Stop Smoking Scientific Research

Medical News Today. (Dec. 3, 2010) MediLexicon, Intl., Smoking May Thin the Brain, Elsevier.

This study, published in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry, now reports concerning findings about the impact of smoking. Researchers compared cortical thickness in volunteers, both smokers and never-smokers, who were without medical or psychiatric illnesses. Smokers exhibited cortical thinning in the left medial orbitofrontal cortex. In addition, their cortical thickness measures negatively correlated with the amount of cigarettes smoked per day and the magnitude of lifetime exposure to tobacco smoke. In other words, heavier smoking was associated with more pronounced thinning of cortical tissue. Reduced cortical thickness has been associated with normal aging, reduced intelligence, and impaired cognition.


Journal of Nursing Scholarship. 2005;37(3):245-50. Guided imagery for smoking cessation and long term abstinence. Wynd CA.
This study of 71 smokers showed that after a two year follow-up, patients who quit with hypnosis/guided imagery were twice as likely to still be smoke-free than those who quit on their own.


ScienceDaily (Oct. 22, 2007) Hypnotherapy for Smoking Cessation Sees Strong Results.

 Hospitalized patients who smoke may be more likely to quit smoking through the use of hypnotherapy than patients using other smoking cessation methods. A new study*  shows that smoking patients who participated in one hypnotherapy session were more likely to be nonsmokers at 6 months compared with patients using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) alone or patients who quit “cold turkey”. The study also shows that patients admitted to the hospital with a cardiac diagnosis are three times more likely to quit smoking at 6 months than patients admitted with a pulmonary diagnosis. This study was presented at Chest 2007, the 73rd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians.


Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2004 Jan;52(1):73-81.Clinical hypnosis for smoking cessation: preliminary results of a three-session intervention. Elkins GR, Rajab MH. Texas A&M University System Health Science Center College of Medicine, USA.

An individualized, 3-session hypnosis treatment is described. Thirty smokers enrolled in an HMO were referred by their primary physician for treatment. Twenty-one patients returned after an initial consultation and received hypnosis for smoking cessation. At the end of treatment, 81% of those patients reported that they had stopped smoking, and 48% reported abstinence at 12 months post treatment. Most patients (95%) were satisfied with the treatment they received. This reseaerch presents preliminary data regarding hypnosis treatment for smoking cessation in a clinical setting. Recommendations for future research to empirically evaluate this hypnosis treatment are discussed.


Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2001 Jul;49(3):257-66. Freedom from smoking: integrating hypnotic methods and rapid smoking to facilitate smoking cessation. Barber J. Depts. of Anesthesiology and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine.

This study integrated hypnotic methods with a rapid smoking treatment protocol for
smoking cessation, including a detailed description of treatment rationale and procedures for such a short-term intervention. Of 43 consecutive patients undergoing this treatment protocol, 39 reported remaining abstinent at follow-up (6 months to 3 years post treatment). This represents a 90.6% success rate.


J Dent Educ. 2001 Apr;65(4):340-7. Hypnosis, behavioral theory, and smoking cessation. Covino NA, Bottari M. Department of Psychology, Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA.

Although nicotine replacement and other pharmacological treatments head the list of
popular interventions for smoking cessation, approaches based on psychology can also
assist smokers. Hypnosis, suggestion, and behavior therapies have been offered to patients and studied experimentally for several decades. Although no single psychological approach has been found to be superior to others, psychological interventions contribute significantly to successful treatment outcome in smoking cessation. This article describes common hypnotic and behavioral approaches to smoking cessation and critically reviews some of the findings from clinical and experimental research studies. The authors also offer suggestions regarding treatment and future research.


J Occup Environ Med. 1995 Apr;37(4):453-60. Reducing smoking at the workplace: implementing a smoking ban and hypnotherapy. Sorensen G, Beder B, Prible CR, Pinney J. Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.

 Smoking cessation programs may be an important component in the implementation of
worksite smoking policies. This study examines the impact of a smoke-free policy and the effectiveness of an accompanying hypnotherapy smoking cessation program. Participants in the 90-minute smoking cessation seminar were surveyed 12 months after the program was implemented (n = 2642; response rate = 76%). Seventy-one percent of the smokers participated in the hypnotherapy program. Fifteen percent of survey respondents quit and remained continuously abstinent. A survey to assess attitudes toward the policy was conducted 1 year after policy implementation (n = 1256; response rate = 64%). Satisfaction was especially high among those reporting high compliance with the policy. These results suggest that hypnotherapy may be an attractive alternative smoking cessation method, particularly when used in conjunction with a smoke-free worksite policy that offers added incentive for smokers to think about quitting.


Anaesthesia. 1994 Feb;49(2):126-8. Comment in: Anaesthesia. 1994 Oct;49(10):917-8.
Reducing smoking. The effect of suggestion during general anaesthesia on postoperative smoking habits. Hughes JA, Sanders LD, Dunne JA, Tarpey J, Vickers MD. Department of Anaesthesia, Morriston Hospital, Swansea, West Glamorgan.

In a double-blind randomized trial, 122 female smokers undergoing elective surgery were allocated to receive one of two prerecorded messages while fully anaesthetized. The active message was designed to encourage them to give up smoking whilst the control message was the same voice counting numbers. No patient could recall hearing the tape. Patients were asked about their postoperative smoking behavior one month later. Significantly more of those who had received the active tape had stopped or reduced their smoking (p < 0.01). This would suggest a level of preconscious processing of information.


