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The Growing Worldwide Quit Smoking Facilitator Team – England

January 2012

From the desk of John Dicey, Worldwide Director, Allen Carr’s Easyway

We are so fortunate to have such an amazing array of wonderful people within Allen Carr’s Easyway organisation across the world. Some smokers who want to find out how to quit smoking find it really hard to imagine that it is possible to quit smoking easily as opposed to battling to quit smoking and feeling miserable. In looking for a way to quit smoking it can often be inspiring for them to hear how our team around the world has been brought together. This is the next installment in a series of features that look at the journeys taken by members of Allen Carr’s Easyway To Quit Smoking Facilitator team; from being some of the most prolific smokers on the planet to becoming happy non-smokers and world-leaders in the field of quitting smoking.

Kim Bennett, Allen Carr’s Easyway Bucks, Milton Keynes, Stevenage, and Cambridge writes:

I ‘gave up’ smoking once for 6 months when I was 30 (14 years ago).
I say ‘gave up’ advisedly. I also ‘gave up’ sugar, salt, alcohol and wheat at the same time. One of my friends had died very unexpectedly in her sleep. She was only 34 and it saddened and terrified me. She was a hard drinking, hard smoking type and I thought that I’d been given a warning so I gave everything up.

We all know the problem with ‘quitting’ though. The moment you start to think that something is “forbidden” or “not allowed” it becomes your obsession, your desire, your true love, your one and only… Well, I had 5 of them going on! But, of course, the number one ‘sacrifice’ that I made was smoking. Oh how I longed to be a smoker again. Smoking made my life so much better (I kept telling myself), my life is more stressed without cigarettes (I was so sure it was true), I can’t concentrate without them (it seemed that way), I can’t relax properly (or so it seemed) and I sure as hell can’t have any fun unless I’m smoking (bearing in mind that I had pretty much cut any form of enjoyment entirely out of my life)…..

I hadn’t smoked for 6 months and it had been hell – but I was so sure I had got it cracked – I thought I could get away with “just one”. I thought “It’ll be fine. I won’t get hooked again. I’m in control. I’ll just have one from time to time. When I’m out. Or when I’m stressed. Okay, well sometimes I’ll have two. Or three. Oh, go on then I’ll have a packet of ten…..”.

Fast forward 17 years and I’m smoking 40 a day and hating every minute of it. Incidentally, the sugar, salt, alcohol and wheat all came back into my life once I’d started smoking again. Funny that.

Did it relieve my stress, help me concentrate or relax? No, but I’d convinced myself that it did and I cannot even begin to describe the massive and crushing disappointment when I had that first puff of that first cigarette and realised the lie. I had lied to myself and once again smoking had lied to me and I’d been sucked in. It tasted disgusting. Truly disgusting.

I never thought I’d be free of it. I certainly couldn’t put myself through the pain of quitting again using my (now non-existent) willpower. I was one of those people who said that they enjoyed smoking because the truth was that I didn’t think that I could quit and I had to make it look as though it was my decision to smoke. But of course, I wasn’t in control. Smoking controlled me – made me worry about my health, hate the smell of my clothes, worry about the smell of my breath, embarrass me about the stains on my fingers and strip me of the ability to save money.

My best friend, Kate, sent me the Allen Carr’s Easyway to Quit Smoking book because a mutual friend of ours had quit by reading it. I was really not happy that she’d sent it to me. But I read it to get her off my back. I didn’t quit smoking and I was gutted…. But a process had started in my head. I realised that everything in the book was true, so I’d just missed something. Our friend had quit and so could I. So I took myself off to Allen Carr’s Easyway To Quit Smoking Center in Raynes Park, London, in August 2003.

I haven’t smoked since!

This is remarkable. Why? Because I didn’t miss it, had no desire for it, no longer thought that it was a sacrifice, no longer believed that it relieved my stress, helped me concentrate or helped me relax. In fact I truly understood that the reverse was true. So, if it didn’t do any of those things why on earth was I doing it and what was enjoyable about it? Nothing! And so if there was nothing to miss why would I have ‘cravings’ or find it difficult? I wouldn’t – and didn’t! I had two questions pinging round my head:

What’s the point in smoking…. Errrrm… None
How will it benefit my life in this moment if I have a cigarette right now?… Errm… It won’t.
Right. So I didn’t bother. And haven’t ever since.

I made the world’s biggest nuisance of myself with the Allen Carr Head Office so that I could get an interview to become a facilitator. After all, if I could quit smoking then anyone could.
I’ve been a facilitator now for 7 years. I still get a thrill when I leave sessions and know that my clients have ‘got it’. What a gift to both give and receive.

Grateful doesn’t even begin to cover it……

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Kim Bennett runs Allen Carr’s Easyway quit smoking seminars in Aylesbury, Cambridge, High Wycombe,Oxford, Milton Keynes, and Stevenage.

For more information about how to get help to quit smoking with Allen Carr’s Easyway To Quit Smoking Centers and how to quit smoking easily rather than feeling like you have to quit smoking (and feel deprived) get in touch with your nearest quit smoking center by clicking on your country’s flag at the top of this page.

Did you find it easy to quit smoking rather than feeling like you had to quit smoking or sacrifice something? Maybe you could help to spread the word?
Do you know of anyone who you would like to help quit smoking? Tell them about this feature and if they mention it when they book a session at any one of our quit smoking centers across the world they can obtain a 10% discount (not valid in conjunction with any other offer or promotion).

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