I have to start by saying (if you had not already guessed) that Allen Carr is my HERO!! Along with millions of others too. He was a one man revolution. He smoked 100 SMOKES a day!! and just stopped. His method is a cold turkey method. As you can imagine, It is hard to be impartial regarding Allen 🙂 But I will do my best as I know nothing is perfect.
I think what is surprising about this book, is the size. Now for a book that had so much impact and still does now, it is relatively slim. Mind you, how many ways can you say “stop smoking dumb-arse?” Yes, even that is finite. I will say this first off and I have said it in prior posts, it is boring in the sense that it is repetitive but that is what you need to get it through in that hard-nosed section of your smoking brain, that smoking is an addiction. Any stop smoking book to some degree, will be repetitive, it needs to be. Allen , however, has a great sense of humour, and you find yourself nodding ,smirking and thinking “that is so true”. When I read it, it was like, “SOMEONE TRULY UNDERSTANDS”. He never treats you like you are a moron, where as some people do.Yes, as a smoker, you can understand when non addicts see you doing actions repeatedly daily that are really the equivalent of you drinking bleach or placing yourself in the way of a truck, it is understandable why smokers are talked to as if they are
- really stupid
- a bit slow on the uptake
- REALLY REALLY STUPID.
However Allen is not like that, neither does he sugarcoat it . Now his way is easy BUT don’t make the mistake of thinking it is easy to stop. I beg to differ with Allen in this aspect. No method, (bar a medically induced coma for a month with brain rewiring) is easy BUT he helps you understand why things are difficult and it makes you feel better, that you aren’t just a lily liveried weakling with no spine.
When I first heard of Allen Carr and his seminars, I thought “hmmmm, Moonies, brain washing, love bombing and all that sort of thing” so i never went on one. I think there were 2 people in NZ doing them. It was the seminars i thought were suspect not the book.
So i brought the book and i read it 4 times but not to the end of the book, I stopped and i never finished reading the book until the final time. In the beginning Allen tells you that by the end of the book, you will want to stop and be happy. Now i doubted that I would be happy to stop (even though i was so tired of the stop smoking processes and all the drama associated with it) but the thought of stopping scared me too much and whether it was true (the happy business) I never found out until the last time. Was i happy?
If you had asked me that in the first few days of stopping, I would have ripped you a new errr throat!! No, I was not happy but possibly relieved but to be very HONEST, the first few days were a bloody nightmare. One thing I do recall VERY clearly , was how proud I was that i had not had a cigarette for 12, 24, 36, 48 and then 72 hours. Was I happy at times? Yes, after about 3-4 weeks maybe but not all the time and I think it was more relief of seeing that there maybe light at the end of the tunnel in regards to breaking that BLOODY stranglehold smoking had on me.
In a nutshell, you read the book and stop. Allen Carr believes we smoke because we are addicted but also because of fear .
“Carr teaches that, contrary to their perception, smokers do not receive a boost from smoking , smoking only relieves the withdrawal symptoms from the previous cigarette, which in turn creates more withdrawal symptoms once it is finished. In this way the drug addiction perpetuates itself. He asserted that the “relief” smokers feel on lighting a cigarette, the feeling of being “back to normal”, is the feeling experienced by non-smokers all the time. So that smokers, when they light a cigarette are really trying to achieve a state that non-smokers enjoy their whole lives. He further asserted that withdrawal symptoms are actually created by doubt and fear in the mind of the ex-smoker, and therefore that stopping smoking is not as traumatic as is commonly assumed, if that doubt and fear can be removed.
At Allen Carr Clinics during quit-smoking sessions, smokers are allowed to continue smoking while their doubts and fears are removed, with the aim of encouraging and developing the mindset of a non-smoker before the final cigarette is extinguished. A further reason for allowing smokers to smoke while undergoing counseling is Carr’s belief that it is more difficult to convince a smoker to quit until they understand the mechanism of “the nicotine trap”. This is because their attention is diminished while they continue to believe it is traumatic and extremely difficult to quit and continue to maintain the belief that they are dependent on nicotine.
Another assertion unique to Carr’s method is that willpower is not required to quit smoking.
His contention was that fear of “giving up” is what causes the majority of smokers to continue smoking, thereby necessitating the smoker’s perpetuation of the illusion of genuine enjoyment as a moral justification of the inherent absurdity of smoking in the face of overwhelming medical and scientific evidence of its dangers.”
Now I am not one for stats and figures but how can you ignore a 90% success rate?
Plus his books have outsold Harry Potter at times, so what does that say? Are we all duped or is it simply because its WORKS? Richard Branson is an avid supporter.
Have a look at some other reviews.