The war against the smoker
All round the world, public health authorities are moving towards stamping out cigarette smoking. In Britain, and many other European countries, smoking and enclosed spaces is totally banned. Some communities have banned smoking in public places outdoors as well. Smokers are increasingly taxed, vilified, and held up as per examples. There has been relentless pressure to stop teenagers starting, advertising has been banned. In Australia, government regulations decree that all cigarette packets have to be printed in a muddy brown colour, covered in horrific pictures of smoking related diseases, and almost indistinguishable from other brands. All of this has had a definite effect.
The anti-smokers are winning
Recent statistics from Britain have shown that the number of smokers in the population has fallen dramatically. The chart below, from the Office of National Statistics, shows a long-term decline in smoking. This is probably irreversible. Social and cultural attitudes have changed. Smoking will probably be extinct by the end of the century.
On the face of it this might seem like very bad news for hypnotists. However, what the chart shows can be looked at differently.
Actually, it is the hypnotists who are winning
There is a spectrum of smoking behaviour. Some people find it easy to stop smoking. Other people find it impossible. As more and more smokers stop smoking, the smokers who are left in the population are actually the people who cannot give up without help. Although there are fewer smokers, the smokers who remain are different.
And that is why this is good news for hypnotists. Although there are fewer smokers, these are the ones who most need hypnotherapy to get them off the habit. And as the number goes down, those who are left will be more and more cigarette dependent. Eventually we will be left with only those people who are psychologically dependent.
There will be plenty of business for hypnotists in the years to come.