could-hypnosis-help-you-quit-smoking-image-1-.jpgCan Hypnosis Help Your Quit Smoking Plan?

Quitting smoking is a great first step toward better health, but the process itself can be quite a challenge. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms are a difficult hurdle to overcome after quitting and can drive your urge to have a cigarette even days after your last smoke. If you’ve decided to stop smoking, you might try a number of different solutions to help your quit stick. Some people turn to mental health treatment methods like hypnosis to help with behavioral control issues, like smoking.1

Learn more about hypnosis and whether it is an effective quit smoking method.

What Is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is more than just a party trick that makes participants fall asleep on command. Clinical hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, is a real type of medical therapy that’s often used in treatment plans.1 Although the way hypnosis works isn’t fully understood, it is known to put people in a deep state of focus and relaxation.1 When done correctly by a trained hypnotherapist, hypnosis is a safe procedure that can help with both physical and mental health problems.1


How Does Hypnosis Work?

A lot of skepticism with hypnosis stems from the myth that you are under someone else’s complete control when hypnotized, but that is not how it works. A hypnotherapist cannot make you do or say anything against your will, and you do not lose control over your behaviors.1 When under hypnosis, you are simply less prone to ordinary distractions and are more open to suggestions.1

The feeling of concentration can be compared to a situation where you are very focused on something like a book or a TV show and cannot hear your surroundings. Your hypnotherapist can guide you to tap into the parts of your brain where thought, beliefs, sensations, emotions and behaviors originate during a hypnosis session.1 You can then work toward modifying or replacing unconscious thoughts that are driving your current behaviors.1

What Goes on During a Hypnosis Session?

You go through several stages of hypnosis during each session. During the first stage, you start to relax and focus your attention through controlled breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.1 Your hypnotherapist will then use imagery to ease your openness to suggestions.1

Once you are fully relaxed, you start to enter the suggestions stage where actual changes to behaviors can occur.1 If you are using hypnosis for medical purposes, you can use this stage to either try to resolve a symptom or explore experiences that are associated with symptoms.1 You may be able to come out of hypnosis on your own, but your hypnotherapist can also help you come back to your senses gradually.2

What Conditions Can Hypnosis Help Treat?

Hypnosis can be a helpful addition to the treatments of many physical conditions, including gastrointestinal disorders, pain control, skin conditions and side effects from chemotherapy.1 It is also good for people who experience anxiety, stress and behavior control issues, which is where smoking comes into play.1

How Can Hypnosis Help People Who Are Trying to Quit Smoking?

Since hypnosis can help with changing behavioral issues, it may be able to help you on your journey to quitting smoking. Through hypnosis, you can learn to identify your triggers and be guided to a healthier, smoke-free version of yourself.1 Because hypnosis is also used to help alleviate stress and anxiety, it can potentially be beneficial in relieving anxiety caused by nicotine. Although studies show that hypnosis is not more effective than behavioral interventions like therapy, it is potentially be more effective than receiving no smoking cessation treatments.3

Hypnosis is not intended to replace a long-term quit smoking plan, but it can be helpful to try it as a part of your plan.2 Using effective smoking cessation methods like nicotine replacement therapy products along with hypnosis can help you as you make the journey to quit. Try great-tasting products like Nicorette Gum and Nicorette Lozenges for discreet, on-the-go craving relief to hold your nicotine withdrawals down wherever you are.

How to Prepare for a Hypnosis Session

Hypnosis sessions don’t require a lot of preparations beforehand. Just be sure to wear some comfortable clothes to help you stay relaxed, and make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before.2 Being well-rested will reduce the chances of falling asleep during the session.2 Side effects of hypnosis are rare, but they can include dizziness, headache, nausea, drowsiness, anxiety and sleep problems.2 Hypnosis may not be a safe option for people with severe mental health problems or those who are looking to work through stressful events from the past.2 After a few sessions, you may be able to practice self-hypnosis without guidance from a health care provider.2

Hypnosis is a good method to try if you are looking for non-prescription medication methods to quit smoking. Visit the Help with Quitting hub from Nicorette to find more tips on managing your quit.


  1. Hypnosis. Cleveland Clinic. Accessed 4/17/2023.
  2. Hypnosis. Mayo Clinic. Accessed 4/17/2023.
  3. Hypnotherapy for smoking cessation. National Library of Medicine. Accessed 4/17/2023.