Smokers becoming an endangered species

It used to be that in the good old (bad old) days, everybody smoked. Doctors and dentists recommended certain brands, the rich and the famous smoked, it was glamorous to smoke while skiing in the Swiss Alps or while diving the reefs of the oceans, and every movie had a brooding, smoking hero. Those days are part of our ancient history and these days it seems that smokers are becoming an endangered species!

The 2011 Nicorette South African Smoking Survey found that an astonishing 76% of smokers tried to get rid of their habit over the past year. Ever-stricter government legislation and the public’sgeneraltrend of negativity towards smokers resulted in 72% of participants in the study having a more negative outlook towards smoking. It seems that from year to year, smoking is losing its “cool” factor as attitudes towards tobacco become less tolerant among smokers and non-smokers alike.

It comes as no surprise then that more and more people are looking for ways to get rid of the filthy habit. Feeling ostracised from society, being the only smoker left in the workplace or being forced to smoke outside when at home, smokers are looking for ways to kick the habit.

There are many different solutions to the problem, some more effective than others. Nicotine replacement therapy works for some, while others choose medication available on prescription. Some just go cold turkey while others turn to electronic cigarettes. These methods sometimes work, but mostly people find themselves going back to smoking after a while.

The reason for this is that they have not changed the habit on a subconscious level. Smoking, like all other habits, is formed through repetition. Remember learning to brush your teeth? Your mother had a hard time to get you to do it properly and consistently, but through nagging, repetition and other sometimes subversive methods she imprinted this (good) habit on your subconscious mind and now you do it automatically.

Remember learning how to drive a car? It took patience, nerves of steel, and complicated coordination you did not know you had, until eventually it became second nature to you. Now you sometimes arrive at your destination not even remembering how you got there, as it has become a subconscious action.

The same is true of smoking. Nobody is born a smoker, it is a learned habit. According to the Nicorette study, 79% of smokers started before the age of 20. It was a horrible thing to do at first, but with time and repetition smokers taught themselves how to smoke, how to inhale, how to hold the cigarette. It then became a subconscious habit that needs no thought. It has become an automatic habit.

Most people struggle to quit their smoking habit, because what they do not realise is that you have to replace the bad habit with habits that are good and healthy for you. Simply deleting the habit will not work, as happens when you consciously stop smoking using the support systems like nicotine gum, patches or medication. Unless the smoking habit is replaced with a good and healthy habit, it is almost inevitable that the smoking habit will return to fill the void left when you stopped smoking.

One method that is increasingly popular is using hypnosis to quit smoking. There is a growing body of evidence that hypnosis has the highest success rate of all the methods that could be used.

The British National Council for Hypnotherapy recently released information based on the results of more than 600 studies, and the conclusion is that hypnosis is three times more effective to help people to stop smoking than nicotine replacement therapy.

More and more people are drawn to the fact that hypnosis is a natural method without any side effects. They are realising that unless the habit is changed at a subconscious level, their chances of success are slim.

Unfortunately there is no one proven method used by all Hypnotherapists, as each Hypnotherapist has his or her own approach. When seeking help from an hypnosis professional, several questions must be asked before embarking on a therapy plan. Does the Hypnotherapist see smokers on a regular basis? Is the therapy geared towards replacing the bad habit with good and healthy ones? Does the Hypnotherapist take his or her time, or is it just a one-hour session that seems to be all about making money? Are there backup plans and safety nets in place to help a person who might be having some difficulties?

No matter what approach is used, one thing is certain: Smokers are becoming the minority, and soon there might be none left! Imagine if we all had the choice to breathe freely and easily, to live healthy smoke-free lives, without any fears for life-threatening diseases. imagine a world in which smokers are something you see in museums!

For more information on how to stop smoking, visit or call Hendrik Baird on cell 083-379-2489.

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