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Efficacy of hypnosis in smoking cessation

Efficacy of hypnosis in smoking cessation

A meta-analysis evaluates the effectiveness of hypnotherapy to stop smoking.

An English meta-analysis of Barnes and colleagues published in the journal Cochrane Collaboration assesses 2010, based on 11 randomized controlled trials, the efficacy of hypnotherapy as a treatment for smoking cessation with at least six months follow-up. The evidence is currently insufficient to recommend the exclusive use of hypnotherapy for smoking cessation.


The Study Rationale

Hypnosis as a therapeutic method enjoys a growing reputation among healthcare professionals and patients for ten years. Hypnotherapy shows its effectiveness in helping to change health behavior when associated with other non-pharmacological interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It proves as effective in reducing chronic pain and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome or asthma.

She recently interested specialists smoking cessation. It could reduce the desire to smoke, strengthen the will to stop smoking and improve the ability to go after a cessation program. The method of Spiegel Hypnotherapy uses deep concentration in order to change the perception vis-à-vis patients of smoking. Most studies on this subject indicate considerable variability in smoking cessation rates, from 4% to 88%. The aim of this meta-analysis is to evaluate the effectiveness of hypnotherapy to stop smoking by taking into account only randomized controlled trials.

Hypnotherapy help smokers to permanently stop their tobacco use.

The Question

Is Hypnotherapy effective for the permanent cessation of smoking?

The Method

The English type meta-analysis conducted by Cochrane Barnes and his colleagues chose 11 randomized controlled trials including people who wanted to quit smoking. The analysis compares interventions based on hypnotherapy to other types of therapeutic intervention or to a control group receiving no response. The monitoring of the intervention was at least six months. The meta-analysis compiles 1120 smokers, men and women, healthy. The age of participants ranged from 30 to 40 years. They smoked an average of 20 to 40 cigarettes per day. The main measures concern the total assessed smoking abstinence at 6 months after the start of the intervention.

The Non-Pharmacological Intervention (NPI) assessed

The hypotherapy was stopping smoking. The duration of surgery was 6 months minimum. The studies varied widely in terms of methods used in the induction of hypnosis in the number of sessions and the duration of the intervention. The number of sessions could range from 1 to 8 depending on the study. The total duration of sessions ranged from 30 minutes to 8 hours.

Main Results

The meta-analysis does not clearly show evidence of greater long-term benefit of hypnotherapy compared to other interventions or no treatment. Clinical trials selected in this meta-analysis are too heterogeneous to provide evidence of effectiveness of hypnotherapy for smoking cessation.

The meta-analysis does not clearly show evidence of greater long-term benefit of hypnotherapy compared to other interventions or no treatment.


What it means for Smokers

The evidence is too limited to show that hypnosis has an effect or not on smoking cessation. Solid studies on the subject fail to conclude unambiguously.

What it means for Healthcare Professionals

The randomized controlled trials are lacking to be able to demonstrate that hypnotherapy is similar or superior to other smoking cessation therapy after 6 months.

What it means for Researchers

Hypnotherapy is regularly offered as support to help people stop smoking. It is essential to achieve more robust clinical trials to establish its level of effectiveness in smoking cessation. The objective of the operation, the type of hypnosis, duration and details of the sessions need to be better defined and described in these studies.

What it means for Policymakers

The evidence is currently insufficient to recommend the exclusive use of hypnotherapy for smoking cessation.


The Reference

Barnes J, Dong CY, McRobbie H, Walker N, Mehta M, Stead LF (2010). Hypnotherapy for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 10, CD001008.


Related articles on Blog en Sante ©

Same topic

Same population

Same non-pharmacological intervention


To reference this Blog en Sante © article

Ninot G (2015). Efficacy of hypnosis in smoking cessation. Blog en Sante, A59.

© Copyright 2015 Gregory Ninot. All rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “Efficacy of hypnosis in smoking cessation
  1. Non au tabac says:

    Bonjour,
    Je trouve l’idée d’utiliser l’hypnose pour arrêter de fumer très intéressante, j’ai d’ailleurs rédigé un article sur les méthodes naturelles pour arrêter de fumer: cliquer ici
    En effet nous mangeons trop de médicaments, revenir à des méthodes ancestrales me semble cohérent aujourd’hui…

  2. Nicostop says:

    Très bien article ! Bravo

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