The World Health Organization has shown that nowadays, there are more people dying because of smoking than those who lost their lives in the past centuries' wars.

There are three types of addiction which prevent people to quit smoking: physical dependence, the mental and the behavioral addiction. Physical addiction settles after several years of smoking, due to the nicotine existing in the cigarettes. It is the easiest to treat type, because nowadays, there are many nicotine substitutes (plasters, chewing gum), which will help the smoker to gradually decrease the amount of nicotine required by the body. The psychologically addicted persons often associate cigarettes with feelings such as: happiness, calmness, pleasure. Moreover, this kind of addiction becomes present after the first cigarettes- this being the nicotine effect on the brain (the sensation of stress reduction).

Motivation is the essential condition for getting rid of the smoking habit. On the other hand, while you are giving up this vice, there are many natural techniques to help you bear the negative effects that occur in the body due to lack of nicotine.

Hypnosis, acupuncture and meditation may be considered alternative methods to quitting smoking. Also, if they are used in combination with plasters, nicotine chewing-gum or psychological advice, they could have a very effective result.

Many people ask themselves if they can be hypnotized. The answer is "yes". The explanation is that hypnosis is not a synonym for "magic", but a natural state of our incredible brain. During hypnotherapy, one becomes totally relaxed, managing to reach his subconscious and concentrate on a specific issue. By accessing and feeding your subconscious with new concepts through hypnotherapy, you can change many aspects of your behavior, such as the unpleasant habit of smoking. Thus, hypnosis is one of the procedures that change one's behavior rapidly, being a first step for those who want to quit smoking.

The hypnotherapy is mainly based on the patient's habits. As a result, a hypnotist will ask various questions about the patient's smoking tendency. Then, he will try to guide the patient to a state of relaxation, by using meditation or visualization. When the patient reaches a state of complete relaxation, the therapist makes suggestions that could motivate the smoker to quit his vice. For example, if a person usually smokes while watching TV, the hypnotist will try to break the association between the two activities and replace it with other healthy activity. As a result, the patient not only will stop smoking, but he will also start doing something which will help him improve his health.

However, the hypnosis process is not a short one. It consists of many stages. In the first stage, the hypnotist explains to his patient the effects smoking has on his organism and how one could get addicted to it. The specialist's objective is to make his patient understand that smoking represents a bad habit which would finally destroy his health.

The next two sessions are aimed to change the smoker's opinion about cigarettes. While the patient is driven in a total relaxation state, the hypnotist uses a figurative speech and explains what smoking does to a person, most of the times comparing it to a villain who wishes to destroy his entire life. He tries to totally convince the patient that quitting smoking is the best thing he could do. Afterwards, the specialist offers the patient's subconscious many solutions for giving up cigarettes. The smoker is free to choose the method that fits him the best. In addition, the hypnotist encourages the patient to think positively and makes him aware of the advantages of quitting this vice. In many cases, the smokers are given a recording that contains stop smoking messages which is aimed to strengthen his spirit whenever is necessary. They are also advised to drink a glass of water if the urge arises.

During hypnotherapy, the patient is requested to remember and explain how he started smoking and why. Most smokers believe that they can do anything better while smoking. The hypnotist tries to emphasize the inconsistency of this belief and sets in the smoker's mind the idea that this is just his imagination and tries to persuade him that he excelled in doing all those activities before starting smoking. After this process is finished, the patient seems to understand that smoking is just a waste of time and a way of destroying one's health.

In the following stage the hypnotist manages to make the patient become totally against smoking. The specialist also explains the smoker that he can easily quit this awful habit using again the figurative speech: in some cases, the mind of the smoker is compared to a big object and the smoking habit represents small objects that can be easily annihilated by one's powerful will.

The hypnotists are generally accredited and have particular training and knowledge to guide and help their patients relax. They usually use special images and words which are successful in various treatments. Some hypnotists consider that a single session-program is enough, while others believe that there are necessary multiple sessions to obtain the desired results. Another option for those who wish to quit smoking through hypnosis is to use a recorded program produced by a specialized hypnotist. This alternative offers the advantage of a lower price and also a flexible session timetable.

Hypnosis has proved to be successful in 66% of the smoking treatment cases. Thus, even if it may not help everyone to quit smoking, hypnosis is perfect for reducing the daily stress level-one of the main reasons why many people begin smoking in the first place.