There is one man that I owe a huge debt of gratitude but unfortunately he is no longer here for me to thank. His name is Allen Carr and for the first few decades of his life he was an accountant. But there was something else about Allen, he was an extremely heavy smoker – pretty much a chain smoker. But he stopped suddenly and without the need of drugs or other aids at the age of 48 after smoking for over 30 years. He developed a method, used it to give up and then wrote a book detailing his method and called it ’Easyway’.
That is why he is my hero, because 9 years ago I read his book, and after completing it I smoked my last cigarette and haven’t touched one since. Don’t get me wrong his book is no literary masterpiece, in fact it’s quite clumsily written in parts. However reading that book was like a veil being lifted from my eyes or should I say smoke. As I read that book I can remember thinking very carefully about every ciggie I smoked – why I smoked, what I was getting out of it. I even studied other people smoking, watching their expressions as they took the first or the final drag from a cigarette.
Because in a way that’s all his book does – makes you think about your smoking and why you do it. At the core of the method are two simple facts –
- People smoke because they are addicted to nicotine
- Withdrawal symptoms are nothing more than an empty feeling.
Of course there’s much more in the book but the essence is there. A smoker is addicted and if they stop they no longer will be. The only physical symptoms of stopping are pretty much trivial, everything else is pretty much in your mind. The explanation that really helped me was that you only felt good when smoking a cigarette because you were satisfying the cravings. There is no beneficial boost from a cigarette, anyone not addicted would feel nothing but perhaps a little sick. The boost is a removal of the withdrawal symptoms for just a short time. So the smoke makes a meal better, or a coffee taste good or even help you with stress is an illusion.
His message clicked with me, I thought I would never give up but in the end it was simple. It is probably one of the most significant things I have done in my life, and I am so grateful that I read that book in my 30s. Allen did himself some damage with smoking even though he did eventually give up – but his book I am certain will save thousands of people maybe more. When I gave up I got into the habit of still putting away the money I would have spent on smoke, believe it or not a few weeks savings paid for my latest toy. I am writing this on the Ipad I bought – these toys would all have to go if I stilll smoked. By the way If you had problems watching various websites like Hulu and the BBC – this post shows you how to set up a VPN on an Ipad which is extremely useful!
So thanks Allen, thank you for probably saving my lilfe!