NEWS FLASH! The Great American Smokeout is coming up.

Yes, every third Thursday in November the American Cancer Society puts on this national event. This year that date is November 15, 2018.

I used to smoke 1-2 packs a day. Why? Everyone’s story is different. I was finishing my Ph.D. and began to notice that I was putting on weight. Whenever I was stressed, like meeting a deadline in my research, I started eating junk food. Being the smart person I thought I was, I came up with a plan. Instead of eating and gaining weight, I could smoke, calorie free, and lose weight. Unfortunately it didn’t take me long to discover how smart I was. I could eat and smoke at the same time!

Still optimistic I continued smoking, although I didn’t like the cough in the morning, and my fiancée didn’t like the tobacco smell in my hair and on my clothes. And it cost money I didn’t have.After two years the degree was finished, and the wedding was planned. Did I want to smoke during the reception? Did I want to smell like a cigarette walking down the aisle?

My sister, who had smoked for 10 years, suggested we quit together. Go on a road trip and quit cold turkey! That suggestion was frightening, so I looked for a self-help book about quitting. Somehow I came across a well-used small paperback that had daily positive messages as well as insights about withdrawal. Well, that summer we went on a trip to Canada along the Gaspe Peninsula. We laughed, walked, read the book, drank a lot of water, and limited our intake of candy bars. And today we both remain smoke free for life. As for the weight, dieting is the answer – not smoking.

As I look back on that time, I realize how much easier it would have been to quit if I had known about hypnosis. Hypnosis gets rid of the desire to have a cigarette. And you can replace that habit with something healthier, like drinking water or exercising. You can also learn new strategies to deal with stress.

Whatever the reason you smoke, you owe it to yourself (any maybe your loved ones) to quit. And after you’ve tried everything else, without success, let hypnosis release you from your habit.