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Stephen Rigby

Address: 101 Farnham Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7PF  Email:

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Stephen Rigby Hypnotherapy

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Why Do People Smoke?

Why do people smoke?  Most people will agree that it is not a particularly pleasant pursuit - it makes you smell, it makes you ill (smoking kills 67% of smokers) and smokers lose more teeth than non-smokers. Smokers are increasingly becoming social pariahs and they have to pay a fortune to do it.

Clues to Why People Smoke  

To find a clue as to why people smoke one just has to look at the level of maturity of a person when they start to smoke.  Most smokers started smoking when they were a child or young person still learning how to address their emotions. Many smokers started when they were going through puberty at a time when they were being exposed to powerful new emotions that needed to be understood and learned how to be utilised and controlled.

Why People Start to Smoke

Typical reasons for starting to smoke include: peer pressure, wanting to join in, wanting to appear adult and wanting to rebel. These emotions can be approached in a childish or adult way. Often alcohol is introduced at the same time and becomes part of the emotional process. This is why the “hand in hand” mentality develops and why some groups of drinkers seem to act more like children than adults. There is an old joke that smoking stunts your growth - in emotional terms, for some people, it does just that. An emotional attachment is forged to cigarettes.  An individual learns to address a particular emotion using smoking and gets trapped; never learning any other way. A person may enter a pub and fancy a cigarette. They believe that it is because they enjoy smoking but actually they desire a feeling of being “one of the crowd” and smoking is the only way they feel they can achieve that sensation.

Craving cigarettes is far more of a psychological need than a physical need.  A person becomes trapped as a smoker because of a connection between their emotions and the act of smoking; this forms an emotional dependence.

How does Hypnotherapy Stop Cravings?  

Normally, the emotional connection to smoking can be easily addressed and a decision to be a non-smoker combined with hypnosis can eliminate the connection. The ease at which hypnosis can break these emotional connection may explain why so many people who come for hypnotherapy to stop smoking say that they do not experience any cravings afterwards.  After one session of hypnosis to stop smoking the person who connects smoking and feeling “one of the crowd” can enter the pub and feel a form of elation that instantly enables them to integrate themselves into the social environment within the pub. The confident, relaxed person that had been repressed by a belief that they needed to smoke can emerge.

Can You Stop Smoking Just in One Session?

Most people come for just one session of hypnotherapy to stop smoking but for a few people, the emotional connection is extremely powerful – often associated with some trauma. The person may find the first session extremely effective and continue happily and comfortably as a non-smoker for weeks then they will suddenly find themselves smoking and be unable to understand why. To illustrate the sort of mechanism that can operate, I will refer to an actual case. Let us call the lady involved Brenda.

The Influence of a Powerful Emotional Connection to Smoking

Brenda worked in an office. For six weeks following her stop smoking session, life as a non-smoker was a dream. It seemed so easy. She described it as like having never smoked.  Then all of a sudden she was smoking again and she found it extremely distressing. There was neither sense nor reason to what she was doing. Brenda returned for one of her free backup sessions. During her session, we explored what was happening using hypnosis. Brenda discovered what was happening and what she had to do to resolve it. At work, Brenda had become the pawn in a power struggle between two managers. Each manager was trying to be her manager and using her against the other – she felt bullied. Brenda had stated smoking when she was 15 – when she was being bullied. The act of smoking made her part of the bullies gang and as a result the bullying stopped. Subconsciously, she believed that if she smoked, the situation with the two managers would end (a belief not helped by the fact that both managers smoked). With an understanding of the problem her adult mind took control and Brenda returned to work the next day where she confronted the problem directly and made the two managers resolve the issue between themselves. Brenda was now free. she had addressed the issue as an adult and because she had severed her emotional attachment to smoking; she continued as a non-smoker.

Emotional attachments come in all forms and hypnosis can be a powerful tool to resolve them.

Stopping smoking can be easy. Book a hypnotherapy appointment to stop smoking with Stephen Rigby at his Guildford or Woking, Surrey practice now! For priority treatment to stop smoking ring Stephen Rigby on 01483 566115 or complete the stop smoking booking form.

Why Do People Smoke?

Is Nicotine the Reason People Smoke?

Nicotine is referred to as being “highly addictive”.  In an episode of the BBC2 series “Trust Me I Am A Doctor”, Michael Mosley tried for a month with the help of an addictions expert to develop an addiction to nicotine by nicotine inhalation - he failed!

If it is not nicotine that makes people smoke what does?