Alternatives for Giving Up Cigarettes
Have you tried unconventional approaches to stop smoking?
A Powerful Addiction continued...
agrees. "When you see what happens to people who are in the stages of
withdrawal, you know that this is a very serious affliction," he says.
Committed smokers, he says, are "willing to risk death to keep
alternative approaches to smoking cessation have a growing number of converts
-- and they've turned some cigarette cravers into permanent ex-smokers. A
primary benefit of most of these unconventional methods is their ability to
empower people to change. "Individuals learn that they have control over
their body that they didn't think they had before. It's a learning experience
that prepares them to make changes like quitting smoking," says
Hypnosis: Heightened Awareness
weight management, smoking cessation is the most popular medical use of
hypnosis. Using this technique, individuals enter a state of focused attention
and concentration and become more susceptible to suggestions that weaken their
craving for cigarettes and strengthen their will to stop.
when researchers at Ohio State University reviewed nearly five dozen studies of
the use of hypnosis for smoking cessation, they concluded that while smokers
participating in hypnosis programs were more successful in abstaining from
cigarettes than smokers who did not use any stop-smoking intervention, this
approach appeared to have no advantages over other popular stop-smoking
you look specifically at the well-controlled clinical trials of hypnosis, they
have not yet confirmed the benefits of this method," says Timothy Carmody,
PhD, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California San
Francisco and director of health psychology at San Francisco Veterans Affairs
Carmody and his co-researchers are conducting a carefully designed study to
help definitively answer the question of whether hypnosis really works for
smoking cessation.Â All participantsÂ are receiving nicotine patches
(for eight weeks) and standard behavioral counseling, and half of them also
have gone through self-hypnosis training sessions.
individuals are taught to relax and enter an attentive, receptive state.
"Then," says Carmody, "they're given suggestions for focusing on
and strengthening their reasons for quitting smoking, and picturing themselves
as nonsmokers effectively overcoming and reducing the experience of urges or
cravings to smoke." The UCSF participants are being asked to practice the
self-hypnosis technique at least once or twice a day, as well as use it as
needed to successfully manage situations where they may experience a desire to
component of the UCSF study is that it is not relying solely on patient
self-reports of successful quitting. "Our patients who say they have quit
provide a saliva sample, which is analyzed for the presence of cotinine," a
chemical byproduct of nicotine, says Carmody.