state and local taxes on cigarettes add up…

There was a recent major story in Illinois that I think is relevant to Utah smokers…

The Chicago Tribune just reported that the Illinois cigarette taxes are going up an additional dollar. Some people think that more taxes will discourage smoking. Others say smokers will just go across state lines or buy at Native American Reservations.

Current local and state taxes on a pack of smokes in Chicago are $3.66, according to the anti-smoking Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The $1 increase would bring the combined tax rate to $4.66 in Chicago, behind only the $5.85 per pack rate in New York City.

Here’s the link to the full Chicago Tribune article on rising Cigarette Taxes.

The State of Utah raised taxes not too long ago and based their case on the data that higher taxes actually reduce smoking.  According to the statistics:

The evidence is clear that increasing the cigarette tax is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, especially among kids. Studies show that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by about 6.5 percent and overall cigarette consumption by about 4 percent. Utah can expect the $1.00 cigarette tax increase to prevent 10,500 Utah kids from becoming smokers; spur 5,500 current adult Utah smokers to quit; save more than 4,800 Utah residents from smoking-caused deaths; lock in $236 million in future health care savings; and raise about $43.3 million a year in new state revenue.

Check out full article: Utah Cigarette Tax Increase

The next question is, if the prices of cigarettes just keep going up, why not just quit smoking with hypnosis?

Seriously. Hypnosis works.

I work with smokers every week who after one to four sessions completely walk away from the tobacco habit with little or no withdrawal symptoms. After quitting smoking with hypnosis, one of my clients told me this:

“I was really skeptical. I had smoked a pack a day for more than 20 years. I mean, I had tried everything to quit–my doctor had given me drugs, I had quit cold turkey, I had bought electric cigarettes–nothing had worked and the cravings drove me crazy. I finally decided that I had tried everything except hypnosis, so I might as well give it a try. What really amazed me this time around is that the terrible withdrawl symptoms I usually got were totally manageable. I mean, this time whenever I had minor cravings, I would just do self hypnosis, like you taught me, and then the craving was gone!”

If average smokers realized how much easier it is to stop smoking with hypnosis they would run, not walk, to the nearest hypnotist.

Now there are lots of different methods to help you stop smoking. Some methods are more effective than others, but according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the best approach to quit smoking involves combining different methods.

Most research suggests that combining a behavioral modification program with medical management has a significantly greater impact on your ability to quit smoking than either method alone. (Now for medication management, you will need to contact your licensed medical doctor).

But some people don’t want to take medication or can’t because of allergies or because they happen to be one of the unlucky people who can’t tolerate the side effects of the drugs available.

That leaves behavioral approaches to quitting, like hypnosis.

Some research, and my personal experience, shows that combining different behvioral methods, such as NLP and Hypnosis to help people stop smoking is more effective than using any single approach.

My personal mantra is this: Let’s use whatever works.

My stop smoking program uses four primary methodologies, although I routinely use tools from other approaches as well, based on the need of the client in front of me:

1. NLP: NLP has been described as a cognitive behavioral model for change. NLP offers useful strategies and tools for desensitizing cravings, triggers, managing stress and harnessing the powerful mind-body connection.

2. Hypnosis: Hypnosis is useful for reducing the emotional impact of cravings and providing an excellent alternative to deal with stress, nerves and withdrawal. Most of my clients find that by practicing self hypnosis three to four minutes, several times a day, during the first two weeks of quitting that they experience fewer cravings (frequency) and less powerful cravings (intensity). Hypnosis also helps smokers change “triggered” and automatic behaviors.

3. Meridian Tapping: You may have heard of Thought Field Therapy (R) or The Emotional Freedom Techniques (R), which have been described as “emotional acupuncture without needles.” I teach my clients a form of simplified meridian tapping to manage physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms. Many clients find that within one to three minutes of using these acupressure techniques that any cravings they had subsides to manageable levels–and a few will even have cravings disappear–within 90-120 seconds of tapping.

4. Meditation and Breathing Techniques: Meditation and breathing techniques are useful for managing stress symptoms and for creating a sense of peace and well being while quitting smoking.

Now, Utah, what about the financial benefits to stop smoking?

If you smoke a pack a day and you are paying only $7.00 per pack, that’s more than $200 per month you will be putting in your pocket for the rest of your life when you quit…. That’s $2,400 a year. Over the next 10 years that’s $24,000 dollars… over the next 20 years that’s $48,000… and that’s assuming no future increase in prices (which according to the report above, will likely continue to rise).

Seriously, instead of paying all the taxes to the state and municipal governments, why not just stop smoking with hypnosis? Now.

I knew someone who stopped smoking two packs a day. He saved up all his money that he would have spent on cigarettes for two years. He used that money to put a down payment on a fishing boat. His monthly payment was less than his old cigarette “payment.” Think of the possibilities.

If you’re not ready yet that’s fine. You have to be willing to commit to stop smoking. In fact, I will tell you that I like you whether or not you want to quit today.

Deciding to quit smoking is an individual decision and everyone is different.

What finally pushes you over the edge to quit is unique to you.

Some people notice that they are short of breath when they are climbing the stairs and want to be healthier, so they can be active into their old age.

Some people are getting ready to have kids and want their babies to grow up healthy and strong.

Some are just sick and tired of paying all that money to the government in taxes.

Other people are tired of having to walk to the other end of the parking lot to smoke in rain, sleet and snow.

Others are looking to avoid bias as they apply for a promotion at work.

Some are just looking to smell better or be more attractive to the opposite sex.

But whatever the motivation, the key to success in quitting smoking with hypnosis is this question:

Are you ready to quit?

When you are, I’m ready to help.

My Name is William Wood and I practice Hypnosis and NLP in Ogden , Utah. I also help people world wide via phone and Skype.

Contact me or use the handy form below and I’ll contact you.