Drug Free Tobacco Cessation

Do you want to stop smoking, chewing or vaping without pills, gum or patches? I know that can feel like a big challenge -- especially if you've tried and failed in the past. I struggled with "Trying To Quit" for 30 years. But it turns out there is an easy way to stop smoking. In the past 10 years I've spent 15,000 clinical hours working with thousands of smokers, privately and in groups of all sizes. At first I had only the dramatic mystery of "trance" hypnosis to offer, but I've since gained a lot of expertise in the science of tobacco cessation and developed a toolkit of conversational hypnotic techniques that engage the real psychology of self-directed behavior change. This page offers a preview of my Drug-Free, Drama-Free process. You don't need pills, patches, or pocket watches. You don't even need willpower. All you have to change is your mind.

Frank Oden
Author / Speaker / Coach
(303) 246-0354

6 Mental Hacks for Nicotine Freedom

Used by nonsmokers everywhere.


You can succeed with skills you already possess. When you begin any simple task that you know for sure you can/will accomplish, you relax and trust yourself. You go with positive expectation, which you sometimes create on demand. You already know how to relax yourself, and if you've forgotten it's easy to relearn.

Retina Graphics


We tend to accept ideas that support pre-existing views. Smokers collect ideas that support continued smoking (difficulty, craving, failure). Nonsmokers are using a different information set that refutes the smoker lies and excuses. Information that promotes continued nonsmoking can be learned and used by anyone.



Smokers often think that fearing and loathing cigarettes will help them quit, but that approach is unsustainable over time. Negative motivators fade and vanish with success, we are more reliably moved by long-term desire for rewards and positive outcomes. Don't leave inspiration to chance, use proven behavioral strategies for self-motivation.



"Our greatest weapon against stress is the ability to choose one thought over another." -- William James

"Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so." -- Hamlet

"As is language, so is life." -- Seneca

"Language creates perception is reality."



You don't need willpower when you're favorably aligned with a clear and non-negotiable policy about something you believe in. When you are certain that you're never going to do a thing, there's never any struggle because you're glad to be free of it. That's no kind of battle, it's a decision. You get to cast the only vote.

Powerful Performance


Someone who's trying to quit thinks, "I'm a smoker trying not to smoke, I want to smoke but I can't." Naturally, that creates an internal struggle. A nonsmoker thinks, "I could smoke any time I want to but, in fact, I don't want to." It's easy to get exactly what you want when you actively prefer and appreciate nonsmoking.

I really enjoyed the session and found you very easy to talk to. In addition to quitting smoking I was able to stick with my new workout routine and actually lost 50 lbs in under a year. Thank you for what you helped me do.*

Rob M Commerce City, CO

You took the time to understand me and my life and how smoking affected it, and provided me with engaging intellectual conversation about smoking patterns that really tipped the scales of reason in my favor.*

Brian B Denver, CO.

You have given me the confidence to be a non smoker and feel good about myself doing it. I also incorporated your program into other aspects of my life. I am working out and even running a little. Just wanted to say thank you.*

Catie P Broomfield, CO.

Top 6 reasons to Not Quit Smoking

Used by smokers everywhere.

Maybe you recognize a few of these classic explanations of why smokers find it difficult to stop. "Taught" by prior failures, we fear these possible outcomes.

Responsive Layout

Quitting Sucks

Everyone knows quitting is really hard, that's why you need gum and patches. Cravings and withdrawals make you angry, it's all punishment.  

Responsive Layout


When I'm really jonesing it's so tough there's nothing I can do.   I feel I'm gonna die / explode / scream / hurt someone if I don't get that smoke!  

Responsive Layout

I miss it

I like smoking. It's my best friend, a long term relationship. My family /friends /coworkers are smokers, I'd feel sad and left out if I can't smoke.  

Responsive Layout


It's a really bad time to try quitting right now, I'm under too much stress. Smoking at least relaxes me. I'll quit later, as soon as things calm down.  

