Quitting, not substitutes, is the best way to beat tobacco

cigarettesTobacco has been in the news again with a major cigarette manufacturer saying they are launching a new, less harmful cigarette in the UK and three tobacco companies losing their appeal against the government’s plain packaging rules for cigarettes packs.

The court action, brought by British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International, comes after a challenge against the new rules was dismissed at the High Court in May.

The UK is the first country in Europe to require cigarettes to be sold in plain, standardised packets and the government has said it means a generation will ‘grow up smoke-free’.

In the other matter, Philip Morris says the new Iqos product, which heats tobacco rather than burning it, could mean halting sales of its conventional tobacco products.

The tobacco giant claims this means smokers get the same nicotine hit, but 90% less of the nasty toxins that come with cigarette smoke.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), told the BBC: “We still need to be very cautious about what the industry’s up to. Philip Morris is a tobacco company. They are still making most of their profits from selling cigarettes.

“On current trends, smoking will kill one billion people in the 21st century, most in poor countries. If Philip Morris really wants to see the end of smoking they have to stop promoting smoking to new young smokers around the world.”

And, referring to the court action, she added: “This is a victory for public health and another crushing defeat for the tobacco industry. This ruling should also encourage other countries to press ahead with standardised packaging, now that the industry’s arguments have yet again been shown to be without foundation.”

But, despite these and other actions, smoking is still popular and statistics from an Opinion and Lifestyles Survey show that 19% of adults in Great Britain currently smoke. The survey also showed that younger adults were more likely to smoke. Nearly a quarter of 16-34 year olds were smokers compared to 11% of those aged 60 and over.

The hardest thing about smoking, it is said, is the giving up. Methods used include e-cigarettes, nicotine patches, nicotine gum, sprays, inhalers or going ‘cold turkey’ – but these all have limited success.

Many say it is a case of mind over matter. The National Council for Hypnotherapy says clinical hypnotherapy has a proven track record in helping people, who want to quit smoking, beat the habit.

Says the NCH: “It is important to understand that hypnotherapy is not a magic pill. It requires that the client be committed to change and prepared to make the effort to make that change a reality.”

With this in mind, hypnotherapy helps people to make changes in their behaviour. It cannot force anyone to make any changes against their will but hypnotherapy commonly helps with conditions including bad habits, addictions and problem behaviours.

People who see a hypnotherapist to stop smoking often find that they started the habit within a peer group situation.

“Often this stems from our desire to blend in, to become part of a group, and of course in evolutionary terms we need to be accepted by a group as our protection comes from being within groups – that is how we evolved and survived,” says the NCH.

But the good news is that we are in control and can change how we react to certain situations. We can protect ourselves in ways that are healthy and which allow us succeed and grow stronger in body and mind. We just need to know how to change and believe we can.

The reason why hypnotherapy works so rapidly with bad habits and behaviours is because it works directly with the subconscious, bypassing the critical mind and getting to the root of the issue so that changes can be made quickly and efficiently.