As a resolution, it is in the top four most popular in most countries and second in the UK.
But, according to Time magazine’s list of broken resolutions, it ranks second.
The magazine says: “So you want to quit smoking? You should. It yellows your teeth, infiltrates all your clothing, irritates your significant other and charms only those in an ever dwindling crowd of fellow smokers. So what better time than now?”
It goes on to point out that only 15 per cent of those who try manage to stay cigarette free some six months later.
But a proven successful method for smokers who really want to quit is a course with a hypnotherapist. The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) has more than 1,800 registered therapists on its register who are trained to the highest standards in coping with and treating problem behaviours.
So what is a problem behaviour?
The NCH defines problem behaviour as an unwanted habit or addiction; something you feel you have no control over which affects your life and the lives of those you care about.
Habits such as overeating or smoking are the most common, but there are many other behaviours that affect people’s lives, make them unhappy or cause a risk to their health and the health of those around them.
And, contrary to popular belief, these bad habits – like smoking – can be effectively treated with hypnotherapy.
A person who sees a therapist to stop smoking might find, for instance, that they started within a peer group situation.
Often this stems from a desire to blend in, to become part of a group. We need to be accepted by a group as our protection comes from being within groups – that is how we evolved and survived.
But an addiction to cigarettes can be over after just one week of treatment.
And research shows that, by quitting smoking with hypnosis, a smoker is three times more likely to give up than if they used nicotine patches.
It is important to understand your motivation for giving up in order to break the habit. Sometimes, the therapist may use what is known as aversion techniques which will put you off having another cigarette.
This type of therapy does not work so well with overeating, for example, where the work will be about redeveloping your relationship with food and exercise.
Food is a big part of our lives and is essential to our survival (unlike smoking) so sometimes we need to relearn to connect with food in a healthy way, which takes longer.
In the first session, your habit will be assessed and a treatment plan will be drawn up based on a range of different techniques.
Your hypnotherapist will then assess your commitment to the treatment, as the desire to stop the habit or change the behaviour must come from you. If you want to give up smoking for someone else, it is unlikely to work.
So, if the desire to stop is yours and yours alone, this is a New Year’s resolution which you can keep.
Finding a therapist near you is easy. The NCH website features a Hypnotherapy Directory which lists all the active NCH registered hypnotherapists.
For the most precise results, search using your full postcode and your smoking habit could soon be a thing of the past.