Debra Messing

Debra Messing is an American actress best known for the role of Grace Adler in the NBC sitcom Will & Grace.

“Even though I knew all about the dangers of smoking, I didn’t really believe anything would happen to me, certainly not while in my thirties,” she said in a press release for the American Cancer Society’s in 1999. She continued, “Reality hit when I got a bad case of bronchitis and couldn’t go to the studio for two weeks.” 

This nasty bout of bronchitis led her to stop smoking and did so with the help of hypnotherapy. According to Fox news, she said: “My doctor sat me down and said, ‘You’re quitting smoking today, period. If you have another cigarette, you’ll be in intensive care.”

Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Handler is an American comedian, actress and television host. She hosted the late-night talk show Chelsea Lately on the E! network from 2007 to 2014.  

Chelsea Handler used hypnosis to help her quit cigarettes. In 2018 she shared an old photo of herself with a cigarette in her hand on Instagram and captioned it: “#fbt to a time when I was young and thought smoking was cool. I finally quit when I got hypnotized by Kerry Gaynor. Haven’t smoked one cigarette since. If you are trying to quit, look him up”.

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Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron is a South African and American actress and producer.

She told Vogue in 2011 that she was “highly addicted” to cigarettes. She went on to say, “I thought, ‘I don’t smoke like normal people. ‘I smoke to die”.

The Santa Monica Mirror reported that she used the Hypnotherapist Kerry Gaynor to stop smoking. Explaining her process she said, “In the first session, I don’t take them off cigarettes,” Gaynor explains in the Santa Monica Mirror. “We set up their quitting for the second session. In the second session, I teach them how to quit smoking, how to break the addiction. In the third session, I reinforce everything and deal with issues so that they don’t go back and start smoking again”.

Matt Damon

Matt Damon is an American actor, film producer, and screenwriter. He came to prominence in 1997 when he and Ben Affleck wrote and starred in the movie ‘Good Will Hunting’, 

Shortly after completing the filming of ‘Oceans 12’ in 2014 he quit smoking ending a 16 year habit. Speaking later on the Jay Leno show about it he said, “It worked. I swear to god it worked. It was the greatest decision I ever made in my life. I should have done it years ago. It’s amazing I didn’t even want cigarettes any more”.

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Eva Mendes

Eva Mendes is an American actress, model and businesswoman. She is a brand ambassador for companies including Calvin Klein, Cartier, Reebok and Pantene.

In 2020 she spoke to Hola magazine about using hypnotherapy to stop smoking. She said, “This is so cool! I have been hypnotized,” Eva said answering one of her followers’ questions, “I was hypnotized by the great doctor Kerry Gaynor, he hypnotized me for smoking, I used to smoke a long time ago, and it took three sessions, it took three weeks, and it’s been eight years!”

Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler is a British singer-songwriter, guitarist and record producer. He was the lead guitarist, singer and songwriter of the rock band Dire Straits. 

In 2000 he spoke with the Independent newspaper about his struggles with trying to stop smoking.  He said, “I really like it in jazz clubs: somewhere like Ronnie Scott’s, if there’s good air-conditioning. But if you’ve been to a restaurant, say, and you’re surrounded by it you really do feel it the next day. Patches certainly don’t work. Alan Carr didn’t work. I went to see a woman in Swiss Cottage, who deals in eating and smoking, and she said it’s a mental trick: you have a choice. And if you choose not to, it’s quite a different thing to saying ‘I mustn’t’. I said to her, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to get through my first session, never mind after with the boys’, and she said, ‘well, your first session will be your first. Your second will be your second…’ The physical symptoms disappeared after three days. I’m proud of myself – I’m probably prouder of that than of anything”.

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Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore is an American actress, producer, talk show host and author. Her first role, aged just six, was as the irrepressible Gertie in the movie E.T. This early success was not without its costs and her childhood included drug and alcohol abuse as well as two stints in rehab.

She stopped her two pack a day smoking habit in 2001. She credited Yefim “The Mad Russian” Shubentsov – a Hypnotherapist based in Brookline, Massachusetts. She said, “It’s so cool. I’ve gone three months now. I went to the Mad Russian and whatever it is that he does — it works.”

Talking about the process Yefim said, “She didn’t want to be in a group because she was embarrassed”. He also didn’t accept a payment from her saying, “She is a nice actress and I got pleasure watching her movies, so why not? I can afford it”.

Billy Joel

Billy Joel is an American singer, pianist, composer and songwriter. Commonly known as the “Piano Man” after his single and signature song of that name.

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Billy Joel also credits Yefim with ending his 27-year smoking habit. He had tried to give up smoking for many years and used Yefim after reading about him.  After taking part in a group session with others wanting to quit, he said, “He is intense and convincing,”

Courtney Cox-Arquette and David Arquette

Friends star Courtney Cox-Arquette and actor husband David Arquette also used Yefim “The Mad Russian” Shubentsov group sessions to stop smoking.

