It really doesn't matter how long you have been smoking or how many cigarettes a day you now smoke, our minds are perfectly capable of change. Here are excerpts from my notes of clients seen over a period of 10 weeks in 2022:
* A 55 year old male with a modest habit of seven a day who had been smoking since he was 14. He reported it was 'a major accomplishment' to stop. He has more energy, a 'clever mind', was able to 'taste more', and only gets up once in the night now for the toilet and can go straight back to sleep rather than smoke. When feeling stressed he has started to go for a walk.
* A 40 year old male who smoked 30 a day and started smoking at 13 who suffers bouts of bed-ridden depression and identified stress as his major trigger. Despite an incident at work in the first week which saw him spiral into depression for a few days leaving him unable to work, he successfully stopped after the first session. He reports his breathing and sleep have improved, and he has a better sense of taste. He works with clients who are heavy smokers and feels only a mild distaste at the smell.
* A 58 year old female who began the habit at 16. She was smoking 10 a day and wished to stop smoking cannabis as well. I suggested this can happen at the same time but would not be the focus of our sessions as it is a different problem which we could deal with later if needed. She had used a vaporiser a few times, had a couple of puffs on a cigarette and a few bongs in the first week, but nevertheless was having 'great sleep' (with CBC oil) and had more energy: she had 'got more done in the last week than in a long time'. At the end of our second session she felt, 'very relaxed ... a lot healthier, younger ... more energy' and was confident that she was a non-smoker. I urged her to return if smoking or vaping continued and did not hear back.
* A 58 year old female who began smoking at 14 whose mother died of emphysema and was suffering from a cough, 'heaving in the morning' and shortness of breath who was smoking 10 cigarettes a day and using patches. She had tried Champix and had to discontinue due to nightmares. In our second session she reported she had stopped using patches (as advised, since it keeps the mind hooked on the idea it needs nicotine), ‘hadn't even thought about a cigarette' and a significant reduction in her coughing, especially in the morning. She was enjoying time with her grandchildren more because she didn't have to 'separate myself' from them. She felt better - no longer like 'the walking dead'.
* A 79 year old female with a 15-a-day habit who reported coughing phlegm sometimes to the point of vomiting. She began smoking at 18. This client returned after a week of coughing 'not much at all' and her dry mouth had disappeared. She felt good and had more energy. It had been easier than she thought and she was very pleased with herself.
* A 31 year old male smoking 30 cigarettes a day who began when he was 16 who stopped using Champix due to nightmares. He was concerned about a history of heart disease and cancer in his immediate family and had tried to stop many times. He reported having 'heavy lungs' and was coughing up brown phlegm. After a week the phlegm had turned white and coughing decreased. He felt more relaxed and had more time. When a housemate smoked around him he felt like walking away because of the smell, but on the previous night had hung out with his brother who was smoking without any problem. This client was vaping a few puffs at night which we worked on in the second session, after which he reported feeling strong and more secure. I asked him to contact me if the vaping continued and did not hear back.
* A 60 year old male with blocked arteries scheduled for an operation in four weeks smoking 20 a day. He had been smoking since he was 14 and continued to smoke whilst taking Champix. Despite continuing to drink more than six beers a day, often at the pub where all his friends smoke, he was able to stop smoking after the first session. Reported he had stopped coughing and his sense of smell had increased.
* A 54 year old female smoking 30 a day who also wished to give up cannabis. She began smoking at 16. She had enlarged vocal cords which were constricting her throat, sinus problems, was being woken up by coughing and suffered shortness of breath. Unable to tolerate Champix due to nausea. After a week she felt 'really well', though she missed pot (which we had not focused on in the first session) and was using a herbal remedy to help her sleep. She had a burst of energy and had cleaned the pantry. Her sense of smell was 'definitely better' and she was glad 'not to be a slave of cigarettes' and felt very happy with her achievement.