Hypnosis to Stop Smoking

Does hypnosis to stop smoking, eat less and lose weight seems like a promise that is too good to be true? We’ve taken a look at some available evidence to find out whether or not hypnotherapy for smoking cessation really works.

Does Hypnosis Stop Smoking?

In a word: probably. "Hypnosis is probably at least as effective as other common methods of helping people to stop smoking" (The British Psychological Society, 2001).

More recently, in 2007, ScienceDaily reported on hypnotherapy for smoking cessation showing strong results:

A new study* shows that smoking patients who participated in one hypnotherapy session were more likely to be nonsmokers at 6 months compared with patients using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) alone or patients who quit "cold turkey" (American College of Chest Physicians, 2007).

However, scientific studies have tended not to provide us with conclusive evidence one way or the other. In 2005, a Cochrane Collaboration review concluded that: "The review of [randomized] trials [of hypnotherapy] did not find enough good evidence to show whether or not hypnotherapy can help people trying to quit smoking" (Abbot, Stead, White and Barnes, 2005).

Scientific research and debate will no doubt continue but it is safe to say that many smokers have succeeded at quitting using hypnotherapy and testify to its efficacy.

So, if you decide you want to give hypnotism a go, what exactly is it all about, what should you expect, how do you find a reputable hypnotist and is self hypnosis worth a try?

These questions are answered in the articles that follow:


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 College of Chest Physicians (2007) Hypnotherapy for smoking cessation sees strong results. ScienceDaily. Available at: http://www.sciencedaily.com­/releases/2007/10/071022124741.htm (Accessed 27 May 2010).

The British Psychological Society (2001) The nature of hypnosis. Available at: http://www.bps.org.uk/downloadfile.cfm?file_uuid=A7AF6617-1143-DFD0-7E14-10B42D589040&ext;=pdf. (Accessed 27 May 2010).

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