Hypnosis is questionable as a smoking treatment
Using hypnosis to kick a smoking habit is an intriguing idea, but researchers who reviewed 59 studies of such programs found little evidence that it works.
"Giving hypnosis the stamp of well-established treatment for smoking cessation is premature," says Joseph Green, a study co-author and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State University's Lima campus. Green conducted the research with Steven Jay Lynn of the State University of New York at Binghamton. "Many times, hypnosis is packaged with other, more comprehensive treatments," Green says. "So it's extremely difficult to tease apart and determine which individual therapy got the smoker to quit." Lynn and Green concluded that smokers who underwent hypnosis fared better in terms of abstaining from smoking than did smokers who had no intervention at all. But they found it was difficult to determine whether hypnosis had any benefit above and beyond other treatments -- such as behavior modification -- that were often of considerable benefit to patients.