When clients come to hypnotherapy to give up smoking they have usually had a number of attempts including the use of nicotine patches or mind power. For this reason they may feel they failed in the past and this reinforces the belief that they can't stop smoking and have no control over it. The truth is, by quitting even for a brief time, the person has strengthened the neural pathways which can lead to being a non-smoker. In hypnotherapy, the first step of making the person aware of their triggers and behaviours which are largely unconscious, is so often an "ahh haa" moment. And rather then seeing smoking as giving something up, the client comes to see how much they will gain.
So, back to the question; is smoking a habit or an addiction? There is a fine line between the two and varying opinions which category smoking falls into. A little test is can the person live without it? And to what level will they go to, to ensure their need is met?
If something is a habit and it is stopped or skipped for one day, it won’t cause any physical or psychological effects. If it is an addiction, it can cause withdrawal effects. So which category does smoking fit? Nicotine is a drug inhaled from the tobacco in cigarettes. Blood containing nicotine passes from the lungs to the brain within seven seconds and increases heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose levels and breathing. When smoking doesn't take place, the nicotine is out of the body system within 24-36 hours. Some discomfort can take place, however a person can continue life as normal. In addiction the difference is that mental ability is impaired and a person can lose control over memory and actions.
So what do you believe about smoking? Habit or Addiction?