Which is Better – Quit Smoking in One Session or Tapering?

cold turkey vs tapering to quit smoking

If you’re here because you’ve decided to quit smoking with hypnosis, congratulations! This is the “low hanging fruit” of health improvement — the single best thing you can do to improve your health and the odds of adding not only years to your life, but life to those years!

My name is Cindy Locher, I am the hypnotherapist behind this website and this practice, and I’ve been helping people quit smoking with hypnosis in Minnesota and all over the country, for well over a decade now.

Over the years I’ve helped many people quit smoking by tapering over a three-session program; I also help people quit in a single session.

So, which is better? Which is more successful over the long run? Which is easier?

Let’s tackle those questions one by one.

Which is better for you, personally?

Is it better to stop smoking over time, tapering off cigarettes, or to just quit all at once (with the support of hypnosis)? Over the years I’ve learned that there’s no magic way to tell.  I help someone determine that in a consultation because I’ve learned that it’s a combination of things.  One factor is how much you smoke.  It makes sense that someone who is smoking maybe half a pack would more easily quit in one session than someone smoking two or more packs a day, doesn’t it?  And for the most part that’s true.  Most of my clients who choose to quit in a single session program smoke a pack a day or less.

However, I’ve had people quit in one session who smoked two or more packs a day.  They were just DONE with smoking and wanted to leave my office a non-smoker that day. They knew their minds. In fact I had a gentleman about 8 weeks ago as I’m writing this who came in as a 3/4 pack a day smoker who quit in one session.  I continue to follow up with him (as I do all my clients) and he’s still perfectly fine and enjoying his new smoke-free life.

So, which is better for you? It’s a combination of how much you smoke and your personality. Emphasis on the personality.

Which is more successful over the long run?

As I mentioned above I continue to follow up with my clients for quite a while after they quit smoking. Not forever, but for several months, and on anniversaries. I also have some clients who continue to email me on their anniversaries, and I love that! From my follow up observations, both approaches have been equally effective, with about 90% of clients remaining smoke-free at the one year mark and beyond. I offer free “tune up” sessions to all my smoking cessation clients and rarely have anyone come in for those.  The subconscious mind makes changes very easily when the right approaches are there, and once something becomes familiar (like the liberty of going through your day not having to worry about cigarettes) your mind keeps reinforcing that change.

So, which is easier?

Again, I’m going to come back to personality, and readiness to quit. There is something very appealing about simply putting down that pack (or tossing it in my trash) and being DONE.  If you go google searching you’ll find references that say cold turkey is the more difficult approach, but all those references are going to be cold turkey without hypnosis.

In my clinical experience, your readiness to quit (on a scale of 1 to 10 how ready are you?), how much you smoke, and your personality are the most important factors in which approach will be easier for you.

I’ve constructed both my tapering program and my single session program with support from both hypnosis and other factors that dramatically reduce cravings or withdrawals, and the reinforcement through hypnosis is what makes either program more long-term effective, as research continues to show.

Maybe you already know which method is right for you.  Or maybe you’d like some help deciding. Either way, come in and see me for a consultation for quitting smoking with hypnosis (or we can do that by phone) so we can get you started on adding years to that life and life to those years!

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