Closet Smokers and Their Burden of Secrecy

Closet smoking can be so difficult to manage. Sometimes the cravings are so strong that it is really challenging.

The power of the uncsoncious/non-conscious/subconscious mind

Quit Smoking with Hypnosis North Brisbane

Quit Smoking with Hypnosis

I had a client once who came in to quit smoking with hypnosis. He had a distinct odour of cigarette smoke. However one of the reasons he wanted to quit, he said, was that his wife didn’t know he smoked. I asked him how that could be possible as he really did smell.

Apparently he owned his own business.  He explained the odour to his wife that he drove the workers home each day. He said they smoked in his car. So he was getting away with it.

However he said that he took his wife away for a 2 week holiday once and he never felt or thought of a cigarette the whole time. Of course when he got back he was really keen to go back to work so he could have a smoke. Perhaps this little story emphasises the power of the unconscious mind. We really are in control.

Another example is when a smoker travels on a long flight. He doesn’t have any urge to smoke cigarettes during that time. Yet they rush to an outlet as soon as they land so they can have a cigarette.

Power of Marketing and Advertising 

Major tobacco companies have not relinquished the will to continue marketing their products. This is despite the fact that smoking is still widely prevalent and cigarettes have actually become quite taboo in recent years. Whereas smoking cigarettes was  quite a status symbol in the 1950’s and 60’s (Think of a chain smoking Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s or any of the big shots in Madmen)

Cigarettes have now been relegated to being trashy and unhealthy. In fact in most countries, especially Australia, they are socially frowned on and seen as bad taste. The problem with making cigarettes taboo is that the once enticing cigarette is a potent combination that often leads to lies and secrecy and thus engenders the phenomenon of the closet smoker.

Closet smokers are secret smokers

They make sure to hide their nicotine habit from specific people. This may include family, friends, partners, or coworkers. Closet smokers have developed a smoking habit that they are ashamed of. It is something they crave and simultaneously feel the need to hide. Some may hide their smoking for the thrill. Others because it makes them feel dirty. Then there are others who don’t want to disappoint the ones they love. Whatever the reason, closet smoking is not just physically harmful, it is psychologically and relationally harmful as well.

Reasons for Closet Smoking

Perhaps you are a closet smoker and you want to break free of this double-bind habit. Well done! Here are a couple of questions you may need to ask yourself:-

  • Identify why you are smoking
  • Why are you smoking in secrecy
  • How is the smoking in secrecy impacting your relationship/s
  • What is the emotional burden of smoking on your life
  • How will this affect you if the person or persons you are hiding your smoking habit from find out that you are a smoker
  • If you have a shared banking arrangement, how are you managing to hide the fact you are spending so much money on smoking
  • Perhaps there are other questions. In making a decision to quit smoking, these will help you to weigh up the benefits and drawbacks of continuing to smoke.

It is one thing to take on smoking as a social habit, however smoking can be an anti-social habit. This is what closet smoking is. Closet smoking can certainly have its drawbacks as mentioned above. It may also be a way for you to deal with hidden feelings of shame or fear that you have about yourself and your relationship with others. It may also be a sign that you are trying to avoid problems. These may be problems you are having in your life. It may also be the feeling of being rejected or punished by those who love you.

Secrets are Burdens

Whatever the reason you are engaging in closet smoking, it is ultimately something only you can identify, admit, and change. One thing to remember is that closet smoking is secretive and secrets are burdens. Secrets keep us isolated from our true selves and from those we love. Smoking can be a difficult habit to break and it often requires you to find support from others. If you are keeping your struggle with your smoking habit hidden, then you are less likely to be able to stop it. If you want to give up the secrets and the detrimental ways that they impact your life, open up those closet doors today and start living in the light of honesty and health.

Maureen Hamilton Hypnotherapist

Sometimes we fear attempting to give up smoking. Why? That awful fear of being a failure. With hypnosis there is no such thing as failure, just feedback. There are times when people have struggled to quit smoking as they have been using the cigarette as a crutch. So a short time after quitting successfully with hypnosis, they go through stress and reach for their crutch, the cigarette and start smoking again. This is not common but it does happen. So what can we do to resolve this.

This experience may be due to stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD etc. Therefore these emotions need to be addressed. As a hypnotherapist, Maureen assists people in these areas with The Richards Trauma Process (TRTP). TRTP is now being used not only in Australia but in other countries around the world. This process is one of the most successful therapies in assisting people to address those negative experiences and especially trauma.

Would you like to find out how successful hypnosis is? Check out the Testimonial page where you will discover how people found hypnosis with quitting smoking with hypnosis.