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Updated: Sep 19, 2023


A 40-A-DAY smoker has quit after winning a competition run by the Crawley Observer for a free session with a hypnotherapist.

HOLY SMOKE: Laurence Branscombe gives the Observer the thumbs up

Laurence Branscombe, of Juniper Road, Langley Green, was the lucky winner offered a trial with clinical hypnotherapist Florence Mackay, who is based in Forest Row, East Sussex. And since the hypnotherapy he reckons he has no desire to smoke ever again.

He enthused: "It's been incredible. It's really hard to describe how I feel because it seems a bit weird at the moment."

Laurence, 67, admitted he smoked at least 40 cigarettes a day and started the habit 45 years ago when he was 22.

On being hypnotised, he said: "It's strange because you know what's going on but you're not quite with it. When you come out of the session you feel great."

The retired grandfather, who worked for a handling agent at Gatwick for 28 years, sadly lost his wife 19 months ago after she suffered a massive heart attack. He was married for 43 years.

He said: "She would be absolutely amazed. I used to say to her 'if you pack it up. I'll pack it up' but she would always say 'no'."

And two weeks after the session, Laurence, who has two grown-up sons, says he's pretty determined to stay off the cigarettes for good.

I haven't had the urge since and I feel while before you really get the long term benefits of it.

Before the hypnotherapy he had tried cravings but didn't solve the complete


I've gone into a new part of my life that I have never been in before. I've never gone so long without smoking before.

Now Laurence, a part-time worker at £70 a week, which would normally be West Green's Sainsbury's, is pocketing spent on cigarettes.

The main thing I did it for was for the grandchildren. I would like to be around them for a few more years.

I entered the competition for their sakes really. It's the first piece of luck I've had for years.

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