Smoking is an addictive and dangerous habit that affects the lives of millions of people around the world. We now know the perils of cigarette smoking and smokers are encouraged to find ways to quit smoking for the benefit of their own health. This is not easy to do, as smokers begin at an extremely early age. The average age at which many people begin to smoke is thirteen years old.

A habit formed at such a young age is not easily broken. Nicotine affects many parts of the body and it is hard to pull free without some help. There are many different diseases associated with smoking. Most smokers need assistance to quit smoking and many methods exist for this very purpose.

There are many different reasons why people begin smoking and continue to smoke. The main reason that people begin to smoke is peer pressure. Some young people think it looks "cool" when portrayed on TV, in movies, and in advertisements. It also is forbidden which makes it all the more alluring to teenagers, thus the low starting age for many people. This young age makes ceasing smoking more challenging in your later years.

Media can also influence the decision to begin smoking. Smoking portrayed in movies or on television can lead you to think that smoking is a safe activity. Parents can wield the biggest influence over their children by setting a good example and discussing smoking, its dangers, and expressing their desire for their children not to smoke. Mothers and fathers who smoke are far more likely to have children who start smoking.

Smokers begin to crave nicotine, a drug within tobacco. Nicotine can affect your body and mind in many harmful ways. Nicotine, once inhaled into the lungs reaches the brain in a mere eight seconds. Once in your brain, nicotine affects your blood pressure and heart rate. Over time it can increase your bad cholesterol and narrow your arteries. Nicotine in concentrated doses is a lethal poison, so imagine the effects on your body. Nicotine is also addictive and this is why many smokers cannot quit smoking.

Smoking can affect your health on many different levels. Low stamina is one side effect of smoking. More serious smoking related diseases include cancer and emphysema. Heart disease and stroke are also closely associated with cigarette smoking. A person who quits smoking will greatly reduce their risk of developing these diseases for every year they go without smoking.

The outcome of these medical conditions caused by smoking is grim. Lung cancer is almost always fatal unless caught very early and 80% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. Heart and lung disease can take years from your life unless you are able to quit smoking. There is no cure for emphysema, only limited treatment options, plus the damage to your lungs cannot be repaired. Stop smoking benefits include a healthier, longer life and a better quality of life.

There are many different ways to quit smoking, and you must choose the best method for you as an individual. Nicotine patches and gums are made to help slowly release you from the nicotine addiction. Only about 10% of the people who use them will successfully quit smoking. Going cold turkey is another option and this works for up to 11% of the smokers who try to quit this way. Other popular methods to quit smoking include an herbal kit that can show you how to quit smoking. It has a success rate similar to that of nicotine gums and patches.

Hypnotherapy for smoking cessation is a popular and effective option for those who want to quit smoking without experiencing weight gain or withdrawal symptoms. Hypnotherapy has a high success rate with smokers who are trying to quit smoking. Hypnosis for smoking cessation might sound like an extreme solution but it delivers solid results up to 70% of the time. This success rate is far greater that of other methods.

The reason stop smoking hypnosis is so effective is that it while the addiction to nicotine makes up only about 10% of the smoking addiction, the mental and emotional aspects of the habit make up about 90% of the smoking addiction. Hypnosis treats this aspect of the addiction.

About 45% of the smoking behavior is caused by stress, and hypnosis has proven to be a powerful, non-invasive tool that can help reprogram the mind to divert you from stressful thoughts, and towards relaxing, positive thoughts. In addition, the practice of hypnotherapy incorporates a deep state of relaxation.

And about 45% of the smoking behavior is prompted by conditioned responses. This is when smoking becomes associated with other situations at the unconscious level of mind. For example, if you smoke while watching TV, your unconscious will associate the image of a cigarette in your hand with the image of the TV. Every time you see the TV, your unconscious flashes an image of the cigarette in your hand, and you feel an urge to smoke.

Stop smoking hypnotherapy is regularly used to "extinguish" the conditioned responses by disassociating the unconscious connections between cigarettes and TV, driving, coffee, working on your computer, or any other environment where an unconscious association has been created.

In summary: While most smokers think that their inability to quit smoking is based on their addiction to nicotine, in truth it is the mental aspects of a smoking addiction that present the largest barriers. Hypnotherapy was accepted by the American Medical Association in 1958 as an effective tool for quitting smoking. And hypnosis for smoke cessation is the second most common use of hypnotherapy today.

While hourly rates for hypnotherapists climb higher and higher, there are effective self hypnosis programs available that can greatly reduce its cost. Since everyone is unique, there are no specific "magic" words or post-hypnotic suggestions that will work for everyone. So when choosing a self hypnosis program, look for programs that incorporate a broad variety of hypnotic and NLP techniques in a series of at least six or more sessions to enjoy the best possible results. In any event, the fee for the very best hypnosis CDs & DVDs equates to far less than the amount that an average smoker wastes every month on cigarettes.

Author's Bio: 

Alan B. Densky, CH invented the Video Hypnosis stop smoking program which helps smokers easily break the habit. He also created many ways to quit smoking with Ericksonian Hypnosis and NLP. Visit the Neuro-VISION self improvement hypnosis site for free hypnosis videos and MP3s.