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Hypnotherapy Helps Stop Smoking Habit

Adding hypnotherapy to the mix of treatments may help
die-hard smokers quit more easily than using nicotine replacement therapy alone
or going cold turkey.

A new study shows that smokers given free hypnotherapy to help them quit
smoking after hospitalization were more likely to be nonsmokers about six
months later than those who used nicotine replacement therapy alone, such as
gum or patches, or who went cold turkey.

Researchers say hypnotherapy has been promoted as a way to help people quit
smoking, but the reliability of this method has not been confirmed. These
results suggest that it may be a useful tool for helping motivated smokers to

The study also shows that the smokers who were hospitalized for
heart-related problems were more likely to quit smoking than those admitted for
lung-related reasons.

The results were presented this week at CHEST 2007, the 73rd annual
international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians
in Chicago.

Help to Quit Smoking

In the study, researchers followed 67 smokers who were hospitalized for
heart or lung problems. All of the patients were offered help to quit smoking
in the form of hypnotherapy, nicotine replacement therapy, or hypnotherapy plus
nicotine replacement therapy -- or they could choose to try to quit cold

Twenty-six weeks after leaving the hospital, the results show that 50% of
smokers who used hypnotherapy alone or in combination with nicotine replacement
therapy -- compared with 16% who used nicotine replacement therapy alone --
became nonsmokers. In comparison, 25% of those who went cold turkey had kicked
the habit.

In addition, researchers found smokers admitted to hospitals for
heart-related reasons were more likely to quit smoking than those who were
hospitalized for lung problems (46% vs. 16%).

"Patients admitted with coronary symptoms may have experienced 'fear and
doom' and decided to alter a major health risk to their disease when approached
about smoking cessation," says researcher Faysal Hasan, MD, of North Shore
Medical Center in Salem, Mass., in a news release.

"In contrast, pulmonary patients admitted for another exacerbation may
not have felt the same threat. They likely felt they can live for another day
and continue the smoking habit."

By Jennifer Warner
Reviewed by Louise Chang
©2005-2006 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved

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