Quitting smoking is tough. While there's no doubt that the single most important thing you can do to improve your health is to quit smoking, ask anyone who's tried and they'll tell you how addictive nicotine is and how difficult it is to stop.
Of course there are things that can help. Nicotine gum, nicotine patches or nicotine sprays are available. The problem with all these nicotine replacement products is that they do not get to the heart of the problem. They do not stop you WANTING to smoke. Some cynics might even observe that the nicotine replacement industry is making millions of dollars by keeping its customers addicted.
There are drugs. Zyban and Chantix are the best known and widely prescribed. They were developed from antidepressants and work on your brain chemistry to remove the side-effects associated with smoking cessation withdrawal. It's difficult to get hold of accurate statistics about how effective these drugs are. Some sources suggest a success rate as low as 16%, which is pretty much the success rate of using just will-power alone. There have been isolated reports of some dangerous side-effects to using these drugs too. Chantix has been linked to violent behavior and suicidal thoughts.
Allen Carr has written the definitive self-help book for quitting smokers and has some impressive celebrity endorsements for his method. A worldwide network of quit-smoking clinics based on his Easyway program promise to help anyone to stop smoking however heavy their addiction.
Hypnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy and Neuro-linguistic programming all have one thing in common with Allen Carr's Easyway program. They all work on the principle that the only way to quit smoking forever is to rid yourself of the craving so that you become a genuine non-smoker by changing what goes on in your mind.
Allen Carr appeals to the conscious mind. He details all the reasons why you should not smoke and explains the process of addiction and how you can make the conscious decision to be a non-smoker once you understand the nature of your addiction. He likens the pleasure of smoking to wearing tight painful shoes just so you can enjoy the feeling when you take them off and tie the pain you felt while wearing them.
Changing your mind about smoking is the only effective way to quit. Not just making a conscious decision to stop, but changing the subconscious thoughts that influence your behavior. The most effective way to change your subconscious thought processes is through hypnotherapy.