Has anyone here tried to quit smoking by Alan Carr's "The Easy Way to Stop Smoking"?

A few weeks ago my heart went into SVT as I was driving down the long winding ravine on my way to work in the morning. My heart rate was over 230bpm, I was close to passing out, and I could not safely stop without risking causing a serious accident. I drove about a half-mile to the first safe place to stop. I tried all of my normal methods that I use to stop the SVT (putitng my feet up, squeezing my chest muscles, massaging my carotid artery), but I could not stop it. Luckily, I flagged down the local fire warden, and he had his radio with him, as there is no cell service where I was. After an ambulance ride that seemed to take forever, I got to the hospital. Though I told them I needed adenosine to stop it, they tried to wait it out. After an hour, they tried the 6mg dose, which, as usual, did nothing. After another 30 minutes, they gave me the 12mg dose, which stopped it immediately.

I’ve had SVT attacks 2 or 3 times a year since 2003. I usually am able to stop them on my own. I’ve also had high blood pressure, which I didn’t bother to treat. I’ve been a smoker since 1990. I’ve been an insomniac since I left the Army in 1991, and tried all of the OTC and prescription meds. None of them worked for long. I used herb to treat it for a while, but that stopped working also. For the last 10 years or so, I’ve alternated between drinking myself to oblivion every night, and not sleeping. I quit drinking a year ago, but started up again several months ago.

Since this last round of SVT, I’ve realized how much my health has deteriorated. I’ve been doing some serious soul-searching because of this. I have a 26 month old daughter, and another due in September. I finally have my dream property that I worked so many years to afford, and I don’t have the energy to do all of the things that I want to do with my 14 acres in the country. I get winded easily, and can’t work as hard as I need to to keep up with cutting firewood, keeping mother nature from taking back my yard, and my latest farming venture. I simply cannot continue abusing my body like I have been for the last few decades. I’ve been rode hard and put away wet, but now I have to accept that I’m no longer indestructable.

I’ve started treating my high blood pressure with diltiazem (which should hopefully also stop the SVT - If not, I’ll have the surgery). I’ve quit drinking, and it’s different this time. I don’t know why, but it is easy. Every time I quit drinking in the past, I’ve felt like I was giving something up, but this time I don’t.

This leaves me with one last serious vice - smoking. I need to quit before it kills me. I’ve quit loads of times by the usual methods. I’ve tried cold turkey, gradually cutting down, the patch, the gum, welbutrin, and hypnotherapy. Nothing worked for long. I’ve recently been reading Alan Carr’s book, “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking”. It seems to make a lot of sense. The hard part is reprogramming your mind to stop thinking of it as giving up something, and start thinking of it as getting free from the addiction.

So, anyone try this method? Did it work for you? Tips?

Sounds like you have excellent incentives to quit!

Carr’s book worked for me, for three years. I’m smoking again, but Carr’s not to blame.

Actually, it’s not really a “method”. It’s reprogramming, which is what you say you need. It was painless for me. I lost my urge to smoke by the time I finished the book, which took a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon.

I don’t have any tips, except to accept what Carr says about the addiction, and (if you’re a reader), don’t critique the book on its literary merits. There’s a lot of repetition, but that’s what makes it work.

Good luck! If it doesn’t work, try hypnotherapy again. It might take several sessions, and some hypnotherapists are better than others.

Thanks for the encouragement, AuntiePam!

That’s the biggest problem I’m having with the book - it seems like it could be condensed down to a pamphlet! I’m used to reading scientific literature, and the book is written for the lowest common denominator. Still, the advice it contains seems excellent.

I don’t know much about the Carr method, but since it sounds like you’ve tried pretty much everything else, have you talked to your doc about the new drug out for this purpose, Chantix? From what I’ve heard from patients (as a med student - not a doc yet) it seems to work better than the older approaches. Just thought I’d mention it as something else that might help since it sounds like you’re very motivated to quit this time. Good luck with this.

I have been taking Chantix for 12 days and I quit smoking 3 days ago. It hasn’t helped much with the withdrawal symptoms, but I know that if I go out and buy a pack, I won’t get anything from it, because it blocks the nicotine receptors. It would be a waste of six dollars, and that keeps me from doing it.

The side effects of Chantix can be wicked- it’s a horrible, horrible drug for me, but then I’m very sensitive- YMMV. I’ve had to take Xanax twice a day to tolerate the agitation from it and to sleep at night. Search for threads about Chantix for more information.

Today has been really, really bad with regards to withdrawal, but it’s almost over (today, that is). Tomorrow morning I will get up and promise myself again that just for today I will not smoke a cigarette.

Good luck with whatever method you choose.

By the way, I did buy the Alan Carr book several months ago, but about halfway through, I lost interest. I have heard many, many people say that it worked for them, though.

Based on raves here on the dope, I’ve given it to two people. Neither have had success with it. I don’t smoke and didn’t read it, so that’s as much as I can tell you about it.

Zyban. I smoked a couple of packs a day for 30+ years. Hypnosis didn’t work, cold turkey didn’t work, gum didn’t work. I decided to try Zyban (or Wellbutrin if your insurance won’t cover Zyban-they are the same drug just different names for different uses). I took it for ~2 months but did not go for the counseling recommended as part of that treatment simply because I didn’t feel like doing that. I don’t recall going through withdrawal, but then again I don’t really recall much of anything during the time I was taking that drug (but I do know I was fully functional and had no problems that came up). That was 7 1/2 years ago. I have not touched a cigarette since, not even one puff nor do I have any cravings for them. In fact, I almost never even think of them. It’s almost like the Zyban made me forget the habit just about completely.