Psychol. Reports. 1994 Oct;75(2):851-7.PMID: 7862796(PubMed-indexed for MEDLINE). Performance by gender in a stop-smoking program combining hypnosis and aversion. Johnson DL, Karkut RT.

A field study of 93 male and 93 female CMHC outpatients examined the facilitation of smoking cessation by using hypnosis. At 3 month follow-up, 86% of men and 87% of women reported continued abstinence using hypnosis.


Am J Psychiatry. 1993 Jul;150(7):1090-7. Predictors of smoking abstinence following a single-session restructuring intervention with selfhypnosis. Spiegel D, Frischholz EJ, Fleiss JL, Spiegel H. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA.

OBJECTIVE: This study examined the relation of smoking and medical history, social support, and hypnotizability to outcome of a smoking cessation program.
METHOD: A consecutive series of 226 smokers referred for the smoking cessation program were treated with a single-session habit restructuring intervention involving self-hypnosis. They were then followed up for 2 years. Total abstinence from smoking after the intervention was the criterion for successful outcome. RESULTS: Fifty-two percent of the study group achieved complete smoking abstinence 1 week after the intervention; 23% maintained their abstinence for 2 years. Hypnotizability and having been previously able to quit smoking for at least a month significantly predicted the initiation of abstinence. Hypnotizability and living with a significant other person predicted 2-year maintenance of treatment response. CONCLUSIONS: These results, while modest, are superior to those of spontaneous efforts to stop smoking. Furthermore, they suggest that it is possible to predict which patients are most likely and which are least likely to respond to such brief smoking cessation interventions.


Addict Behav. 1988;13(2):205-8. Use of single session hypnosis for smoking cessation.
Williams JM, Hall DW. Dept. of Human Resources, University of Scranton, PA.

Twenty of sixty volunteers for smoking cessation were assigned to single-session hypnosis, 20 to a placebo control condition, and 20 to a no-treatment control condition. The single session hypnosis group smoked significantly fewer cigarettes and was significantly more abstinent than a placebo control group and a no treatment control group at posttest, and 4-week, 12-week, 24-week and 48-week follow-ups


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking
Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. Smoking causes many diseases and reduces the health of smokers in general.1

Smoking and Death
Smoking causes death.

•The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for an estimated 443,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, each year in the United States.2,3
•More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.2,4
•Smoking causes an estimated 90% of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80% of all lung cancer deaths in women.1
•An estimated 90% of all deaths from chronic obstructive lung disease are caused by smoking.1

Smoking and Increased Health Risks
Compared with nonsmokers, smoking is estimated to increase the risk of—

•coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times,1,5
•stroke by 2 to 4 times,1,6
•men developing lung cancer by 23 times,1
•women developing lung cancer by 13 times,1 and
•dying from chronic obstructive lung diseases (such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema) by 12 to 13 times.1
Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease
•Smoking causes coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.1
•Cigarette smoking causes reduced circulation by narrowing the blood vessels (arteries) and puts smokers at risk of developing peripheral vascular disease (i.e., obstruction of the large arteries in the arms and legs that can cause a range of problems from pain to tissue loss or gangrene).1,7
•Smoking causes abdominal aortic aneurysm (i.e., a swelling or weakening of the main artery of the body—the aorta—where it runs through the abdomen).1
Smoking and Respiratory Disease
•Smoking causes lung cancer.1,2
•Smoking causes lung diseases (e.g., emphysema, bronchitis, chronic airway obstruction) by damaging the airways and alveoli (i.e., small air sacs) of the lungs.1,2

Smoking and Cancer
Smoking causes the following cancers:1

•Acute myeloid leukemia
•Bladder cancer
•Cancer of the cervix
•Cancer of the esophagus
•Kidney cancer
•Cancer of the larynx (voice box)
•Lung cancer
•Cancer of the oral cavity (mouth)
•Pancreatic cancer
•Cancer of the pharynx (throat)
•Stomach cancer

Smoking and Other Health Effects
Smoking has many adverse reproductive and early childhood effects, including increased risk for—

•preterm delivery,
•low birth weight, and
•sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).1,8

Smoking is associated with the following adverse health effects:8

•Postmenopausal women who smoke have lower bone density than women who never smoked.
•Women who smoke have an increased risk for hip fracture than women who never smoked.

1.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004

[accessed 2012 Jan 10].
2.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Annual Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Productivity Losses—United States, 2000–2004. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2008;57(45):1226–8 [accessed 2012 Jan 10].
3.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health, United States. Hyattsville (MD): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. [accessed 2012 Jan 10].
4.Mokdad AH, Marks JS, Stroup DF, Gerberding JL. Actual Causes of Death in the United States. JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association 2004;291(10):1238–45 [cited 2012 Jan 10].
5.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Reducing the Health Consequences of Smoking: 25 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 1989 [accessed 2012 Jan 10].
6.Ockene IS, Miller NH. Cigarette Smoking, Cardiovascular Disease, and Stroke: A Statement for Healthcare Professionals from the American Heart Association. Circulation 1997;96(9):3243–7 [accessed 2012 Jan 10].
7.Institute of Medicine. Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence.  (PDF–747 KB) Washington: National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, 2009 [accessed 2012 Jan 10].
8.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Women and Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General, 2001 [accessed 2012 Jan 10].
For Further Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Office on Smoking and Health
Phone: 1-800-CDC-INFO