Quit smoking

Nicotine replacement therapy and e-cigarettes are not the answer to quit smoking

So you want to give up smoking and are thinking of weaning yourself off by using e-cigarettes, gum, patches or other nicotine replacement therapy? Read this before you do.

nicotine replacement

Nicotine replacements such as gum, patches or e-cigarettes, in my opinion, are not the most effective method for becoming completely smoke-free. Because they still rely on nicotine, there’s a good chance you will simply transfer your cigarette addiction onto the nicotine replacement method. After all, it’s the nicotine that is the addictive – and harmful – substance.

There are really only two sure-fire methods of quitting smoking entirely, in my opinion – throwing your cigarettes away and being determined never to have another one (known as ‘going cold turkey’); or using hypnotherapy. And while it works for those who are very determined, we all know how hard going cold turkey can be!

Gum can be addictive

You’ve use chewing gum before now to freshen your breath and you like the taste/consistency/ease of use, so perhaps you’re thinking nicotine gum would be a good way to stop smoking?

Indeed, the NHS thinks so too and you can get a 12-week course of nicotine gum from your doctor. While this does work for many, 12 weeks isn’t enough for some people and they find themselves relying on the gum in the way they used to with cigarettes – simply transferring their addiction from one method to another. Soon a 20-a-day cigarette habit can become a 20-a-day gum habit.

This in itself can be as costly as cigarettes. With the average pack of 96 pieces of gum costing around £10-15, your 20-a-day habit will set you back £20-30 a week!

Not only that, but gum can cause a few side effects such as nausea, stomach upset or headaches. And if you’re chewing gum regularly, you might develop jaw problems or excess wind! The nicotine in the gum – while certainly a lower dose and less harmful than in a cigarette – can also cause raised heart rate and blood pressure problems.

E-cigarettes are no better

According to recent research by Imperial College London, e-cigarette use has doubled in the last two years. The number of people in the UK who have tried an e-cigarette increased from 8.9 per cent to 15.5 per cent.

This is particularly alarming because, as with nicotine patches or gum, there are downsides to using e-cigarettes. Some of the ingredients are considered toxic and nicotine is still being delivered into your lungs – through vapour rather than smoke but still potentially damaging your lungs.

More alarmingly, people who haven’t even tried smoking cigarettes have taken up ‘vaping’ believing it to be safer and ‘cooler’. More than one in ten people across Europe have now tried an e-cigarette.

Unlike gum or patches, which have been around for a while, e-cigarettes and vaping are relatively new phenomena, so it’s too early to tell what long-term damage from continued use could be in 10-20 years’ time.

Thankfully, the Imperial College research also showed the proportion of people across Europe who considered e-cigarettes to be dangerous had also nearly doubled, from 27 per cent to 51 per cent. So perhaps the trend to switch to e-cigarettes won’t last.

Why hypnotherapy is the best method

So, nicotine replacement and e-cigarettes are still potentially harmful, addictive and costly. While they will stop you smoking cigarettes, they could lead to other problems.

Hypnotherapy, on the other hand, has no side effects. It is also permanent and quick – many people can successfully give up smoking with just one session. While you still need determination to quit, it’s not as hard as going cold turkey or relying nicotine replacement therapy.

Hypnotherapy works by delving into your subconscious and changing your thought patterns from within.

“The use of hypnosis in stop smoking therapy is the most effective help available to those who are addicted to smoking.” British Medical Association

As an ex-smoker of over 30 years, I understand the emotional problems involved with wanting to give up smoking. Since 1999, I’ve helped numerous people quit smoking for good.

If you would like help to quit smoking with hypnotherapy, contact me now.

An article on e-cigarettes and teenagers click here

Teenagers smoke e-cigarettes because they deem them ‘cool and fun’, alarming report claims

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