Responsive Layout

Weight Gain

The last time I tried to quit I really started putting on weight. I know someone who gained 50 pounds when they quit, I'd rather smoke than be fat!  

Responsive Layout

I'm Hooked

I'm really addicted. I've tried stopping but I can't. It's the toughest one to beat, and I have an addictive personality. I can't help it, I'm not in control.

I am so happy and grateful to you to finally be over smoking for good. I owe that reality to the conversations we had, the hypnotic techniques, all the fantastic information you shared with me about addiction and nicotine, about behavior and the best ways to align our beliefs with our actions.*

Mikal M Littleton, CO

You offered truth and laid the smoking problem out so clearly; your words really were the final push for me. I remember hearing your voice rapping in this Kerouac/Cassady rhythm. It really struck deep.*

Nancy W Denver, CO.

I can not explain why this really worked for me to my friends and family, it just did and I am so grateful. The session with you was easy, comfortable and successful.*

Becky M Broomfield, CO.
Frank Oden - The Art of Cold Turkey.

"Hi Frank-- I am 35 years old and I have tried quitting multiple times in my life. I have tried everything from cold turkey, nicotine patches, nicotine gum, Chantix and I am still a heavy smoker. The biggest problem I face is the extreme anger and irritability I get, even becoming a little violent. I am very skeptical about hypnosis but at this point I absolutely need to quit. I would like to give it a shot. Could you please provide me more information as to how this works and if it's guaranteed? -- Thanks, Ursula"

Dear Ursula,

Your concerns are shared by countless others, and nicely demonstrate the complex mindset of smokers trying to quit.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy isn't helping you quit. NRT gum, patches and vaping continue delivering nicotine to your brain. That does't eliminate triggers, it reinforces them with the same drug effect as smoking. Many clients have not used tobacco in years but continue chewing NRT gum, or vaping in all their same smoking situations, even adding new indoor triggers.

And you don't need nicotine for any physical reason. The anger you experienced was not nicotine withdrawal. Anxiety-type symptoms are more likely attitude/behavior problems, like childhood temper tantrums. You've taught your brain that sufficient anger/suffering/negotiation will result in delivery of the nicotine drug effect. That creates more anger. It's not difficult to resolve that once you understand the correct response.

It’s clear from ongoing attempts that you're "Ready" to quit. But experience has taught you to fear stopping, and that has an effect on how "Willing" you are to change. Your mental preview of being a non-smoker seems very bleak! And prior difficulty can lower confidence of being "Able" to stop. Your doubts are based on the way you perceive your smoking history, but you can change those perceptions and turn prior experience to your advantage.

That may sound like a lot, but there are simple ways to solve each of those topics when properly understood and addressed. You may not feel "Ready, Willing and Able" at the moment, but each outcome can be learned and applied.

Like you I'm skeptical about hypnosis, especially about hypnotists with Guarantees. I know for sure that hypnosis cannot make you stop smoking, and no credible teacher or coach would "guarantee" the success of any student or athlete. In seminars and private coaching, my goal is for you to make and keep your own guarantee to become and remain a nonsmoker for life. All you have to change is your mind. -- Frank

Excuses, Misconceptions and Lies

Misinformation leads to doubt and struggle. Check your premise.

