I Went from Chain-Smoker to Stop Smoking Therapist

I went from being a chain-smoker to a stop smoking therapist with Allen Carr’s Easyway. I now help members of the public and many corporate clients with our workplace seminars.

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“How I Went From Chain-Smoker to Stop Smoking Therapist”

John Dicey, Worldwide CEO & Senior Therapist, Allen Carr’s Easyway, interviews Erich Kellermann, Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking Therapist, Germany & Head of Allen Carr’s Easyway Germany, Austria, & Switzerland

John: How did you start smoking in the first place?

Erich: I started smoking when I was about 15 years old. A girl I was speaking to offered me a cigarette. I really didn’t want to lose face in front of her, so I tried one, I coughed very badly – but survived to tell the tale.

John: Did you know that you were going to be a smoker for many years after that?

Erich: No – because the cigarette tasted so bad and made me feel so awful I was convinced that I could never get addicted – but this was the beginning of 20 years of smoking. Looking back now I know that from that very first moment I was trapped.

I soon progressed to a pack a day. Gradually it built up to the point when I used to sometimes smoke 4 packs a day. That’s more than 80 cigarettes every single day!

John: Did you try to quit many times?

Erich: I tried and failed to quit and was left feeling completely lacking in confidence and self-esteem. When I tried nicotine patches – I even smoked more cigarettes than before!

John: How did you hear about Allen Carr’s Easyway?

Erich: Professionally, I worked for years in sales. At the time I worked for Pitney Bowes. Opposite me sat my colleague. We were at that time (1997) still able to smoke in the office. One Monday he came into the office with a big smile on his face. He didn’t have any cigarettes on him and told me that he had been to a seminar that helped him immediately become a non-smoker.

After I waited 14 days and he still did not smoke I asked for the details of the seminar. It was Allen Carr’s Easyway. In February 1997 I attended a seminar in Munich and was amazed to become a happy non-smoker from that moment onwards.

John: What did you feel like after the seminar? Certain that you had quit?

Erich: When I left the seminar, I still couldn’t believe that I’d done it. I waited through Sunday morning, and Sunday evening, and it was only on Monday that it dawned on me that I was really free. I was already finding it easier to breath. It was an amazing feeling of freedom.

John: How did you get involved in helping smokers to quit smoking?

Erich: I was inspired to contact Allen Carr’s Easyway to ask if I could be a therapist. I wanted to help people quit and thought it would be an inspirational journey to attract as many people to use the service as possible. I was very determined and passed the demanding selection process.

The training to be a therapist (or as we say in Germany, a trainer) was really tough – but I worked really very hard at it.

In July 1998, I took charge of my first ever Allen Carr stop smoking seminar. It was probably the worst Allen Carr seminar in the world – it was so tough to deliver the seminar for real – but the participants all quit smoking and threw away their packs at the end of the seminar. Then I knew: THIS IS THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD!

John: You started out in Austria – but now you’re responsible for Allen Carr’s Easyway across a few countries. That must be amazing? What is it like being part of the global Allen Carr family?

Erich: It was my pleasure to eventually take over the running of the entire German-speaking network. From Austria, to Germany, to Switzerland. I was assisted by my good friend Thomas Oehlke and my amazing teams in each country, and together we had tremendous success in taking Allen Carr stop smoking seminars into the corporate market. We would run workplace stop smoking seminars for the biggest companies in Europe. Allen Carr’s Easyway does many seminars throughout the world that helps companies to help their employees to stop smoking and be more healthy. Our workplace programmes are amazing.

Like the global network – we have gone from strength to strength and even survived the terrible catastrophe of the global economy of 2007 and 2008.

Because of our success with helping smokers to quit and because we held some basic clinical trials the German health insurance system also adopted us – that was a great breakthrough.

Today I know that we are part of something huge, global, amazing, and overwhelmingly good and that we are changing the world in a wonderful way. That makes me very proud indeed.

Read more about ‘How to Stop Smoking’

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Read more about ‘Our Workplace Programmes’

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From the desk of John Dicey, Worldwide CEO & Senior Therapist, Allen Carr’s Easyway

Visit Allen Carr’s Easyway Germany’s Website