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World No Tobacco Day 2013: Allen Carr's 'The easy way to quit smoking' (book excerpt)

Written by Admin |Updated : March 19, 2015 3:36 PM IST

Allen Carr's easy way to stop smokingIt's World No Tobacco Day, and we thought it would be interesting to give you tips from the man who created the 'EasyWay to quit smoking', Mr Allen Carr. Considered to be a pioneer in the field of smoking cessation, Mr Allen Carr passed away in the year 2006 leaving behind a huge legacy and innumerable people who have quit smoking. Actors like Hrithik Roshan, Ashton Kutcher and Madonna have beat the cancer stick addiction with help from this book. Hrithik not only talks highly of this book but has bought almost twenty copies, so he can share the message with his friends and family.

Here is an excerpt from Mr Carr's book The easy way to stop smoking - where he talks about practical tips that can help you kick the butt, along with some of his own experiences.

This chapter contains instructions about the easy way to stop smoking. Providing you follow the instructions, you will find that stopping ranges from relatively easy to enjoyable!

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It is ridiculously easy to stop smoking. All you have to do is two things:

  1. Make the decision that you are never going to smoke again.
  2. Don't mope about it. Rejoice.

You are probably asking, 'Why the need for the rest of the book? Why couldn't you have said that in the first place?' The answer is that you would at some time have moped about it, and consequently, sooner or later, you would have changed your decision. You have probably already-done it many times before. As I have already said, the whole business of smoking is a subtle, sinister trap. The main problem of stopping isn't the chemical addiction but the brainwashing, and it was necessary first to explode the myths and delusions. Understand your enemy. Know his tactics, and you will easily defeat him.

I've spent most of my life trying to stop smoking and I've suffered weeks of black depression. When I finally stopped I went from a hundred a day to zero without one bad moment. It was enjoyable even during the withdrawal period, and I have never had the slightest pang since. On the contrary, it is the most wonderful thing that has happened in my life.

I couldn't understand why it had been so easy and it took me a long time to find out the reason. It was this. I knew for certain that I was never going to smoke again. During previous attempts, no matter how determined I was, I was basically trying to stop smoking, hoping that if I could survive long enough without a cigarette, the urge would eventually go. Of course it didn't go because I was waiting for something to happen, and the more I moped about it, the more I wanted a cigarette, so the craving never went.

My final attempt was different. Like all smokers nowadays, I had been giving the problem serious thought. Up to then, whenever I failed, I had consoled myself with the thought that it would be easier next time. It had never occurred to me that I would have to go on smoking the rest of my life. This latter thought filled me with horror and started me thinking very deeply about the subject.

Instead of lighting up cigarettes subconsciously, I began to analyze my feelings as I was smoking them. This confirmed what I already knew, I wasn't enjoying them, and they were filthy and disgusting, I started looking at non-smokers. Until then I had always regarded non-smokers as wishy-washy, unsociable, finicky people. However, when I examined them they appeared, if anything, stronger and more relaxed. They appeared to he able to cope with the stresses and strains of life, and they seemed to enjoy social functions more than the smokers. They certainly had more sparkle and zest than smokers. I started talking to ex-smokers. Up to this point I had regarded ex-smokers as people who had been forced to give up smoking for health and money reasons and who were always secretly longing for a cigarette. A few did say,' You get the odd pangs, but they are so few and far between they aren't worth bothering about.' But most said, 'Miss it? You must be joking. I have never felt better in my life.'

Talking to ex-smokers exploded another myth that I had always had in my mind. I had thought that there was an inherent weakness in me and it suddenly dawned on me that all smokers go through this private nightmare. Basically I said to myself, 'Millions of people are stopping now and leading perfectly happy lives. I didn't need to do it before I started, and I can remember having to work hard to get used to the filthy things. So why do I need to do it now?' In any event I didn't enjoy smoking, I hated the whole filthy ritual and I didn't want to spend the rest of my life being the slave of this disgusting weed.

