Thursday, February 01, 2007

If They Think Stopping Smoking Is Hard, There's One Man They Should Meet: The Scotsman

"I'm going to cure the world of smoking," shouted ALLEN CARR. She didn't know what to think. She'd been on at him about how he'd have to do something about his bronchitis, but it must have seemed a bit extreme. Fifteen and a half years later, he hasn't saved the world, but he hasn't done bad. The first clinic he opened within six months of that flash of comprehension has led to 40 others worldwide, from Joppa to Jerusalem, Quito to Kent. His first book, Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking, has been a best-seller in 20 languages (last year alone, it topped the German non-fiction list and was second in the Dutch: he stopped counting its British sales once it went past a million). He wrote another, more detailed book about nicotine addiction, and has just published a third, on how to stop children smoking. Between the books, the videos and the clinics (he has personally treated 25,000 clients), no man in the world has or is doing more to stub out our cigarette habit. . . From a smoker's point of view, the psychology of Carr's method is spot-on. The drug's to blame, not the smoker. Again, it's basic stuff, but if you realise how you are being manipulated by a chemical and how you then rationalise that feeling (got to smoke: it's a post-meal/post-coital/pre-deadline/coffee/social/firing squad/whatever kind of thing), it's quite easy to change that habitual behaviour. As Derek McGuff, whose Edinburgh clinic is Carr's only one in Scotland, points out: "Giving up smoking is no big deal. The idea that it is is part of the brainwashing." . . . HOW TO STOP YOUR CHILD SMOKING by Allen Carr is published by Penguin Books.



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