Excerpts from Alan Carr's "The Easy Way To Stop Smoking"
I look at and talk about addictions and unwanted behaviors a little differently than you'll find in most treatment programs and treatment ideologies.
The reason Alan's ideas are included here is he's one of the few that has seen fear as a primary factor in dealing with addiction. He did such a good job of explaining it I wanted to provide everyone with the opportunity to read at least part of it
About the author:
The common thread running through Allen Carr's work is the removal of fear. Indeed, his genius lies in eliminating the phobias and anxieties which prevent people from being able to enjoy life to the full, as his bestselling books Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking.
A successful accountant, Allen Carr's hundred-cigarettes-a-day addiction was driving him to despair until, in 1983, after countless failed attempts to quit, he finally discovered what the world had been waiting for the Easy Way to Stop Smoking. He has now built a network of clinics that span the globe and has a phenomenal reputation for success in helping smokers to quit.
If there were a magic button that smokers could press to wake up the following morning as if they never lit that firs cigarette,. the only smokers there would be tomorrow morning would be the youngsters who are still at the experimental stage. The only thing that prevents us from quitting is: FEAR!
Fear that we will have to survive an indeterminate period of misery, deprivation and unsatisfied craving in order to be free. Fear that a meal or social occasion will never be quite as enjoyable without a cigarette. Fear that we'll never be able to concentrate, handle stress or be as confident without our little crutch. Fear that our personality and character will change. But most of all, the fear of 'once a smoker always a smoker,' that we will never be completely free and spend the rest of our lives at odd times craving the occasional cigarette. If, as I did, you have already tried all the conventional ways to quit and been through the misery of what I describe as the willpower method of stopping, you will not only be affected by that fear, hut convinced you can never quit.
If you are apprehensive, panic-sticken or feel that the time is not right for you to give up, then let me assure you that your apprehension or panic is caused by fear. That fear is not relieved by cigarettes but created by them. You didn't decide to fall into the nicotine trap. But like all traps, it is designed to ensure that you remain trapped. Ask yourself, when you lit those first experimental cigarettes, did you decide to remain a smoker as long as you have? So when are you going to quit? Tomorrow? Next, year? Stop kidding yourself! The trap is designed to hold you for life. Why else do you think all these other smokers don't quit before it kills them?
This is the warning. We have a chicken and egg situation. Every smoker wants to quit and every smoker can find it easy and enjoyable to quit. It's only fear that prevents smokers from trying to quit. The greatest gain is to be rid of that fear. But you won't be free of that fear until you complete the book. On the contrary, like the lady in the third example, that fear might increase as you read the book and this might prevent you from finishing it.
You didn't decide to fall into the trap, but he clear in your mind, you won't escape from it unless you make a positive decision to do so. You might already be straining at the leash to quit. On the other hand you might be apprehensive, Either way please bear in mind: YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO LOSE!
If at the end of the book you decide that you wish to continue to smoke, there is nothing to prevent you from doing so. You don't even have to cut down or stop smoking while you are reading the book, and remember, there is no shock treatment. On the contrary, I have only good news for you. Can you imagine how the Count of Monte Cristo felt when he finally escaped from that prison? That's how I felt when I escaped from the nicotine trap. That's how the millions of ex-smokers who have used my method feel. By the end of the book: THAT'S HOW YOU WILL FEEL! GO FOR IT!
"What I thought, was that once I had explained the mysteries of the smoking trap and dispelled such illusions as:
- Smokers enjoy smoking
- Smokers choose to smoke
- Smoking relieves boredom & stress
- Smoking aids concentration and relaxation
- Smoking is a habit
- It takes willpower to quit
- Once a smoker always a smoker
- Telling smokers that it kills them helps them to quit
- Substitutes, particularly nicotine replacement, helps smokers to quit, in particular, when I had dispelled the illusion that it is difficult to quit and that you have to go through a transitional period of misery in order to do so, I naively thought that the rest of the world would also see the light and adopt my method.
... that my chief antagonist would be the tobacco industry. Amazingly, my chief stumbling blocks were the very institutions that I thought would be my greatest allies: the media, the Government, organizations like ASH, QUIT and the established medical profession.
In the early years, I was generally regarded by the doctors as being somewhere between a charlatan and a quack. In August 1997, I had the great honor to be invited to lecture to the 10th World Conference on Tobacco or Health held in Beijing. I believe that I am the first non - qualified doctor to receive such an honor. The invitation itself is a measure of the progress that I have made.
However, I might just as well have been lecturing to a brick wall Since the nicotine chewing-gum and the patch have failed to cure the problem, smokers themselves appear to have accepted that you don't get cured from addiction to a drug by prescribing the same drug. It's equivalent to saying to a heroin addict: don't smoke heroin, smoking is dangerous, try injecting it into your vein (don't try this with nicotine, it will kill you instantly). Because the medical profession and the media haven't a clue about helping smokers to quit, they concentrate on telling smokers what they already know: smoking is unhealthy, it's filthy and disgusting, it's antisocial and expensive. It never seems to occur to them that smokers do not smoke for the reasons that they shouldn't smoke. The real problem is to remove the reasons that they do smoke.