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Stop Smoking Double Standards

Stop Smoking Double Standards

It is almost October, the month dedicated by the NHS to be the time to stop smoking. This is a time of year that does elicit a certain amount of agitation for me. I have worked with smokers for well over 28 years, and there is good peer reviewed empirical evidence to show that hypnotherapy is an effective intervention for helping people to quit the habit. However, the government stop smoking campaign has always favoured nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) as it’s go to place for smoking cessation. This despite the appallingly low rates of long term success of these commercially available products.

This is frustrating enough, but this year, the NHS seems to have lost the proverbial plot in that now vaping is being recommended to smokers who want to quit. This despite the fact that NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) does not officially recommend e-cigarettes as a means of smoking cessation. The principle reason for this is that there is no long term evidence of the long term benefits of these products.

Interestingly, this is the same reason that NICE has refused to give hypnotherapy the nod as a smoking cessation treatment, this despite the credible research evidence showing the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for smokers. The time has come to level the playing field and for NICE to reconsider its recommendations. Either stop suggesting that GP’s make smokers aware of e-cigarettes as a means of smoking cessation or allow them to recommend things like hypnotherapy as well. It is long past time that the NHS stop treating smokers as if they are not intelligent enough to make their own decisions on this pivotal health issue.

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