In the UK, 15.1% of people aged 18 years and above smoked cigarettes, which equates to around 7.4 million people in the population.
Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable deaths in England, accounting for nearly 80,000 deaths each year. One in two smokers will die from a smoking-related disease.
60.8% of people aged 16 years and above who currently smoked said they wanted to quit and 59.5% of those who have ever smoked said they had quit.
But what stops smokers from quitting? In one-word nicotine.
The nicotine in inhaled tobacco smoke moves from the lungs into the bloodstream and up to a smoker’s brain within seven to 10 seconds. Once there, nicotine triggers a number of chemical reactions that create temporary feelings of pleasure for the smoker, but these sensations are short-lived, subsiding within minutes.
As the nicotine level drops in the blood, smokers feel anxious and agitated—the start of nicotine withdrawal. In order to relieve this discomfort, smokers light up another cigarette and then another, and another. And so, it goes the vicious cycle of nicotine addiction. One cigarette is never enough, a fact that every smoker knows all too well.
In order to quit smoking successfully for the long term, it helps to understand the nature of nicotine addiction and what it takes to break free of it. In fact, my clients are often surprised to learn that they are addicted to a substance. Many of us believed that smoking was just a bad habit; something we could stop easily when we decided it was time.
The Chemicals in Cigarettes
Tobacco smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals; hundreds are harmful, and about 70 can cause cancer. Smoking increases the risk of serious health problems, many diseases, and death. Even ostensibly ‘low’ levels of smoking can be harmful. One long-term study concluded that people who smoke between 1 and 4 cigarettes a day have a significantly higher risk of dying early than non-smokers.
Help to Stop Smoking Now!
Statistics show that only a small percentage (approximately 7%) of people who try to quit smoking without support are still smoke-free a year later.
However, those who have joined my smoking cessation program that includes education about nicotine addiction and a solid support group, do much better.
Comprehensive Smoking Cessation Session Plan
The smoking cessation session is tailored especially for you, based on your experience and reasons for smoking. A range of techniques is used to create a unique treatment solution that you need.
A range of methods on its own could be 100% effective for you—however, we use a whole “toolbox” of the best techniques to ensure success.
- Client encouraged to delay smoking of the first cigarette for as long as you can each day.
- Monitors smoking behaviour and maintain a record of thoughts and feelings about first.
- cigarette smoked each day.
- Attempts to restrict stimuli associated with smoking by only drinking water while smoking, if possible, and doing nothing else.
- Listen daily to a 25-minute Preparing to be a Non-Smoker Self-Hypnosis audio (may clients report that they have reduced the daily number of cigarettes smoked without thinking about it having listened repeatedly to the audio.
Primary Therapy Session – 2 hours
- Session overview and agenda explained.
- Assessment for contra-indications, etc.
- Reasons for wanting to quit are discussed and reinforced verbally.
- Trigger situations are identified for relapse prevention.
- Simple cue-controlled relaxation techniques are taught to prepare the client for further work and provide stress management tool.
- Shown visual imagery exercise.
- Taught thought-stopping with positive coping statements to deal with cigarette cravings, targeting key trigger situations.
- Demonstrate covert rehearsal to prepare to cope with a variety of challenging situations by mentally rehearsing coping skills (e.g., assertiveness) and coping statements /positive affirmations.
- Hypnotised and cognitive imagery is used to reinforce reasons for wanting to quit and positive goal imagery.
- Provide suggestions of ego-strength and self-efficacy with focus on controlling habits, etc.
- Confidence building and motivation.
- Provided with Tip Sheet (Easily Staying a Non-Smoker) and 20-minute motivation audio – celebrating and staying a non-smoker