If someone had told me it would be that easy to drop a long-standing habit like I had, I’d never have believed it. But I can tell you that it worked for me.

Alice, keep it up - from what I’ve been reading, after 72 hours, the nicotine is out of your system, and it’s the worst the withdrawl symptoms get. It’s downhill from here!

Mumio, I’ve tried welbutrin, and it did nothing for me. I quit for 2 weeks, but it was more willpower than the welbutrin, and I still had major withdrawl.

I may try the Chantix, but I want to research the possible side effects. I’m often anxious and have a terrible time sleeping anyway, so it may not be right for me.

Carr’s method just seems too easy, and it seems like you really have to believe in it 100% for it to work.

Thanks for your support, everyone!

I read Carr’s book and, while I agreed with what he was saying, I didn’t really feel that it helped me at all. I took Chantix for 2 weeks and, literallly, did not have a bowel movement the entire time, so I quit. Anyway, it did actually make cigarettes taste awful for me, so maybe it did give me the inital impetus. Husband and I quit together at midnight 02/15/08.

That’s the key. Don’t resist. Give in! Accept what he’s telling you as truth, because it is – it really is.

90% of Carr’s readers are probably smarter than he is and could have written a better book, but that’s not the point. The point is that every cigarette reinforces the addiction, sets you up to want the next one. If you can internalize this, the battle is won.

I quit after reading that book. I had a few things that reinforced my desire to quit smoking - I had recently turned 40, and that was a milestone and a point ant which I had set for myself to quit; and I had just bought a new car, and what I saved by not buying cigarettes almost equaled my new car payment. I was highly motivated to quit, and the book** changed my way of thinking on why I thought I needed to smoke**. It really clicked with me, and once I changed my brain to realized the lies it was telling me about smoking (and why I felt I was addicted), it was - I hate to say this because it is me, not you - it was very easy for me to quit.

It really was one of the easier habits for me to break, once I wrapped my brain around it. I had smoked for 25 years and was around a 2-pack-a-day smoker, so it was a serious habit. A few weeks after I quit I went to a smoky bar and drank and still wasn’t tempted to light up. I have been smoke free for over 3 years.

Thanks- it does seem to be a lot better today. I hope that you do look into the Chantix- it has the highest success rate of any method, and if I, the world’s biggest physical wimp, can take it, anyone should be able to. You might have to take something else to help with the anxiety and/or sleeplessness, but that’s okay- it’s worth it. If you do take it, make sure to sign up for the support program online- it does help.

When I was a kid, my uncle quit smoking and said that it was easy that he just threw the pack away because it is just “all in your head”. After several unsuccessful attempts to quit, I mocked the old man thinking that he held some supernatural power over nicotine that I could never grasp.

But…while what he said was simplistic it is very true. I have been smoke-free for 18 months and realize that he was right. You put cigarettes and nicotine up on a pedestal in domination over your life. Once you realize that it is just a fucking pack of little sticks purchased at the store, you gain control of them.

Look at a non-smoking friend. He or she does fine without them. Why do you “need” them? Is it all in your head? It sure as hell is.

Now, there are physical withdrawl symptoms, but if you can tough it out for three days, you are over them. And you are also over:

  1. Having a habit that you can’t do almost anywhere (smoking bans)
  2. Five or six bucks a pack or more (money could be used elsewhere)
  3. You smell like a tobacco farm (people look down on you (they do) )
  4. Something that will shorten your life.

Good luck.

I find that statement incredibly patronizing. Would you tell an alcoholic or heroin addict that it’s all in their head? It’s a physical addiction, and often requires medical intervention, which there is nothing wrong with seeking.

The third day, IME (I quitted smoking a number of times, but always resumed later), is always the worst. Cravings begin to slowly recede after that, and essentially are gone after the third week.

The worst is behind you.

The uncle was himself quitting. So, I assume he had every right to make this comment.

There’s a difference between addiction and physical dependency, and not all physical dependencies are equal. The withdrawal from heroin and alcohol is dangerous and should be done with medical supervision. The withdrawal from nicotine is nothing and never killed anyone. I’ve been through it several times. What’s “in your head” about nicotine is the belief that it does anything for you other than relieve withdrawal symptoms. That’s the basis of Alan Carr’s book.

I didn’t have physical symptoms when I quit - they were all mental. Honest. People make quitting smoking out to be some incredibly difficult thing and I found that to be not true. I had tried to quit many times before - gum, patches, hypnotherapy…and I failed every single time not because of any physical symptoms, but my mind was focused on the “poor me, I’m so deprived, I deserve to smoke”. What a crock of BS. When the mind is set, the body follows.

Brother and sister used it and quit easily. Other sister used it and smokes occasionally, other brother read it and it didn’t work. He’s smoking 40-60 a day. :frowning:

I know it’s true, but I’m a tough old bird, and a creature of habit. I’m trying to give in. I’ve read the book twice now, and I am having trouble believing it can be that easy, or that I can change my viewpoint on it.

Holy crap - how much were you smoking? I’m thinking I might save $100/mo!
No problem - I understand where you’re coming from. Congrats on becoming a non-smoker, and I hope to join you soon!
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