The Great American Smoke-Out – A Commentary

This week, thousands of Americans began taking harmful and unnecessary drugs in an effort to stop smoking, and most of them will soon be smoking again. Thursday, November 20, 2008 marked the 33rd Annual Great American Smokeout: a day intended to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking.

Everyone knows that smoking is dangerous, but it’s frightening that most smokers aren’t aware of the dangers of drugs like Chantix. People need to know that some of the methods intended to help them quit are even more dangerous than smoking itself.

This year, Americans who’ve been hesitant to try hypnosis in the past should find it even more appealing as a solution, especially in light of these facts:

In this economy, the thought of saving an extra $1000/year is very appealing to Americans struggling just to pay their mortgages and fill their gas tanks.

However, the real price of smoking is even more alarming.

In their book “The Price of Smoking,” Duke University health economists calculated the price of $40 per pack “by analyzing all the costs of smoking — personally, to the smoker’s family and to society at large.”

Although popular, many smoking cessation aids have dangerous or undesirable side-effects. According to the makers of the nicotine patch, side-effects may include “rashes, irregular heartbeat or palpitations, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness and rapid heartbeat.”

Chantix (known as Champix in the UK) is far more risky, and according to (, it is now involved in a number of lawsuits, some related to suicide. Furthermore, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices reports that Chantix is linked to at least 50 deaths in the US during the first quarter of 2008.

When you really look at the alternatives, hypnosis is by far the fastest, safest and most affordable solution available.

Now that popular celebrities like Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Ellen Degeneres, and Oprah Winfrey have publicly endorsed hypnosis, many more people are jumping on board.

People used to be very hesitant to try hypnosis because of what they’ve seen in movies, but now that the guys from Good Will Hunting have been hypnotized to quit, suddenly they’re far more open to it.

While thousands of people have attempted to quit smoking in tandem with the Smokeout, the American Cancer Society’s website says most people trying to quit will return to the habit within three months, if not sooner. That’s why it’s important to choose a method that’s structured to help smokers quit for good, even after a relapse.

Most hypnosis clients stop smoking after a session, two, or three of hypnosis.

If smokers do their research and look at the facts, they’re more likely to find the help they need.

Hypnosis is not the only way to quit, but  people can be successful without putting dangerous chemicals into their bodies. Here’s hoping that this year, more choose a method that will allow them to celebrate a full year as a non-smoker when the next Smokeout rolls around in November of 2009.

Maximum Power,

Dr. Dave Hill, DCH

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” -Walt Disney

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