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“I always pushed boundaries as a kid, wanting to hang around an older crowd, desperate to grow up and be just like my dad who was a smoker!”

March 2017

“I was always pushing boundaries as a kid. Always wanted to hang around with an older crowd, desperate to grow up and be a man – just like my dad. And my dad was a smoker!”

John Dicey, Worldwide CEO & Senior Facilitator, Allen Carr’s Easyway, interviews Paul Melvin, Allen Carr’s Easyway to Quit Smoking Scotland

John: So tell us how you started smoking?

Paul: I was always pushing boundaries as a kid. Always wanted to hang around with an older crowd, desperate to grow up and be a man – just like my dad. And my dad was a smoker!

I remember being in a tent at 9 years old with 4 other friends, camped out in a parent’s garden. The atmosphere was electric! We’d managed to get an older brother to buy a pack of ten cigarettes which we’d all chipped in money for.

We all sat in a row, lit up our cigarettes and all coughed and spluttered at the same time. We all got dizzy and started laughing… We were all big men now. Soon we’d be able to smoke without coughing (too much).

Fast forward to when I was 16 years old, having just left school and preparing to go into working life.

Finally, I was a man earning his own money… I was sitting in my bedroom one day with my highly decorated Golden Virginia tobacco tin sat on my knee, whilst I rolled a rollup (cheaper than filter cigarettes and what my dad smoked).

Suddenly, a loud bang at the door made me spill my tobacco all over the floor! I cautiously looked out my bedroom door to the front door. I could make out what I thought was one of the neighbours. I ran to the door for him to tell me my dad was lying on the ground in the front garden! He was 47 and now an EX-smoker. He’d had a massive heart attack.

John: Did you make many attempts to quit smoking over the years?

Paul: Over the years, I smoked more and more and eventually ended up a chain-smoker (my strong lungs allowed me to do this) but into my early 30’s my health had suffered so much, I began to panic and wonder If I would even make it to the ripe old age of 47.

I began in earnest to look for ways to quit. I tried the old favourite of just using willpower. I could hardly last a day without giving in. It was torture. I tried nicotine patches but they just didn’t satisfy my hunger to smoke.

Then came laser therapy, where I had what looked like a ‘Flash Gordon laser gun’ fired into my ear. Yes, I was that desperate. That failed as well. I needed to find a solution or I’d be lucky to see ‘47’

John: So how did you hear about Allen Carr’s Easyway?

Paul: A family friend had heard me coughing and spluttering in the kitchen one day and quietly told my mum of a ‘Quit Smoking Guru’ called ‘Allen Carr’ that she’d used to quit. ‘Maybe you should go to one of his seminars’ she said.

I tried to put it to the back of my mind but after another bout of bronchitis, I decided, enough was enough and to contact this ‘Guru’ – I called the number and booked into a group seminar. The day came and I’d got up extra early to smoke as much as possible before ‘quitting’ my little friend….

John: What was it like at the seminar?

Paul: I arrived at the center a bag of nerves. I’d brought 2 packs of cigarettes with me just in case it didn’t work.

I’d tried everything and I knew all about the risks. I had a healthy amount of scepticism believing that it couldn’t work. What could this so called ‘Guru’ tell me that I didn’t know already?

I sat and chain-smoked all the way through the session. There were no health lectures! There were none! Where were the ‘jars of tar’ to show me what I’d been putting in my lungs? There were none!

No, the facilitator concentrated on the reasons ‘Why I Smoked’ – this was a revelation to me because, no one had ever challenged WHY I smoked,

I engaged my brain for the next 5 hours and when asked to light my ‘final cigarette’ I now saw that cigarette in a completely different light. No longer was it ‘A Friend’ who’d seen me through thick and thin but an enemy who’d been quitting me from living my life to the full.

I smoked half of that last one, stubbed it out for good. I made my vow that I’d never light another and followed the instructions that the Facilitator gave me on the day.

I never looked back and within a few weeks, felt like a new man! My lungs felt great for the first time since my teens.

John: So how did you get involved with Allen Carr’s Easyway?

Paul: I had renewed vitality and outlook on life. Allen Carr’s method became a catalyst in my life. You see, I used to think quitting smoking was a very difficult thing to do, and now I understood how it could be easy with the correct knowledge, I applied this logic to my life as a whole and started a couple of businesses. I’d surpassed even what I thought I could achieve and decided I’d like to put something back.

I got in touch with Allen Carr’s Easyway and after months of badgering on my part, I was accepted as a ‘trainee facilitator’.

I’d hardly ever studied in my life and now I had a huge amount to learn.

The other Allen Carr facilitators around the world encouraged me and after 16 months I finally ran my first quit smoking seminar.

I remember I couldn’t sleep all night and paced the house worrying that I’d remember nothing. That first seminar was one of the best days of my life. I changed 12 people’s lives that day – it felt amazing!

A few years later, I got the amazing opportunity to own the franchise for Scotland with a colleague of mine. We’ve now been personally running those seminars in Scotland for 8 years and we still can’t hide the huge smiles on our faces after helping another group of smokers out of the trap.

Allen Carr’s Easyway is a large family of amazing people from all over the world who work together to offer an ‘Easyway’ to help smokers walk away from their addiction to cigarettes for good.

If only Allen’s method had been available all those years ago when I sat on that bed rolling my cigarette, maybe my father would still be alive today, over 30 years later – but hey, that’s life!

Thank you Allen Carr – you saved me – and – Oh I’m now ’48’ years old! Yeeehaaaw!

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