Hypnosis & quit smoking research


Quitting smoking is an extremely important decision with huge implications for future health and wellbeing. The research shows that quitting with hypnosis is likely to be much more effective than trying to give up using willpower alone. The published success rates vary, according to the study, but the evidence suggests that people stand a better chance of quitting with hypnosis than with willpower alone.

An extremely large scientific study of 72 000 people from America and Europe found that on average hypnosis was over three times as effective as nicotine replacement methods and 15 times as effective as trying to quit alone (Schmidt, 1992).

More recently Elkins & Rajab (2010) reported in a study of hypnotic treatment of 30 smokers that:

“At the end of treatment, 81% of those patients reported that they had stopped smoking, and 48% reported abstinence at 12 months post-treatment. Most patients (95%) were satisfied with the treatment they received”

As with many applications of hypnosis, more research is needed, but hypnotherapists continue to report consistently good results with hypnosis and smoking cessation.



Barber, J. (2001) Freedom from smoking: Integrating hypnotic methods and rapid smoking to facilitate smoking cessation. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 49(3) pp257-266

Baynot, A., Capafons, A., Cardena, E. (1997) Emotional Self-Regulation Therapy: A New and Efficacious Treatment for Smoking. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 40(2) pp146-156

Elkins, G., Marcus, J. Bates, J., Rajab, M.H., Cook, T. (2006) Intensive Hypnotherapy for Smoking Cessation: A Prospective Study. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 54(3) pp303-315

Lynn, S.J., Green, J.P., Accardi, M., Cleere, C. (2010) Hypnosis and Smoking Cessation: The State of the Science. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 52(3) pp177-181

Nuland, W. & Field, P.B. (1970) Smoking and hypnosis: A systematic clinical approach. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 18(4) pp290-306

Schmidt, Chockalingam (1992) How One in Five Give Up Smoking. University of Iowa. Journal of Applied Psychology, October 1992.



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