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ASH Apologises For Unfounded Comments

December 2006

Today Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), the public health charity has apologised to Allen Carr’s Easyway Organisation for unfounded comments made by its Director in November 2006.

In November of last year, Deborah Arnott, Director of ASH claimed that specific success rates quoted by Allen Carr Easyway were “plucked out of the air” and “basically made up.” She made these comments whilst on the BBC Radio 4 “PM” program during a piece concerning the death of Allen Carr, founder of Allen Carr’s Easyway organisation.

Deborah Arnott’s comments referred to two independent studies conducted by eminent experts in the field of smoking cessation which had already been published in peer reviewed journals indicating a 53% success rate for Allen Carr’s Easyway to Quit Smoking Centers after 12 months.

Allen Carr’s Easyway To Quit Smoking book has sold over 8 million copies almost entirely on the strength of word of mouth recommendation and the worldwide network of centers in 38 countries treat more than 50,000 smokers each year.

The centers provide a money back guarantee whereby smokers can reclaim their fee should they fail to quit. Less than 10% find it necessary to reclaim their fee. The success rate at the public centers is even higher than those quoted in the independent studies both of which focused on smokers whose attendance at the centers was funded by employers rather than by the smokers themselves.

Following a complaint by Allen Carr’s Easyway International, Deborah Arnott and ASH now acknowledge that it was wrong for Ms Arnott to have made the comments relating to the 53% success rate and have issued an unreserved apology.

ASH has agreed to pay the legal costs incurred by Allen Carr’s Easyway.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR INTERVIEW REQUESTS PLEASE CONTACT SHELLEY FROSDICKAT PHIL HALL ASSOCIATES ON SHELLEY@PHILHALLASSOCIATES.COM / 020 7535 3357

NOTES TO EDITORS

MD of Allen Carr’s Easyway Robin Hayley is available for interviews

The published studies are

1. Hutter HP et al. 2006. Smoking cessation at the workplace: one year success of short seminars. Int Arch Occup Environ Health (2006) 79:42-48.

2. Moshammer H and Neuberger M 2007 Long term success of short smoking cessation seminars supported by occupational health care. Addict Behav DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2006.10.002.

The Radio 4 PM program was aired on 29th November 2006

The ASH Apology is worded as follows:

ASH Apologises to Allen Carr’s Easyway International
On 29th November 2006 the Director of ASH, Deborah Arnott, was interviewed by the BBC Radio 4 program ‘PM’ in the context of a piece concerning the death of Allen Carr of Allen Carr’s Easyway International. During the course of the interview reference was made to Allen Carr’s open letter to Tony Blair which was published on www.allencarr.com and Ms Arnott was asked to express her opinion on the views expressed by Mr Carr who passed away that morning.??

Despite references during the interview to the studies mentioned by Allen Carr in his letter that indicated a 53% success rate for Allen Carr’s Easyway To Quit Smoking Centers after 12 months, Ms Arnott stated that the 53% success rate had been “plucked out of the air” and “basically made up”.

Following a complaint by Allen Carr’s Easyway International, Ms Arnott now acknowledges that two uncontrolled, observational and retrospective studies using self-reported abstinence have been published in peer reviewed journals and have reported success rates for the Allen Carr method consistent with an estimate of 53% after twelve months.

The published studies are as follows:

1. Hutter HP et al. 2006. Smoking cessation at the workplace: one year success of short seminars. Int Arch Occup Environ Health (2006) 79:42-48.

2 Moshammer H and Neuberger M 2007 Long term success of short smoking cessation seminars supported by occupational health care. Addict Behav DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2006.10.002.

ASH and Ms Arnott accept that it was wrong for Ms Arnott to have stated that the 53% success rate claimed by Allen Carr had been “plucked out of the air” and “basically made up” and apologise unreservedly for making these statements in the national media. ASH have agreed to pay the legal costs incurred by Allen Carr’s Easyway To Quit Smoking.

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