not dissuade people? Smokers fear that they are so addicted to nicotine that if they give up, they will become grumpy, put on weight and find it excruciatingly difficult. This is true whether they smoke five, or sixty a day.
So nicotine replacements have now been available for nearly thirty years. And long term, study after study shows they are effective for less than 5% who try it. Not great, especially when the science suggests 6% of people quit smoking without any intervention!
Why is this? Sticking a plaster on your arm does not deal with the reason why you smoked, and it doesn’t deal with the thought either.
But it is possible to give up painlessly without withdrawal symptoms, without putting on weight. According to the University of Washington School of Medicine in 2001 (amongst many other scientific articles), they found a 90.6% long term success rate for quitting smoking using hypnosis.
Using willpower, or nicotine replacement, does not address the core issue. When trying to quit, smokers normally suffer and find it difficult. However, through hypnotherapy, you will walk out the door as a non-smoker and do it easily and effortlessly: smoking is just a question of habit, not of addiction and habits can be broken.
But of course, the smoker must really want to give up. Hypnotherapy is not a magic wand. The hypnotherapist is not a magician, but a facilitator, whose job it is to make the use of your own will-power that much easier.
So when you next sit out on your deck enjoying a lovely glass of Marlborough wine with friends and family, and someone offers you a cigarette, imagine your pride and sense of achievement when you say with a smile “No thanks, I am a non-smoker”!
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