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

“Will it be harder to quit smoking if my partner smokes?”

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.

My partner smokes (and I guess it’s the same for anyone who has a roommate that is a smoker)? I don’t want to be sucked back into smoking because I live with a smoker. My goal is to take care of myself, hope they see me as a beacon of hope or an inspiration, and choose to quit on their own at some point in the near future. In the past I’ve allowed other smokers to trigger me to go back to smoking and I don’t want that to happen this time. Do you have any advice about living with smokers please? I’m planning to use Allen Carr’s Easyway to Quit Smoking method so any tips from you would be gratefully received. Emily, Portland, Oregan, USA

Hi Emily,

Well done for making the decision to get free in spite of the fact that your partner plans to continue smoking. That can often be enough to deter someone from even trying to quit. It creates a sense of foreboding and almost inevitable failure knowing that someone is going to be puffing away gleefully while you’re trying to resist the temptation not to do it.

I have fabulous news for you though Emily! This time it will be different for you. One of the major differences between Allen Carr’s Easyway and other methods is that other methods leave a sense of loss, a feeling of sacrifice, of missing out on something, whereas Allen Carr’s Easyway does not.

Imagine that there was a magic button which, if pressed, would make it like you’d never smoked your first ever experimental cigarette. In other words — instant freedom! How would you view smoking if that happened? It’s highly doubtful you’d view it with desire…in fact you’d view it as something you’d escaped from and were delighted to avoid for the rest of your life. Remember — there would be no sense of loss — it would be as if you’d never smoked.

That’s the effect of Allen Carr’s method. It explains why we started smoking, why we continued to smoke, and why we think we enjoy it, get benefits from it, why it seems to act as an emotional crutch, stress reliever, and relaxer. The method explains how smokers are fooled into believing that cigarettes do all those wonderful things for them, whereas, in fact, they do the complete opposite.

I know that sounds hard to believe at the moment — but over the course of 5–6 hours at our Live Group Seminars or the time it takes to read Allen Carr’s Easyway to Quit Smoking book (USA/Canada, UK, Rest of the World), we explain exactly how the deception is achieved.

It’s like having a confidence trick or hustle explained to you…once you know how it works…it’s simply impossible for you to fall for the trick again.

Not so long ago I visited Paris with my wife and kids — I’d been to Paris many times but for some reason had never ventured to Montmartre to visit the white-domed ‘Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur’. While planning the day I was surprised that all the guide books issued serious warnings about visiting the area. They were full of warnings of fleet-footed, light-fingered pickpockets, gangsters, and hustlers that “infest” the area. The guidebooks warned particularly of the “3 Shell Game”.

I was familiar, as you probably are, with the concept of the “game” but it had never occurred to me that it was completely “fixed” and therefore impossible to win.

Take a look at this explanatory short video about how the “3 Shell Game” is rigged (2 minutes 39 seconds).

Can you see how you simply have no chance of winning the “3 Shell Game”?

You can’t outsmart it, you can’t catch the “dealer” out, and even if you somehow convinced yourself that you could (even though you definitely cannot) you know that his accomplices would drag you down an alleyway and relieve you of your wallet.

Now…would you play the “3 Shell Game”?

Make no mistake, you might play it to enjoy seeing the dealer’s sleight of hand, but, having seen the video of how the game works and how you can never, ever win, would you ever play the game in an attempt to win money?

Of course not! Why not? Because you understand that it is a confidence trick, a hustle, a rip-off game that you simply cannot win.

That’s how Allen Carr’s Easyway exposes the myths and illusions that surround smoking and nicotine addiction. Once you understand how they work — you have immunity from them.

At our Live Group Seminars we actually help smokers experience the illusions while they’re at the seminar. We use real-time examples & exercises that enable attendees to actually feel & experience the illusions of nicotine addiction and identify the weaknesses of nicotine withdrawal and its effect on their bodies. Having experienced that — they understand how it simply won’t be a problem once they stub out their final cigarette.

These are stunning, life-changing moments as smokers experience physically and mentally how they’ve been conned by the addiction. It’s rather like watching the magician who shows us how the “3 Shell Game” is fixed. These were always my favourite moments during the live seminars as a senior Allen Carr’s Easyway Therapist/Facilitator explaining how the hustle works.

So, in the past, when you’ve used willpower to quit smoking you’ve done so without understanding how nicotine has hustled you into believing that it’s given you advantages, benefits, and pleasure…so as soon as you quit you feel deprived of something …you experience a sense of loss, a feeling of misery. When a partner or roommate lights a cigarette in those circumstances it heightens that sense of misery and makes you feel even worse.

To me it felt like a “white knuckle-ride” as I held onto my resolve, determined not to cave in to the temptation, before finally, inevitably doing so. I ended up feeling awful about myself. My self-esteem was shattered, I felt embarrassed and ashamed of my failure and lack of willpower, and felt weak and helpless. The whole experience is enough to put us of even trying to quit again isn’t it?

Allen Carr showing me how the whole hustle of nicotine addiction works saved my life and turned me from an 80 a day smoker who turned into a jelly-fish if I didn’t have at least 2 packs of cigarettes on my person — into a happy non-smoker in just 5 hours.

I was so surprised and shocked at the ease with which I stopped — I was inspired to get in touch with Allen to say “thank you” and ask if I could help him take his amazing method across the world.

Back to your question Emily, when Allen Carr’s Easyway works for you — you won’t feel deprived when you see your partner smoking. In fact, you’ll feel great!

Why? How? Well, I don’t like Brussels Sprouts. I don’t understand people who do like them — but personally I have no interest in eating them under any circumstances.

Even if I was as drunk as a skunk, surrounded by friends eating plates of them — I simply wouldn’t be tempted to even try one. Not even a nibble.

Why would I? You could wave them under my nose, make a performance of savouring their flavour while you devour them…but I’ll never be tempted to have one.

It’ll never take even the teeniest bit of willpower to resist the “lure” of Brussels Sprouts and I’ll never feel miserable or deprived because I can’t have one. Why not?

Because I don’t want one!

You don’t want to be a smoker any more. In fact you don’t want to be a smoker so much — you’ve sought out our help and advice to rid your life of smoking! Once you understand the smoking trap, how you’ve been conned into so many phoney & fake beliefs about cigarettes and smoking — you’ll feel the same way about cigarettes as I feel about Brussels Sprouts.

I hope that makes sense Emily — you’re all set to be fine and dandy and you’re right, I’m sure that at some point in the future you might inspire your partner to join you as a happy non-smoker. They will see how easy you’ve found it, how relaxed you are about it while around them and others who smoke, and think that you’re Superwoman. And guess what?

You’ll feel like Superwoman!

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/

Good on you for getting in touch Emily — I’m sure you’ll become a happy non-smoker in not time at all (& remain one regardless of what your partner does).

Best wishes

John at Allen Carr

www.AllenCarr.com

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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You can find out more about Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking Live Group Seminars here https://www.allencarr.com/easyway-stop-smoking/programmes/group-seminars/

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.