Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: hypnotism | smoking | quit | zyban | nicotine | gum | patches

Hypnotism to Quit Smoking

Monday, 13 Feb 2012 09:41 AM

Dear Dr. Hibberd:
I have been a smoker for many years and I’ve tried to quit many different ways, including patches, nicotine gum, cold turkey and zyban. But I haven’t tried hypnotism. What do you think of hypnotism as a way to quit?

Answer:
There are confusing reports regarding using hypnosis to quit smoking. Some people seem to get some benefit from hypnotic therapy while others do not. If you really want to quit, choose a date, and make no excuses to quit. Avoid going to the stores where you used to buy cigarettes, drink plenty of fluids, and take your mind off smoking and change your routine to include regular exercise. Smoking is a lifestyle, habit, and behavior choice compounded by an addiction to nicotine. Nicotine addiction is just as addicting as cocaine is to a cocaine addict, and is proven by PET scan imaging showing similar areas of uptake between the nicotine addict and the cocaine addict, not to mention the millions of people with your same dilemma of failed withdrawal.
Often multiple strategies need to be used, and the key to success is to individualize the treatment plan with a doctor familiar with smoking-cessation strategies. Your best plan may be to use the hypnosis to help you modify your behaviour/lifestyle choices and consider fortifying the hypnosis with a nicotine withdrawal plan using medications that are known to ease the addiction/tolerance to nicotine seen in chronic smokers. These are usually anti-depressant type medications ( such as Zyban, or others), so medical supervision is important.


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