Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thumbs up to PG&E

When I think of winter, an image that comes to mind is one where it is cold, raining or sleeting, and there huddled together at the entranced to buildings are the smokers, taking their five minutes to catch a quick fix. Maybe it is me, but I really am not a fan of the cold. I think that would be so humiliating to be forced to stand out there and give in to the quirks of my subconscious mind.

It is nice to see certain employers actively taking a stand and doing something to try to help these people. And yes, I am aware the employer has everything to gain from doing so: healthier employees may equal a higher quality output (people do still care about that, don't they?), less health care expenses, and maybe even better morale. In a press release today, PG&E announced that they are trying out group hypnosis for their employees to help with smoking cessation. So big clap on the back for PG&E. They are testing this out in San Francisco, Fresno and Sacramento, and if it proves successful they will make it a company wide program.

They started the pilot this past summer and had a 60% success rate for people quitting cold turkey. It is possible this is the number who quit by using hypnosis (it is not clear in the release). The hypnotist involved is Mary Mitchell, who regresses her group back to the time when each member tried his or her first cigarette. Then she uses NLP to replace the thoughts of this moment with the positive suggestions for change.


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