#4. Postcards from the edge: Real-life questions from struggling smokers

“Why do I always go back to smoking when I drink alcohol?”

For more than 35 years we’ve received requests for advice by letter, email, and postcard from all over the world. We’ve answered every single one of them, and continue to do so with pleasure.

“I quit smoking for 2 months then began to smoke occasionally whilst out drinking. I managed to keep it to that for a while (just smoking while drinking) but I’ve caved in this morning and am back to smoking properly. I’m afraid that I “lose it” when drinking alcohol. I’m so upset and disappointed with myself. Any words of advice for me please? Theo, Perth, Australia

Hi Theo,

Well done for getting in touch — I’m sure that I can set your mind at rest in my reply.

Firstly, you shouldn’t feel obliged to stop drinking alcohol in an attempt to succeed in stopping smoking. If you actually wish to stop drinking alcohol that’s quite another thing and once you’re happy non-smoker you can address whether to make that decision then. If you eventually do decide that you’d like to quit drinking then please do look into our phenomenally successful alcohol programme.

The most important point is — you do not have to quit drinking to successfully quit smoking — just as long as you understand how the smoking trap works.

There are two main reasons that alcohol causes an issue when someone stops smoking (it’s a big subject and is covered in much more detail at our Live Group Seminars).

In either case, people either hurtle back into the smoking trap —returning to smoking at their previous level straight away or they put the brakes on, rebuke themselves, and decide not to smoke again putting it down to a silly mistake on their part. They’re determined that they won’t let it happen again.

The problem is, psychologically, a week or two later — in the same kind of situation — in a pub, a bar, or a club, their conscious and subconscious mind begins to unravel all their willpower-driven determination and/or the counter-brainwashing achieved by Allen Carr’s Easyway.

A little voice appears in their mind:

“You got away with it last week and haven’t smoked since…Allen Carr was wrong…you CAN have the occasional cigarette!”

One thing leads to another and the gaps between cigarettes get closer and closer together until the smoker eventually ends up where you are Theo. A fully fledged smoker again.

The fact is, you became a smoker again the moment you lit that first casual, meaningless, flippant cigarette…the rest of your journey was the inevitable consequence of that act. It’s only after that, when you’ve let nicotine back into your body, and the brainwashing back into your mind, that cigarettes and alcohol appear to become inseparable again.

Some of the greatest party animals in modern history have used Allen Carr’s Easyway to Quit Smoking and continued to “tear up the town” disgracefully as happy non-smokers.

Theo, you will find your way to freedom again, and you will once again find it easy to quit, but never, ever, ever let that fool you into thinking you could have the occasional cigarette with a drink.

Cherish your freedom

Once Allen Carr’s Easyway method truly gels for you, you will truly cherish your freedom, celebrate your freedom, and genuinely value your freedom. No matter how little, or how much you drink, you’ll be no more likely to stick a cigarette in your mouth than in your ear.

To get you back to being a happy non-smoker please do use our free of charge support service on the link below. A few extra words of advice from us is all you need in order for the method to work for you properly.

Support Link: Anyone reading this piece, experiencing similar (or entirely different) issues with stopping smoking can obtain free of charge advice from us via the following link. To obtain that guidance select SUPPORT on the link below. You’ll then get to fill out a short questionnaire about your experience with the method — and based on that — a senior Allen Carr Therapist will provide you with bespoke, detailed, free of charge advice on how to get the method to gel for you https://www.allencarr.com/contact-us/

Take care Theo, value your freedom & you’ll be home and dry once and for all!

Best wishes

John at Allen Carr


The name on the “postcard” has been changed to protect the sender’s identify.

From the desk John C. Dicey, London, England.

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Former 80-a-day smoker who was freed by Allen Carr. Now Global CEO & Senior Therapist at Allen Carr’s Easyway (since 1998) & co-author of Allen Carr books.