Whitney Smith, Arquette’s assistant told USA Today in 2001, “They never tried to quit before, because Courtney really liked to smoke, but knew it was bad for her.” They knew they’d both have to do it together because it is hard for one person in a relationship to quit. So whatever it is this guy did it worked, because to date they are two years smoke-free.”


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Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell is an English model, actress, singer, and businesswoman. She was one of six models of her generation declared supermodels by the fashion.

In 2017 went of ‘The View’ chat show and spoke about using Hypnotherapy to stop smoking.  She said: “I still have a problem with smoking. You always want to better yourself and try to learn from your mistakes and I think to get mature and older and do the best I can and how I can … (I smoke) less but it’s the hardest one so I’m going back to the hypnotist. It’s not about replacing it with one of those other things, it’s just you must stop. No gum.”

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres is an American comedian, television host, actress, writer, and producer. She hosted her syndicated television talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, from 2003 to 2022.

Speaking about smoking on her show in 2006 she admitting that she didn’t “look like somebody who should smoke. I work out and I’m very healthy and I like to think I’m a very intelligent person.” She went on to say, “My mother had breast cancer. I, of all people, should not smoke… I quit before and then I found an easy way to start again – I picked one up.”

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Her struggle to kick the habit for good led her to ask British Hypnotist Paul MCKenna to help. In an emotional session she recalled smoking cigarettes at social events. Part of the technique was to suggest to a hypnotised DeGeneres that cigarettes tasted like spicy liquorice coated with hair from a barber shop floor. McKenna told the host, “You’re a non-smoker, you’ve quit smoking. Whenever anybody offers you a cigarette in future, you’ll say, ‘No thanks, I don’t smoke’”. Later she told McKenna, “You’ve helped me tremendously and probably saved my life, definitely changed my life”.

Ewan McGregor

Ewan McGregor is a Scottish actor. He first came to international fame with his portrayals of heroin addict Mark Renton in the film ‘Trainspotting’ in 1996. He also plays Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

Once a heavy smoker he used hypnosis to stop in 2009. However, he revealed he has “fallen back into it” and blamed acting roles where he had to smoke.  He used an app developed by the Chelsea based Hypnotherapist Max Kirsten.

Speaking with the Mail Online in 2022 he went on to say, “I gave up smoking using Max’s app, well, years ago now. I find it a really useful tool. I tried many things to give it up and I couldn’t really so it and then I tried Max’s app and it really really helped me”. He added, “It tipped me into being a non-smoker and I’m very grateful not to be smoking everyday now. I’m glad about it. I’m healthier and happier – fitter – and just glad I’m not chained to that anymore”.

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 Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck is an American actor, film director, producer, and screenwriter.  He gained wide recognition when he and childhood friend Matt Damon won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for writing the 1997 film Good Will Hunting .

He appeared on an Oprah Winfrey show in 2008 to talk about him struggling to give up smoking. He reveal a 20 year smoking habit and that he felt it was “part of who I was”.  He went on to say, “I finally decided to quit smoking when I was gonna have a child. That was the thing that sort of put it over the top for me”. He used hypnosis to kick his smoking habit after Matt Damon suggested he try the method that helped him quit.

Affleck recalls, “You sit in, like, a Barker lounger [chair] and he sips water and just talks to you for an hour, and explains how nicotine is poison. “All of a sudden, you thought’ ‘This is asinine that I’ve been doing this to myself for all these years.’ “My last cigarette was on November 10th, 2005… I feel a huge difference in my health now that I don’t smoke. I feel like I’m in better shape than I was five years ago”.

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Adele is an English singer and songwriter and is one of the world’s best-selling music artists. 

In 2016 she stopped smoking using Max Kirsten, who is the Hypnotherapist who helped Ewan McGregor stop smoking.  With Adele he focused on visualising herself as healthier and ‘relapse prevention’ techniques to make sure they stay off the cigarettes.

Previously she had a 20 cigarettes a day habit. In 2011 she suffered a haemorrhage of the vocal cords, lost her voice and had to cancel tour dates. She underwent surgery at the time but was warned that she would have to quit smoking to prevent a relapse or worse.  She said, “If I’d carried on smoking I’d probably have died from a smoking related illness and I think that’s really bad”.

Talking to Rolling Stone magazine she said, “I absolutely loved it, but it’s not that fucking cool when I’m dying from a smoking related illness and my kid is devastated”.

Liza Tarbuck

Liza Tarbuck is an English actress, comedian and television and radio presenter.

In 2014 she appeared in an episode of the unscripted, comedy, roundtable discussion panel show, Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled. During the show she stopping smoking using Hypnotherapy. 

She said, “Yes, I have been hypnotised to stop smoking and it’s worked. But I did need two goes… I went the first time because I was going on holiday and I knew I was going somewhere that I didn’t associate with smoking. So I would be in with a good shout”. She went on to said, “I thought, actually, I prefer not smoking now. So whatever he had done in the first one had an overlapping factor and actually what I had realised by then was I like the ritual of smoking, I don’t necessarily like the smoking. But I would recommend it, I found it fascinating”.

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