There was a famous anti war song in the late sixties entitled “where have all the flowers gone”, by Pete Seeger. Not a very happy song but quite true. Someone could have equally written the song about smokers.

Where have all the smokers gone. Well the good news is that many have quit, but the bad news is that many have died or are likely to soon.

So why do so many continue to smoke given that we have known the truth about smoking since the late seventies. In spite of the American government refusing to believe the research that showed that smoking caused lung cancer, for several years.

Simply it was recognized about the same time that smoking did not mention stress, it just gave you a short term hit of feel good chemicals followed by the big hit of cortisol, the core stress hormone.

In the eighties the research continued into the effect of smoking and heart disease and diabetes, confirming more and more reasons to not smoke.

Yet people in countries where this information was freely available continued to take up or continue smoking. It's almost impossible to believe that in this era of so much comprehensive data that smoking kills, there are still large numbers of new people taking up smoking each year.

Sure more and more smokers are quitting than ever before, but the problem still exists for millions, and every year many young people take up the habit.

It's not about being uninformed, the nanny state we live in planes or or consciousness with images and messages about the problems. It's not about blatant stupidity, even seemingly intelligent people smoke, so what is the appeal for new smokers and why do so many continue, often in spite of painful reminders right in front of them.

Many know family members and friends who have died, some are feeling either mild or severe effects, yet it's not enough. At the time of writing I have a potential hypnosis client who has suffered one amputation and facing another, yet still remains uncommitted to confirm his appointment. I can not imagine the thought processes involved.

Perhaps he is fearful of feeling some discomfort or not knowing what to do with his hands or even that he will miss his special smoking moments. But if you weigh up the loss against the pain of being a double amputee, it is mind boggling.

What he is failing to forgive is that quitting with hypnosis is at best 100% pain free and at worse a mild discomfort over a couple of days. What a shame to have to live with that pain and regret.