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Inner motivation for smokers

By on January 20, 2015

As the authors of QUIT: The Hypnotists’ handbook to Running Effective Stop Smoking Sessions we get to teach many hypnotists the sheer pleasure of helping someone QUIT smoking, potentially saving a life. However, before we even see a client for smoking cessation, we always ask a very important question: “Why do you want to QUIT?”

You see there are two types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from within, from our own values and beliefs. Typically, for a smoker, intrinsic motivations include the desire for health, the self-esteem that comes from knowing they are in control of their own lives, and the wish to set a good example for their children.

Extrinsic motivation for smokers includes being told they have to QUIT by their doctor or spouse, or financial motivations provided by their health insurance and so on.

The research indicates that smokers with strong intrinsic motivation have greater success in QUITting than those who only have extrinsic motivations. And that’s why, when we ask why someone wants to QUIT now, and we hear, “Because my wife/doctor/insurance company says I have to”, we tell them to come back when they’re ready to QUIT.

Smokers with higher levels of intrinsic relative to extrinsic motivation were more likely to achieve abstinence from smoking. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for smoking cessation. – PubMed

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