As a smoker it is highly likely that you have tried nicotine patches. For the majority of you it did not work. The reason is simple, quitting smoking is only partly about nicotine so relying on patches is not likely to be very successful.

I know smokers who can have two or three patches on and are still smoking. If they are asked to explain why they still want to smoke with their brain full of nicotine they are confused and do not have an answer. Three patches is the equivalent of about 250 low tar cigarettes. That is a ridiculous amount of nicotine, yet many smokers still need to light up.

It's no wonder people have nightmares or insomnia if they try and sleep with the patches on.

The fact is that most people can successfully quit smoking using hypnosis because nicotine is not the primary problem. It's about the mental and emotional connections, it is these connections that keep you smoking and it is these same connections which will try to drag you back to cigarettes in the future unless you sever the tentacles' which connect you to them.

So why did nicotine patches become so popular. Because it is the primary drug compound in tobacco. It was noted early on that cigarettes were addictive so it was assumed that nicotine was the whole problem.

Governments boosted the belief by recommending patches used in quit programs. Government quit policies are like a huge ocean liner, once sent in a direction they are very hard to stop or turn around.

Nicotine does have a role to play. Clinically we see about 5% of people who need nicotine patches as a way to support hypnosis. These people are believed to have more nicotine receptors on their cells. This means they have a stronger reaction to nicotine.

One Australian academic believes that the hard core smokers can never be without patches. We have not found this to be the case. It is an interesting fact of health that practitioners intend to find what they believe in.

I believe that most people do not need nicotine to quit smoking and that is what we find clinically. If you have really struggled in the past to quit then there are three very important things to do.

1. Use advanced clinical hypnosis to break the mental bonds of smoking and therefore eliminate cravings.

2. Use stress management methods to prevent a return to smoking when stressed.

3. Use nicotine patches to get you through any tough times