I grew up with a hatred of smoking. I was never was of those children who used to sneak behind the bike shed and have a crafty puff. I was more of a bike-shed snogger than a puffer. I think I felt this way because of my parent’s behaviour. I always suffered from acute travel sickness when I was a child. I had to carry plastic bags with me whenever I made a car journey to carry my vomit. Despite feeling this way my parents would always smoke in the car, and I have always associated the smell of smoke with the act of vomiting.
Many smokers believe they enjoy the taste and smell of the tobacco. This is an illusion – Allen Carr
When I was 18-years of age I moved out of my parents house and rented a room in a home owned by a guy who smoked a pipe. One day after a few pints I asked him for a drag. I coughed and spluttered as you would expect, and then went out and bought myself a pack of menthol cigarettes. I assume I purchased the menthol variety because I hoped the menthol would lessen the disgusting taste. I even went through a phase where I would always carry 20 Marlboro Menthol and 20 Marlboro Red – the two extremes of smoking.
No regular smoker knows why he or she smokes – Allen Carr
I have no idea why I started to smoke. I never liked the taste of them and I knew they made me smell disgusting, cost me too much money and were killing me. Maybe I felt it was part of the process of growing up – move out of the home, drink copious amounts of alcohol, take drugs and smoke fags?
For the next eight years I smoked. During that time I tried to give up on numerous occasions but I couldn’t escape the things. Then my ex wife found out she was pregnant and she gave up smoking. For her entire term of pregnancy she did not have a single cigarette. I made a vow that I would be a good role model for my unborn son and in order to do so I needed to quit smoking. But how was I going to do it? In my heart I had decided that it was impossible? I was addicted and could not quit.
Smokers are convinced that they get some genuine pleasure/crutch from smoking and believe that they are making a genuine sacrifice when they quit – Allen Carr
I was in my office when I realised that I had not seen one of my managers (let’s call him Smokey Joe) smoking for a very long time. I offered him a cigarette and he declined, telling me that he had quit. I laughed at him and said that we all quit and thrust the cigarette back into his face. He told me that he was serious and that he knew in his heart that he would never smoke another cigarette in his life. I told him that it must be a wonderful feeling and confided in him that I too wanted to quit. He then told me the most remarkable story.
Smoking is the most subtle, sinister trap that man and nature have combined to devise – Allen Carr
Smokey Joe told me that he found his wife reading a book called Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr. She told him that a work colleague had read it and quit smoking immediately afterwards. Smokey Joe mocked his wife and told her not to be so ridiculous. Then after reading the book his wife quit and never had another cigarette thereafter. Smokey Joe just thought it was a question of time and although he didn’t want to stop smoking he found himself curious enough to start reading the book. And so, each day after work he would sit in his garden smoking and drinking while reading the book that, unbeknown to him, would change his life.
When Smokey Joe finally stopped reading the book, he never smoked another cigarette again. This was after smoking for over 20-years. He couldn’t explain what had happened, and he told me the truth that when he had picked up the book, it was just curiosity, and not a drive to quit that made him leaf through the 214 pages.
Smoking offers you ABSOLUTELY ZERO benefits
I went to the bookstore the next day and I bought the book. I didn’t tell anyone I was going to quit because I was scared I would let myself down and look like a fool. I would read the book during my train journeys back and fore to work. I have lost count of the times strangers would sit next to me and tell me how the book saved their lives. I continued to smoke and even remember slowing down my reading because I was scared of the failure of not being able to quit. Then after I had read the last page I waited for some sort of magic spell to be cast upon me. I really didn’t know what to do next? I remember the following night I went to the club for a function and I was offered a cigarette. I politely declined and received the usual abuse non-smokers receive from smokers when they decline a cigarette, but that was the end of that.
I didn’t realise it at the time but Allen Carr had saved my life. Not only did I never smoke a cigarette ever again, but also importantly, I never even craved one. Ask yourself how can a business earn billions of dollars selling patches to give you slow doses of nicotine to aid withdrawal when I never had a single craving EVER?
The benefits of smoking are one of the greatest illusions man ever invented. Oh how stupid man can be.
What is the most influential book you have ever read? Please share it with us.
I remember being in Paddington train station and the person I was with wanted a cigarette. We were in a rush to catch a flight, but this person needed this cigarette. I stood by the concourse and I watched around 30 people stood in the pouring rain all trying to win the race to smoke this little white thing as quick as they could, so they could dry out and be on their way. I remember thinking what a bunch of idiots.
I get really upset and angry when I see people smoke because I understand the illusion. An illusion so deadly that it will kill you. I hear my father coughing violently each and every morning and he believes the only way to stop himself from coughing is to have another cigarette. Why can’t he see that the only way to stop coughing is to stop smoking?
Someone once called Allen Carr a hypocrite because he ended up dying of cancer. What an idiotic and insensitive thing to say. This man should have been knighted. He has saved more lives and than most people in our history. I for one know he has saved mine.