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Smoke-free living is all in the mind

DIANA WORTHY
Last updated 05:00 08/01/2014
Stephanie Honeychurch
HAPPY NON-SMOKER: Stephanie Honeychurch is celebrating 12 tobacco-free years, thanks to her trip to see a hypnotist. ‘‘I just wish I’d done it earlier,’’ she says.

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Smokers who have already broken their New Year resolution to quit the habit are being advised to try hypnotism.

The advice from a Surfdale resident comes in the wake of an increase in tobacco tax that started on January 1.

A standard packet of 20 cigarettes has gone up by more than $2 and four more increases are in the pipeline.

Stephanie Honeychurch is among other Waiheke residents free of the habit after being hypnotised and she is urging others to try it.

Stephanie started smoking in the 60s while she was still at school, when it was considered "cool".

Now she is celebrating being a non-smoker for 12 years and says hypnotism succeeded when all else failed.

"You have to want to give up but hypnotism relies on using the subconscious rather than will power. So for me, and other residents I know, it worked."

She says smoking is so addictive that she knows she cannot ever have another cigarette.

"It's a bit like being an alcoholic.

"You can't have just one. I once gave up for six months but started again before I tried hypnotism.

"I worked with a man who had given up for 20 years but when he had to give a speech at his daughter's wedding, he was so nervous he thought a cigarette would calm him down.

"He didn't stop."

Stephanie says the one-hour session with Howick-based hypnotherapist was relaxing and effective despite initial scepticism - about herself rather than his capabilities.

She was also given tips on driving away urges for the three days it takes for nicotine to leave the body, such as drinking lots of water and eating fruit.

Around 15 per cent of the population aged 15 and over smoke, according to the latest census figures from Statistics New Zealand.

"I just wish I'd done it earlier," Stephanie says.

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