Allen Carr believes he can offer people an easy way to quit smoking.
Even the most hardened smoker can quit, if they really want to, and they don’t have to torture themselves in the process. This claim is from a former 100 a day chain smoker, Allen Carr, who tried and failed to stop smoking so many times that at one point he even gave up trying to stop,
I genuinely believed that I couldn’t concentrate without smoking. I believed it relaxed me, I believed it gave me courage, relieved boredom, all the usual stories you hear.
Reading about nicotine in a medical book, it struck him that the struggle to quit is psychological and physical,
When nicotine leaves your body, it creates a sort of empty insecure feeling, rather like a hunger for food.
Allen Carr believes individuals continue to smoke because they have a need to make this empty feeling go away, and when they are smoking a cigarette, it does. However when they are not smoking, the empty feeling comes back. Smokers often claim that they like the taste of cigarettes, that smoking helps them concentrate, relaxes them or relieves boredom, but all of the above are simply untrue,
From birth we hear smokers saying these things, and society still repeats these misconceptions.
Today Allen Carr helps people to kick the habit, and has a network of smoking cessation clinics throughout the UK and Ireland.
His method is unorthodox, as would be non smokers who come looking for help are free to keep smoking the whole way through the four hour session. People are not told not to smoke. Instead the focus is on the truths about nicotine addiction. Smokers make the decision to stop by themselves,
During that time we explain that the whole thing is an illusion.
Allen Carr says that we have all been conditioned to believe that smoking is a nice or pleasurable thing to do,
I reverse the brainwashing that we’re all smokers and non smokers.
This episode of The Late Late Show was broadcast on 6 February 2004. The presenter is Pat Kenny.