Radio station leads listeners in stop-smoking bid

At least 14 Ranfurly residents are practising self-hypnosis in order to give up smoking after a Los Angeles-trained Dunedin hypnotherapist worked with them for more than three hours last week.

The hypnotherapy session was organised by the Maniototo's volunteer radio station, Burn 729am, when manager Amie Pont decided she would quit smoking on May 29 - her 30th birthday.

As part of World Smokefree Day on May 31, two other radio station staff quit smoking, and the trio was joined by about 20 listeners.

Mrs Pont said the radio station had six volunteer staff under the age of 20, and it was apparent the smoking of some staff members was a bad look for the community organisation.

"I didn't want to smoke when I was 30 so it was time for me to give up, and it worked in nicely with World Smokefree Day," Ms Pont said.

"As a station, we had to do it, and [we] thought even if one other person quit smoking alongside us, that would be awesome," she said.

Station listeners rang in wanting to be a part of the $100 hypnotherapy session while others announced the end of their habits on air, knowing they would get support through listening to regular updates.

"Every chance we get, we talk on air about how things are going and give people a chance to share their experiences," she said.

Mrs Pont said the hypnotherapy session at the Maniototo St John rooms went well, after which participants received advice on how to stop smoking, self-hypnosis tapes, and books.

"We have trigger words and actions, so when we feel the need for a cigarette we cross our fingers and say `I'm calm and relaxed, healthy and in control'," she said.

The 14 who attended were hypnotised and, apart from Mrs Pont being made to spin her arms in circles, the group was not made to do embarrassing things.

"Even the blokes who I thought would be hard to go under were completely out to it.

Having said that, you are aware of the things you are doing when hypnotised, but you do them anyway," Mrs Pont said.

Radio station announcer Melissa Inder said giving up smoking was all about positive thinking and keeping busy.


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