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Hypnosis smoking cessation claims a concern

Media release

06 August 2008

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)

Hypnosis smoking cessation claims a concern

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) is concerned smokers were given the wrong impression after a TV report claimed hypnosis smoking cessation therapy as having a success rate of 65 percent compared to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) at 22 percent.

“The rates claimed are not realistic, a long-term quit rate after 12 months is more likely to be around 20 percent.[1] The evidence on hypnosis is not considered strong enough to include in evidence-based smoking cessation guidelines,” said ASH Director, Ben Youdan.

The concern isn’t about the therapy working or not working, it works for some. It’s important smokers realise that it’s not a miracle treatment and that it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money on quitting.

Quit cards provide smokers with a heavily subsidised four week supply of nicotine patches and/or gum for a cost of $5.” said Mr Youdan.

In the past year 44,000 smokers contacted the Quit Group wanting to quit smoking and from February all medical practitioners, including GPs, and midwives, dentists, optometrists and nurse practitioners were automatically included in the Quit Cards programme, entitling them to distribute NRT to patients.

Quit Cards are delivered via Quitline and through the Quit Group’s website


[1] Hypnosis for smoking cessation: A randomized trial (Carmody, Duncan et al 2007) as published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research Volume 10, Number 5 (May 2008)

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