comedy hypnotist-not funny when you still have horrible withdrawal symptoms

A long long time ago, when I traveled the country as I stand-up comic, I would occasionally find myself sharing the stage with a hypnotist.

I often found it interesting how few people ever actually fell under their “spell.” If we were in a room of 300 people there might be 10 or 12 who were actually mesmerized to the point where they would be brought on stage for an hour of embarrassing fun.

Usually, before the show, the hypnotist would be very nervous. They were always afraid this might be a night where we only had 12 or 15 people in the audience. Why were they more upset by a small audience than anyone else (other than the guy who owned the venue)? Well think about it. If out of 300 people only 12 (and I am being generous) were susceptible to the soothing sounds of the performers voice, that means that 285, or 96% of the audience were not! If there was a small crowd of less than 25, there was always a chance that not even one person would be captivated.

So what does this have to do with nicotine?

Well…it’s actually not uncommon for people to come to Breathe – Freedom from Nicotine and tell us that they had tried hypnosis at one point to quit. While it does work for a few, usually, they tell us that it did make them feel relaxed for a day or two but it was only a short matter of time before they resumed their old habit again.

According to, an independent website devoted to helping people make well informed and fact based health decisions, they combined 6 studies that included 957 people and concluded; hypnosis does not work. The study said, “If a benefit [to using hypnosis] is present, current evidence suggests the benefit is small at most.”

Quitting nicotine is hard and it does take some work to be successful. If you or someone you know is considering hypnosis to quit, I would recommend you take that money, go for a nice dinner and then catch a hypnotist at a local comedy club. The success rate will be about the same, but at least you will have a fun night out to remember.

Phil Berbig

Breathe-Freedom from Nicotine