The Growing Worldwide Team – Scotland Quit Smoking Centers
From the desk of John Dicey, Worldwide Director, Allen Carr’s Easyway
We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful team of people within Allen Carr’s Easyway organisation across the world. Smokers who want to find out how to quit smoking easily sometimes find it really hard to imagine that it is possible. They are so used to previous attempts to quit smoking ending up feeling like a huge never-ending battle that leaves them feeling miserable. When looking for help to quit smoking it can often be inspiring for them to hear how our team around the world has been brought together. This is a further 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.
Jim McCreadie, Allen Carr’s Easyway To Quit Smoking Scotland writes:
I was a late starter in terms of smoking and didn’t even try one until I was at least 17. Smoking had always been around me as my mum used to smoke and my dad was also a smoker. Never the less, the thought of smoking never appealed to me until I was tempted to try one after having a drink one Saturday evening. Most of my close friends smoked and they all seemed to be coping well and enjoying being smokers. That I suppose was just adding to the kudos and street credibility that smoking seemed to carry at that age.
I remember that first puff like it was yesterday. I remember the burning feeling in my throat, my nose and my eyes, I remember feeling like I had just inhaled some form of mustard gas and at the same time wondering “what the hell do people get from this?” Anyway so as not to look like a wimp in front of my friends, I persisted with another few with puffs, each one just as disgusting as the first one and each one convincing me further that there is no way on this earth I would ever get hooked on cigarettes. That thought, as I now know, was one of the more sinister parts of the smoking trap – convincing myself that I could easily have a few here and there and being totally certain that there was no way I would ever get hooked on something that tasted so bad. Sadly as all smokers know to their costs, that just not how it works.
Fast forward to one Friday evening in November 1991 when I received a call from my father who, along with my mother ran a pub in South East London. He asked me to cancel any plans I had for the weekend and to catch a flight to London because he wanted to get the family together as he had some news for us. You can imagine the thoughts that were going through my mind as a 23 year old boy during that journey. That evening as we sat round the table having a meal, we were informed by my father that at the age of 53, he had been diagnosed with terminal metastatic lung cancer as a direct result of smoking.
Even after the death of my father on 11th May 1992 and having stared the horrors of what smoking can do to you, I still managed to smoke on and off for another 13 years despising myself every time I lit one and thinking “what the hell am I doing”.
In August 2005 I heard about Allen Carr’s Easyway to Quit Smoking for the first time and my initial thought was, if something sounds too good to be true, its usually because it is…an easy way to quit smoking? As a secret smoker at the time I could not simply disappear for a day, spend £240 on a quit smoking center session and come back with a big smile on my face as this would certainly have made my wife very suspicious of what I had been up to. Instead I bought Allen Carr’s book, read it over two days and never smoked from that moment. Such was the impact that quitting smoking and the method had on me that I eventually made contact with the organisation to discuss becoming a facilitator. After around 18 months of intense training I did my first quit smoking session. In March 2008 along with my fellow facilitator Paul Melvin we took responsibility for the running of all Allen Carr’s Easyway Quit Smoking Centers in Scotland.
It’s hard to describe to people what is like to be in the fortunate position to have the knowledge to help turn people’s lives around by helping them to quit smoking. I used to say to people that I thought I had the best job in the world however very quickly I realised that I no longer THOUGHT I had the best job in the world….. I KNEW I had the best job in the world.
Working as part of the world’s leading quit smoking organisation is an absolute privilege. I only wish that I knew back in 1991 what I know now in terms of how easy it is to quit smoking, maybe I could have cured my father’s addiction to nicotine.