An intriguing headline? Let me explain.
We’re all aware of the harmful effects of smoking on our personal health but do you know how the smoking habit affects the environment?
FACT 1 – Soil Depletion
Tobacco crops deplete the soil of large amounts of nutrients and production has trebled in developing countries where nearly three quarters of the world’s tobacco is grown.
“Tobacco cultivation requires substantial inputs of labour (often by children), land, fertiliser, and water while producing substantial toxicity to land and water ecosystems. Both land clearance for cultivation and the burning of wood and charcoal for curing tobacco are major contributors to deforestation.”
“Environmental consequences of tobacco production and consumption” ~ Nicholas S Hopkinson, Deborah Arnott & Nick Voulvoulis
FACT 2 – Pesticides
Because the tobacco crop is susceptible to disease, up to 16 applications of heavy, damaging pesticides are used in a 3 month growing cycle. They contaminate air, groundwater, rivers and lakes.
FACT 3 – People
There harsh chemicals are described as ‘extremely hazardous’ and take their toll on the health of the farmers who handle them – and with the production in developing countries, it’s the poor who suffer. In the production plants, the wet tobacco leaves, cause an illness in the workers called Green Tobacco Sickness which causes nausea, dizziness, cramps and fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure.
FACT 4 – Trees
One in eight trees worldwide is felled for tobacco production. The drying of tobacco involves cutting down trees to burn which causes deforestation. These are not being replaced sufficiently by the tobacco companies.
FACT 5 – Litter
Cigarette related litter is found in 77% of all locations across UK and in 2003, Coastal Clean Up Day found that cigarette litter accounted for nearly 30% of the rubbish on our beaches and in our rivers and streams.
Smoking is not only bad news for us, its bad news for our planet too.
THE GOOD NEWS!
Giving up smoking doesn’t just benefit you and your loved ones – you can have the added satisfaction of knowing that you’ll be doing your bit for the environment, too.
Hypnotherapy may work for you
Some studies have shown that hypnosis may help certain people quit smoking.
A study in 1993 conducted by New Scientist concluded that hypnosis was easily the most effective way of getting help to quit.
A later review found no good evidence that hypnosis helps – but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t, says Jamie Hartmann-Boyce at the University of Oxford, because relevant research has been so poorly designed it makes it impossible to say for sure either way. “It’s such an important issue that we need… bigger, better trials,” she says.
There are some more comments on the various studies here.
Another issue is that hypnosis, in general, does not work for everyone. About one in four people are not able to be hypnotised. When successful, the intensity of hypnosis can vary from person to person (WebMD). A lack of motivation or severe withdrawal symptoms may contribute to the treatment being less effective.
Despite the lack of reliable studies, hypnotherapy remains a popular way to quit smoking.
Some therapists go further, aiming understand and address the psychological addiction to smoking as well as the physical using all the latest Hypnosis and NLP techniques as well as Cognitive and Behavioural techniques.
So what can you do to maximise your chances of NLP and hypnosis working for you?
- Decide on Specific Day to Quit Remember, there is never going to be a ‘perfect’ time when everything in your life is hunky dory. Stuff happens – often unpredictably. Set yourself the Big Day and stick to it.
- The Night Before the Big Day Destroy all remaining cigarettes and get rid of ash trays. Leave nothing lying around that reminds you of smoking. If someone else in your home smoke, tell them to do it out of sight for a while! Out of sight is out of mind. Well, nearly!
- On the Big Day Write a list of all the reasons why you want to be a non-smoker. Put copies of your list all around your home. Post-it notes are good for this.
- Distract Yourself Cravings only last up to 2 minutes at time. Try counting backwards from 100 in 7s or say the alphabet backwards until the craving passes.
- Phone a Friend If your will-power is wavering, call a friend for support and encouragement.
- Treat Your Senses You may have thought that you momentarily enjoyed smoking but you didn’t enjoy the effect it had – treat yourself to something by all means, but make it healthy. Try dates or grapes if you want something sweet. Bananas and avocadoes contain tryptophan, which your body converts to serotonin. This is the ‘happy’ hormone, which is often what we seek in cigarettes
- Take Positive Action What have you been meaning to do but never got round to? Learning guitar, taking up belly-dancing or salsa, or playing golf or tennis all put you in a positive, healthy frame of mind and make you feel that life is worth living to the full.
- De-Stress When we’re under pressure we want to go for the ‘quick fix’. In the long run, though, we just make things worse. Give your lifestyle a bit of an overhaul. Cut out unnecessary tasks and replace them with leisure and relaxation time. Learn Self-Hypnosis or buy a hypnosis CD to release all your tension and feel more relaxed.
- Dream On Imagine a healthy, happy you just a little way into your future and imagine stepping into that image. See what you’ll see, hear what you’ll hear and feel how good it feels to be a contented non-smoker. Imagine yourself being more in control of your life. Think of a word or a phrase that represents this state and say it often throughout the day. Now, don’t you just love being in control?
Choosing a hypnotherapist
The NHS advises, when looking for a private hypnotherapist:
- choose someone with a healthcare background – such as a doctor, psychologist or counsellor
- make sure they’re trained in working with your condition (i.e. smoking addiction)
- check they’re registered with an organisation that’s accredited by the Professional Standards Authority