Nicotine Nonsense

Nicotine is the most powerful addictive drug.
Smoking is the most popular addiction in the world. Ironically, that is partly due to the perception of it being "less of a drug" and easier to stop than other options. It's a very easy habit to pick up without thinking about it at all, but stopping completely requires a clear and specific intention. So most people are surprised at how quickly a bit of social smoking becomes a full time habit, as each little dose of nicotine creates an urge to get another one. In that sense, smoking is extremely addictive in the acquisition phase. In a behavioral context, nicotine is a rapid and reliable reinforcer of learned behavior patterns, this easily perpetuatesthe maintenance phase. But when you compare recreational drugs in terms of psychoactive effect, neuro-chemical impact and severity of the withdrawal phase, nicotine is far and away the easiest recreational drug to stop.
It's harder to quit than heroin, alcohol or cocaine.
I've heard this one a lot from people who have quit heroin, cocaine and alcohol in the past. They might say, "I know it's harder because, look ... I quit the hard stuff, but I can't quit smoking!" Whenever a person successfully quits "the hard stuff", they always do it with the same technique. At some point in time they stop taking the drug completely, and they never touch it again. This is the only technique that works, for any drug. But, when asked what methods they've tried for quitting smoking, the answer is everything except for total abstinence. Cutting down, pills, patches, gum, vaping, etc. Negotiation tactics do not work for quitting alcohol or heroin, and they don't work for quitting tobacco. It's not that you can't quit smoking, it's just that you haven't used the one method you know works.
Nicotine stays active in your body for 72 hours.
The half-life of nicotine in the body is, on average, about 90 minutes. In other words, an hour and a half after your last dose, you are down to 50% effect, another 90 minutes and you're down to 25%. It takes six half-lives, or in the case of nicotine, about nine hours to completely eliminate the psychoactive effects of nicotine in the brain. After that, the nicotine has been broken down completely and is no longer creating any degree of drug effect. A test for recent nicotine use will show the presence of nicotine metabolites in the system up to 72 hours after use, but those metabolites are inert and not causing any psychoactive effect in the brain.
Nicotine products help reduce cravings.
NRT is heavily promoted by health and government agencies, because the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries are invested in making sure that all public quit-lines require Nicotine Therapy, and promoting e-cigs. Because the global supply of liquid nicotine is controlled by the tobacco industry, that's why. But "craving" is not about physical need for nicotine, what smokers call craving is a learned behavior, like a temper tantrum, where previous craving behavior has resulted in a nicotine drug effect to the brain. Giving yourself nicotine for "having a craving" reinforces and leads to an increase in that behavior. Like temper tantrums, the only solution is refusal to reinforce the bad behavior -- minus any drug reinforcement, craving quickly stops.

Hypnosis Hype

A Hypnotist Reprograms The Subconscious Mind.
I was a successful Certified Hypnotherapist for 10 years, and I never came up with any way to get control of another person's mind, conscious or otherwise. And I never heard a hypnotist describe "The Subconscious Mind" in a way that didn't sound deliberately mysterious and metaphysical. In my coaching and my writing, I use the word "subconscious" only in the most literal sense -- there are aspects of smoking that occur below the level of a smoker's conscious awareness. But I don't believe that there is a "Subconscious You" that secretly wants to smoke, an alter-ego you don't know about who can only be revealed and reprogrammed by someone certified in hypnotherapy.
In Hypnosis You "Go Under" or "Into a Trance,"
There are hypnotic techniques that can help to produce profound relaxation, even physical dissociation. The trance-type experience is the main selling point of a hypnosis-related business because it is the only thing most hypnotists have to offer -- The "Mysterious Power of Hypnosis." In my experiences as a hypnotherapist and as a tobacco counselor I found no compelling evidence that going into a dissociative trance is a necessary, helpful or even relevant step to becoming and remaining a nonsmoker for life. My process is modeled on the successful outcomes of real-world smokers who one day "up and quit" easily, without falling into a trance. I very seldom use trance or guided relaxation in my process, I use conversational hypnotic techniques and NLP strategies that are responsive to conscious thought and interactive decision-making.
No one could hypnotize me. I'm strong willed."
This one is also based on the notion that a hypnotist exerts control over "susceptible" people who can "undergo" hypnosis. This idea is good for a lot of comedy when acted out by volunteers on a stage, and promotes the idea of a hypnotist wielding power, but what's really going on is not entirely what it looks like. For me, the least successful type of clinical client would be one who is focused only on "getting hypnotized" to experience magical change. My most successful clients are strong willed, intelligent and accustomed to doing what they set their minds on. These people are often appropriately skeptical of "The Power of Hypnosis," and are correctly focused on gaining specific mental tools for success.
Some Hypnotists are so good they give lifetime guarantees.
Some people in hypnosis-related businesses are such clever marketers they sell lifetime service plans that you will never use. These salesmen charge around $600 for a one-hour session that is "guaranteed for life." That's not a money-back offer, of course. If you don't stop smoking you can come back and do the one-hour session again, as many times as you want for free. If you do come back the seller is still making $300 per hour. If "it doesn't work" twice in a row, you won't be back a third time, not even for free.

