Zapping the Habit: Smoking

By Louisa Emery on January 17, 2011 3:31 PM |

EE-jan13-fresh inhale142.jpgIt is the New Year's resolution you hear every January, more often than not from the same people as the previous year.

If you have had enough of a hacking cough, premature wrinkles and stinking clothes and hair, then make 2011 the year you quit smoking.

When will power alone is not enough, there are a few other things you can try.

Laser therapists Fresh Inhale are about to open a branch in Canary Wharf and aim to have you kicking the habit after just one session.

Founder Richard Turnball said: "There are two parts to giving up smoking, the physical and the psychological. The laser helps with the physical. If, for example, a typical 20 a day smoker tries to give up by going cold turkey they will have physical withdrawal. The laser helps by increasing endorphins helping to reduce cravings."

The laser stimulates the parts of the body associated with nicotine longing - hands, ears, nose and wrists.

Richard said: "You are not replacing nicotine with anything else so this enables you to give up from your first session. It's painless - it feels just like someone is holding a ball point pen to your skin."

The second part of the programme deals with the psychological side to giving up with therapy and support for up to 12 months.

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Three sessions are included in the treatment but Richard says most people do not need the third one.

He said: "We recommend everyone comes back a week after the first session for a top-up laser treatment and a further consultation with the therapist.

"Some people think they are cured straight away and don't need the follow-up but the effects can start to wear off after the first week so they should come back."

Richard said he had identified three types of smokers and claims he can treat all of them. The first is the social smoker who has one or two cigarettes in the week but more when out for drinks or around other smokers. The second is the average smoker - on 20 a day and the third is the heavy smoker who smokes more than 60 cigarettes a day.

He said: "We had a guy go from 60 a day to zero. That gave him a lot of spare time, he didn't know what to do with himself. That is where the therapy comes in."
Richard said quitting via a cold turkey approach had about a five per cent success rate whereas the laser worked every time so long as it was part of a programme.

He said: "The most important thing is to want to quit. If someone is just coming along because they have been nagged into it, it won't work."

The Fresh Inhale programme costs £275. Go to

EE-jan13-fresh inhale8.JPGA packet of cigarettes costs £6.50, so a 20-a-day smoker will spend around £2,372 a year. A pack of rizlas and 25g rolling tobacco costs around £6.

Quitting on the Wharf
Hypnotherapy, £350 for two hours, The Therapy Lounge, 2 Admirals Way, Marsh Wall,

Acupuncture and Tuina Massage Clinic, from £75, 1 Scott House, Admirals Road, acupuncture

Allen Carr's Easy Way To Stop Smoking: Be a Happy Non-Smoker For The Rest Of Your Life, £8.99 at Waterstones, Jubilee Place Mall.

Nicorette Gum, £5.79, available from Boots, Canada Place Mall.

NHS' Free Quit Kit, go to for information

Health Benefits From Quitting

Eight hours: Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by half, oxygen levels return to normal. Circulation improves.
24 hours: Carbon monoxide and nicotine eliminated by the body.
48 hours: The ability to taste and smell improves.
One month: Appearance improves - skin loses its greyish pallor and becomes less wrinkled.
Three-nine months: Coughing and wheezing decline.
One year: Risk of heart attack reduces by half compared to that of a smoker.
10 years: Risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker.
15 years: Risk of heart attack falls to that of someone who has never smoked.
Information published by Public Health charity Ash


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