I then said to myself: 'Allen, WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT. YOU HAVE SMOKED

YOUR LAST CIGARETTE,' I knew, right from that point, that I would never smoke again. I wasn't expecting it to be easy; in fact, just the reverse. I fully believed that I was in for months of black depression and that I would spend the rest of my life having the occasional pang. Instead it has been absolute bliss right from the start. It took me a long time to work out why it had been so easy and why this time I hadn't suffered those terrifying withdrawal pangs. The reason is that they do not exist. It is the doubt and uncertainty that cause the pangs. The beautiful truth is: IT IS EASY TO STOP SMOKING. It is only the indecision and moping about it that makes it difficult. Even while they are addicted to nicotine, smokers can go for relatively long periods at certain times in their lives without bothering about it. It is only when you want a cigarette but can't have one that you suffer. Therefore the key to making it easy is to make stopping certain and final. Not to hope but to know you have kicked it, having made the decision. Never to doubt or question it. In fact, just the reverse - always to rejoice about it. If you can be certain from the start, it will he easy. But how can you be certain from the start unless you know it is going to be easy? This is why the rest of the book is necessary. There are certain essential points and it is necessary to get them clear in your mind before you start.

  1. Realize that you can achieve it. There is nothing different about you, and the only person who can make you smoke that next cigarette is you.
  2. There is absolutely nothing to give up. On the contrary, there are enormous positive gains to be made, I do not only mean you will be healthier and richer. I mean you will enjoy the good times more and be less miserable during the bad times.
  3. Get it clear in your head that there is no such thing as one cigarette. Smoking is a drug addiction and a chain reaction. By moaning about the odd cigarette you will only be punishing yourself needlessly.
  4. See the whole business of smoking not as a sociable habit that might injure you. But as drug addiction. Face up to the fact that, whether you like it or not, YOU HAVE GOT THE DISEASE. It will not go away because you bury your head in the sand. Remember: like all crippling diseases, it not only lasts for life but gets worse and worse. The easiest time to cure it is now.
  5. Separate the disease (i.e. The chemical addiction) from the frame of mind of being a smoker or a non-smoker. All smokers, if given the opportunity to go back to the time before they became hooked, would jump at that opportunity. You have that opportunity today! Don't even think about it as 'giving up' smoking.

When you have made the final decision that you have smoked your last cigarette you will already be a non-smoker. A smoker is one of those poor wretches who have to go through life destroying themselves with cigarettes. A non-smoker is someone who doesn't. Once you have made that final decision, you have already achieved your object. Rejoice in the fact. Get out and enjoy life immediately. Life is marvelous even when you are addicted to nicotine, and each day it will get better when you aren't.

Read more about causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of lung disease.

The key to making it easy to quit smoking is to be certain that you will succeed in abstaining completely during the withdrawal period (maximum three weeks). If you are in the correct frame of mind, you will find it ridiculously easy. By this stage, if you have opened your mind as I requested at the beginning, you will already have decided you are going to stop. You should now have a feeling of excitement, like a dog straining at the lead, unable to wait to get the poison out of your system. If you have a feeling of doom and gloom, it will be for one of the following reasons.

  1. Something has not gelled in your mind. Reread the above five points, and ask yourself if you believe them to be true. If you doubt any point, re-read the appropriate sections in the book.
  2. You fear failure itself. Do not worry. Just read on. You will succeed. The whole business of smoking is like a confidence trick on a gigantic scale. Intelligent people fall for confidence tricks, but it is only a fool who, having once found out about the trick, goes on kidding himself.
  3. You agree with everything, but you are still miserable. Don't be! Open your eyes. Something marvelous is happening. You are about to escape from the prison.

It is essential to start with the correct frame of mind: Isn't it marvelous that I am a non-smoker!

All we have to do now is to keep you in that frame of mind during the withdrawal period, and the next few chapters deal with specific points to enable you to stay in that frame of mind during that time. After the withdrawal period you won't have to think that way. You will think that way automatically, and the only mystery in your life will be 'It is so obvious, why couldn't I see it before?'

However, two important warnings:

  1. Delay your plan to extinguish your last cigarette until you have finished the book.
  2. I have mentioned several times a withdrawal period of up to three weeks. This can cause misunderstanding. First, you may subconsciously feel that you have to suffer for three weeks. You don't. Secondly, avoid the trap of thinking, 'Somehow I have just got to abstain for three weeks and then I will be free.' Nothing will actually happen after three weeks. You won't suddenly feel like a non-smoker. Non-smokers do not feel any different from smokers. If you are moping about stopping during the three weeks, in all probability you will still be moping about it after the three weeks. What I am saying is, if you can start right now by saying, 'I am never going to smoke again. Isn't it marvelous?' after three weeks all temptation will go. Whereas if you say, 'If only I can survive three weeks without a cigarette,' you will be dying for a cigarette after the three weeks are up.

The Easy way to stop smoking is authored by Mr Allen Carr published by Easyway publishing. You can find more information about his books and methods at . His books can be purchased at

Read more about causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

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