I ask all of my Smoking Cessation clients a number of questions before we get down to the hypnosis session.
How long have you been smoking? How many cigarettes do you smoke a day? etc.
There are two questions I love to ask, because the answers are predictable. How old did you start smoking? and Do you remember WHY you started?
I've worked with hundreds of smokers and almost all of them started smoking as a teenager, in college, or just after college. (It's a rare person who started smoking at age 30.)
Even more predictable is the answer to the second question: Why did you start? A few say that they grew up in a house where people smoked. A few say they went to Europe where everyone smoked. But most people say, "I thought it looked cool" or a variation on that answer -- "Everyone else was doing it." "I was rebelling." "I wanted to be in the cool group."
Then I ask, "Do you think you are cool now?"
Conversely, why don't you quit?
Here are the answers to that question I've heard the most often:
- I'm under so much stress. I need smoking to reduce the stress.
- If I quit, I'm afraid I'll gain weight.
- Cigarettes have been my friends. They were there when I got divorced and when I lost my job.
- I'm afraid I'll fail and hate myself.
- I've failed and I don't want to fail again.
- My life is miserable and cigarettes are my only reward.
- My wife won't have sex with me and she says it's because I smoke. But I'm afraid that if I quit, and she still won't have sex with me, it's because she hates me.
- Smoking gives me a reason to get out of the house or work.
- I need a release when I'm at work. Cigarettes are the release.
- I love smoking. If I could, I'd smoke two at the same time.
- I hate smoking, but my husband/wife/parents/partner smokes and I might as well.
- It's my only connection to my reckless youth.
- My parents smoked into their nineties. I'm sure I'll live that long, too.
- I'm so addicted to nicotine; I can't quit.