Stories & experiences


Allen Carr's "Easy Way"

Posted in Getting started 10 Dec 2019

Good morning everyone.

I just finished reading Allen Car's book on quitting smoking. First of all, thank you to everyone who suggested reading it. I believe much of the material was beneficial to myself, and certainly to others who have read it.

Happiness, I believe it was you who got me rolling on the concept of "hating the cigarette"; the idea that we are not actually giving anything up, we are instead, gaining freedom. Carr's book greatly emphasizes this. Now in my fourth day of quitting, I took these words and used them as encouragement to continue going in the direction I'm going. I am taking deep note of the things that I'm already enjoying, clearer breathing, and a better sense of taste among them, and I am feeling sadness for those that I see still light up, seemingly without a thought. I entirely agree with him on the notion that the relief and calming effect of cigarettes is just an illusion.

However, all this being said, I feel compelled to offer one criticism of Mr. Carr's philosophy, and this is his complete condemnation of NRT. The reason I feel I must criticize this is because I feel that there are those, like myself, that NRT is legitimately the best solution for. I fear these people may read the book, try it without the NRT's, and come into some severe withdrawal symptoms like I've experienced, and fail.

I believe that since Mr. Carr experienced minimal physical withdrawal symptoms, he is predisposed to think that others will be the same. However, I know for a fact that some people are more physiologically hooked on the nicotine than others.

My last quit attempt was essentially cold turkey (took the patch off after one day because I wanted to quicken the process). After 7 days without nicotine I became a monster, I would weep in the shower and I would scream at those who I love. Mr. Carr suggests that actual physical withdrawal symptoms are minimal, but they were not for me. I experienced "brain shakes" when I slept. If you have not heard of these, they are like a minuscule stroke that makes your brain feel like it is being mildly shocked. Not much is known of these, but it is believed that they are caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain. I also experienced night sweats, and insomnia, these do not come from simply "missing smoking". I know others who have presented other physical symptoms.

I would still encourage others to read this book. However; if you have the self awareness, or past experiences to know that you need a quit aid, then I would encourage you to be critical of the parts where he condemns NRT's. Everyone is different, and I have no doubt that this method is great for a lot of people. However, I think it is wrong to assume that all can get through without physical withdrawal symptoms.

For those that need to use NRT's, I would still read this and glean the attitude and decisiveness of quitting smoking that is found in it's pages.

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  • PuffNoMore, Southern NSW December 10, 2019 | 1:49
    Good on you for reading this.
    I think it was written 20 years ago? Possibly before NRT and other QUIT aids became widely available and improved?
    It can be read a second time to reinforce the good bits that relate deeper for the reader.
    Thank you for a great critique .
  • Happiness December 10, 2019 | 7:34
    Thank you for the constructive criticism and your point of view. I am glad that you took the time to read it and also advise others to take from it what they can to ease their quits. I am sorry to hear that the nicotine withdrawal was so harsh for you TryingTK but I think Mr. Carr focused more on the mindset or psychological part of the quit and how to accept the changes rather than fight them. While he realized it was not an intentional fight against change, there was perhaps an unconscious resistance. He has a wonderful way with words to alleviate a lot of the fears and concerns that one expects when embarking on this journey. He had hoped the whole world would become smoke free upon his revelation, and would be please that you and I and others spread his finding to help others find their way to freedom.
  • softly40, Mid North Coast December 10, 2019 | 10:43
    Thank you for taking the time not only to read the book, but to be such an honest critic,. A couple of things struck me about your critique, one was that you had tried before and failed, which is why this book can be received with welcome arms into those who have not tried before. He makes this plain when he says "read this while you are continuing to smoke". It is no doubt a good read to help you realize the brain power needs to be implemented as a first point of call.

    The other point is that you can actually start hating the cigarette, when it is hard for some people to hate something when all the illusion points to the opposite. This is the most important part of his book I think. That said I hope you learn more and join in now that you have started on this journey.

    Like you I found it difficult, and had many withdrawal pains, not quite as bad as yours seem to have been. Let it be said that each person is different, and one size does not fit all, we need to find our own way through the maze, and hope that others can give you the encouragement that you need to move forward. Well done
  • blackboy211 December 10, 2019 | 10:45
    I recently read the book also. He does view NRT as feeding the addiction. I am 10 days smoke free but I still use patches and gum. I find it does help and I play to lower the mg's over the course of the next couple of months. I find if I use patches smoking doesn't even reach my mind. It's working so I'm using a hybrid of the book's approaches and NRT.
  • Happiness December 10, 2019 | 14:04
    Thats a great approach blackberry , just don't abuse an array of NRT and use as directed. Use all the tips and hints at your disposal. Have you cut your caffeine in half when you cut down on nicotine, drink lots of water and eat a breakfast which many of us skipped. All these measure also help to stabilize blood sugars and keep you calmer.

    I am glad you found the book helpful. All the best. Stay positive. YOu can do this.
  • AndrewCam, Western Sydney December 11, 2019 | 10:24
    To Pisces24, Happiness and TryingTK.
    I am so horrified and shaken by your constant touts and ridicule.
    You obviously didn't my read my story as I have 4 children so my "age group" was discrimination.
    Next I don't need to explain my story to you but I will with shaking hands.
    Being left a single father due to lung cancer I needed to find anyway possible to quit smoking.
    Having tried every method numerous time, then to have champix which NEARLY caused ME to not be here for my children I found VAPING.

    35 years of smoking and now I don't even vape, which by the way is NOT smoke.

    I don't wish to argue (especially about political standpoints and agenda some clearly know nothing about) and only came on here to tell my success story but have received nothing but abuse.
    I would rather see my children vape then smoke but thank GOD and my friends around me I am now free and can be here till the end for my children.

    Sorry I upset you so much but if you had just read my story for what it was and accepted this worked for me and millions of others I wouldn't feel so much pain right now.
    Great support room

    You will not hear anything but support from me

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