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Will the £13 per pack cigarette help break smoking habits?

August 2013

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

There are around 10 million smokers in the UK alone – a habit which kills one in two of its users 10, 20, or 30 years before their time.

It’s not just the premature death that’s an issue but the terrible physical decline in health that starts incredibly early in a smokers life. Smoking remains the single most preventable cause of death in the UK population by a long way (followed by obesity). All smokers are aware of the physical price they are paying – although they close their minds to it. Surprisingly – telling a smoker these facts does nothing to cure them of smoking. In fact it often makes it even worse – when a smoker experiences fear or stress – what do they do? They light a cigarette. For this reason – you won’t find any scary facts or stories or pictures in any Allen Carr’s Easyway To Quit Smoking Centers or books. Telling a smoker what they already know (that it’s killing them) is patronising and pointless.

Smoking is an addiction rather than a habit. Smokers don’t get addicted to nicotine because they’re in the habit of smoking – it’s the other way around – they get addicted to nicotine and then get into the habit of smoking.

Breaking habits is a fairly easy thing to do as long as you see the habit as being something you no longer wish to do and something that provides you with no benefit or pleasure. It takes around 6 hours at our centers for us to explain to smokers how they’ve been conned into thinking that they enjoy smoking. Once they realise that it works like a con trick – they actually find it really easy to quit.

If you’re trying to break a habit you enjoy – each trigger moment (which is the habit thing) causes a feeling of unhappiness or yearning – it’s like a sense of loss. If, however, you’re happy to no longer be indulging in the habit – each trigger moment (the habit thing) causes a sense of genuine relief and pleasure – a reminder that you’ve escaped.

The Australian Government recently announced that they’re increasing the price of cigarettes by a whopping 12.5% every year for the next four years – a HUGE rise. On the face of it this seems like a good way of manipulating the smoking population but in reality I think all we’ve seen as prices have risen in the UK is a massive increase in cigarette smuggling and counterfeiting. Prohibition in 1920s USA did little other than drive law abiding citizens into the arms of gangsters and bootleggers.

Rather than ban them or price them into the hands of gangsters – it’s far, far better to provide smokers with an effective means of quitting smoking. Allen Carr’s Easyway To Quit Smoking Centers offer a money back guarantee and a 20 a-day smoker in the UK recovers the cost (£250) within a month of quitting smoking. The money back guarantee is designed to ensure that the smoker doesn’t lose out. They either quit smoking after successfully completing the program or get their money back.

If the UK government follows the Australian model – cigarettes that cost around £8 a pack today will cost around £13 a pack within 4-5 years. That extra £5 per pack (or US$2,400 per year per smoker) will be used towards paying off some of the nation’s budget deficit following the banking crisis – so one could question the motivation for price manipulation.

If the strategy works, and smoker numbers are reduced, then the benefit to the NHS would apparently be immense – but as mentioned – prohibition (which is what making cigarettes £13 a packet effectively is) simply doesn’t work.

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For more information about how to get help to quit smoking and how to quit smoking easily rather than feeling like you have to quit smoking (and feel deprived) click on your country’s flag at the top of this page.

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