Pseudo Psychology

We only use 10% of our brains.
False, just false. This claim is used by psychics and hypnotists to suggest that "The Subconscious Mind" is a physical area of the brain, an uncharted powerhouse science does not understand -- but for some reason they know how to hook you up in one hour, guaranteed. Here,just read the Snopes Page!
I have an addictive personality.
People often make this self-diagnosis when reflecting on their own current and/or prior capacity for multiple addictions. But this is not a formally described disorder, you can't get insurance coverage for a diagnosis of APD. You could say, though, that all humans have Addictive Personality Disorder, because we are all more or less equally subject to the same forces that can lead to one or more addictions in any individual.
The need to smoke is about oral fixation
This phrase is very common in our cultural awareness, like "Addictive Personality." But also like that one it doesn't really exist the way people think. The phrase is based on Sigmund Freud's theory of infantile arrested development at the breast-feeding stage, and that's not a widely accepted theory in psychology today. Worth noting though, in the course of smoking for xx years, you did a lot of repetitive hand-to-mouth behavior that was reinforced by drug effect. Because that is a learned behavior, it's easy to solve in that context. It's not a personality failure making you have to put things in your mouth, it's just a habit and habits can be changed.
You can't change who you are.
This one holds a lot of truth. But smokers use it upside down to "prove" that because they see themselves as smokers, it's unnatural to imagine not smoking at all. The reality is that your actual true personality began long before smoking showed up in your life, the true nature of that true self is being smoke-free. This preference to resume being smoke-free is evident in any previous attempts to stop. Because you cannot change who you really are, you cannot lose that genuine preference to be smoke free. It will always be there, at any age, and only you can set it free!

Behavioral Baloney

No coffee or alcohol, avoid smoking friends.
Over the years we formed a countless number of behavioral / emotional (drug-reinforced) connections to smoking and people, places, food, experience, alcohol, coffee, driving, stress. There are so many we can't even name them all. The very idea of giving up these other enjoyable experiences can produce enough stress to keep some people from ever attempting to stop. Fortunately, avoiding triggers serves no purpose (see below), go ahead and enjoy the things you truly enjoy as usual.
It takes 28 days to change a behavior.
It usually takes only one experience with any specific trigger to effectively cross it off your list, but it may take the rest of your life to experience all of the triggers you've ever created. So the process is quick -- any trigger can be banished immediately -- but involves a permanent lifetime commitment. There's no science to support the idea of 21 or 28 days, and no one is really sure where that idea came from anyway. Different people have difference experience dealing with different habits.
Cutting down is helpful to reduce triggers
Any smoking, even one puff, delivers nicotine to the brain and reinforces whatever behavior produced that result. You will soon see an increase in that behavior. That's why cutting down is much harder than stopping completely. You tell your self you're "Trying to Quit" and you won't smoke unless you "Really Want" or "Really Need" or "Really Deserve" one. Pairing nicotine with that kind of excuse-making behavior leads to escalating rationalizations. Not smoking at all completely extinguishes "wanting" behavior.
Avoiding triggers helps to overcome them.
Avoiding triggers doesn't build confidence, it builds fear of triggers and gives them a perceived power they don't actually possess. Triggers don't cause smoking, they are just the landmarks your brain was using to remember when to smoke -- so that you didn't have to think too much or make the decision each time. The idea of having to avoid triggers is stressful and feels like additional punishment. But there is no behavioral advantage to avoiding the associations, they can only truly be extinguished by direct contact. Eliminate your fear of triggers, they can't actually make a person smoke.