Want To Quit Smoking? Learn With EFT Tapping

"Smoking is the perfect way to commit suicide, without actually dying." Damien Hirst

While we may have all seen the warning, "cigarette smoking is injurious to health" on cigarette packets or advertisements yet a smoker might filter the warning out completely.

In so many cases, smokers want to quit. They wish they could, but somehow they couldn't.

Not even the alarming research reports of deaths as a result of smoking or inhaling another person's smoke seems to deter them:

  • The annual deaths, as a result of smoking-related diseases, were 7.1 million worldwide.
  • Of the 7.1 million, 884,000 deaths were as a result of being exposed to second-hand smoking also known as passive smoking (1).

Around 20-25 years ago, India launched an anti-smoking campaign that had the lines, "With a cigarette in my hand, I felt like a man". Contradictory to this smoking also causes impotence in men.

Of course, smoking is a choice and in my private practice I notice those who smoke and want to give up and have not yet managed to because of having something known as secondary gain.

Secondary gain is where you have the benefit of not giving up smoking. For example, chances are someone who smokes might have anxiety. The act of smoking calms the anxiety down.

The smoker is taking a breath in and out which calms the nervous system down.

So I really empathize with smokers and understand the reason they might not want to give up.

According to the research some of the negative effects of smoking are (2):

  • Harm and damage to the body's internal organs
  • Cancer of the mouth, throat and kidneys
  • Heart disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cataracts
  • Age-related macular degeneration

Pregnant women who smoke have a higher risk of:

  • Premature birth
  • Miscarriage
  • Ectopic pregnancy and abortion is advised
  • Baby born at a lower weight
  • Baby born with a cleft palate or cleft lip

There may be times that either you or your clients want to quit, but are unable to do so. They have tried so many things however nothing works.

In such a situation, an addiction may be difficult to break because addictive substances and highly intense actions trigger the release of dopamine in the individual’s brain (3). 

One good way to beat an addiction and especially smoking is through Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).

If you are new to EFT, you can download the free booklet below that gives you the detailed steps on how you can use EFT Tapping.

New to EFT? Learn how EFT Tapping heals

Emotional Freedom Techniques (tapping) is clinically proven to lower stress, tension, anxiety, past-trauma to enable health, happiness and vitality.

Sometimes a smoker might want to smoke because they want to:

  • Be on their own and away from people and immersed in their thoughts
  • Feel part of the "gang" and in the crowd
  • Feel the confidence and in control
  • Relax after a stressful day

The important thing to remember is that 'smoking or any other addiction or craving can be given up only if the person is fully convinced that they want to.' 

If a person is not fully convinced or does not really want to give up smoking, chances are that the urge to smoke may return.

So when working with a client who wants to quit smoking gaguing their commitment levels is a really good place to begin. More details on this step and the additional steps to help your clients stop smoking are below: 

The Steps To Support Your Clients To Stop Smoking

Step 1: Give your clients an Ordeal

After getting your client to fill in an intake form, a really good place to begin when working with clients who want to quit smoking is to give them something known as an ordeal. Ask them to write down the 100 reasons why they want to give up smoking. Let them convince themselves and you. A committed client will do what it takes change their behaviours and habits to get what they want. 

Step 2: Explore the Cravings Process to Discover the underlying emotional triggers

Then next step when working with clients who want to quit smoking is with the cravings process in EFT. The EFT Cravings Process helps to identify the emotions the act of smoking is help suppressing as well as enhancing. For example it is common for smokers to use smoking to lower anxiety and to increase a sense of calm.

Here are the steps you can use to help your clients craving for a cigarette:

  1. Ask your client to take the cigarette in their hand and ask them to smell it by saying, "Smell the cigarette without lighting it and notice your thoughts and feeling as you smell it?" Then ask them to, "Take a dry drag of the cigarette, so no lighting, and notice how you feel about the cigarette." Make a note of the emotions, thoughts and feelings associated with smelling the cigarette. 
  2. Then ask your client, "On a scale of 1-10, how bad is your craving, 1 being you don't crave for it, 10 being you just want to light it right now." Make a note of the number. 
  3. Once you know the level of craving, start the EFT Tapping sequence, for example: 
    • Even though I really want this cigarette now and it makes me feel [ADD FEELING], I deeply and completely love and accept myself
    • Even though when I smoke cigarettes it makes me feel [ADD FEELING] in my [BODY PART] at a number [NUMBER], I deeply and completely love and accept myself
    • Even though when I smell this cigarette I really want it because [ADD REASONS], I deeply and completely love and accept myself
  4. As you uncover feelings associated with smoking, uncover experiences when they have not felt those emotions. In many cases clients will says that smoking makes them feel calm, in control, powerful, wanted and accepted. So then you want to ask the following question:
    • When have you not felt those emotions before?
    • How old were you? 
    • What happened?
  5. Use the Tell the story process or movie technique taught during EFT Practitioner Training to clear the part memories. 

Step 3: Ask client not to Stop Smoking & Explore the Associated Emotions

Ask you client not to stop smoking but to work on the emotions associated with smoking. Get your client to document their emotions and thoughts as they feel the need to smoke. You can even ask the following in your client session, "Roll the cameras the milli second before the impulse arises to smoke and what are you feeling?". In your client sessions you can explore the emotions and the associated memories. 

Step 4: Uncover Limiting Beliefs associated with smoking

In addition to exploring memories you can also explore any limiting beliefs associated with smoking that prevent your client from wanting to quit.  For example:

  •  I feel cool when I smoke
  • Smokers are accepted by others
  • My boss also smokes that is why I get a raise 

Step 4: Identify any Secondary gain or Underlying benefit to smoking

With any addiction it is common for there to be an underlying benefit.  Examples of underlying benefits might be your clients friend's smoke and so they do not want to stop smoking as you will lose your friends. 

So questions you can ask to uncover these benefits are:

What is the upside of quitting smoking?

What is the downside of quoting smoking?   

What will you miss if you stopped smoking?

What will become worse if you stop smoking?

The themes of how to uncover addictive patterns are explored more deeply during EFT Advanced Practitioner Training as there can be deep trauma as well as unconscious pattens. 

With EFT Tapping, what your client will find is that smoking leaves them rather than them leaving smoking. Advice your client that every time they want to smoke is to complete a round of EFT Tapping before lighting up. 

It is important to remember that smoking, alcohol or any other addiction can be eliminated for good.

EFT can help dig deeper into the real emotion that keeps someone addicted to a substance and eliminate it from there. 



In summary, EFT can help clients to quit smoking. As the emotions, memories and beliefs associated with smoking start to lift, smoking will leave your client versus the other way round. 


1. The Tobacco Atlas, Deaths Issue

2. What are some negative effects of smoking? Reference.com

3. Your Brain on Drugs - Dopamine and Addiction and article by David Herschman, Bigthink.

4. The Effect of EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) on Psychological Symptoms in Addiction Treatment: A Pilot Study, Dawson Church and Audrey Brooks

Disclaimer: The information on this website is purely for educational purposes and does not in any way replace the requirement for medical and psychological diagnosis and treatment. Please do seek professional medical and psychological diagnosis and advice for all medical and mental health conditions. It is advised to always book any consultations with qualified professionals.

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