National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) approves Allen Carr’s Easyway
Written by: John Dicey | Last updated: 4 Aug 2022
Reviewed by: Paul Baker
NICE have issued guidance recommending that NHS/Local Authority Smoking Cessation Services should make Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking Live Group Seminars available to all smokers as a drug-free alternative to existing options such as nicotine replacement therapy, Bupropion, Varenicline, and nicotine-containing e-cigarettes.
Innovative British drug-free quit smoking programme receives NICE approval
The NICE ‘Guideline on Tobacco: preventing uptake, promoting quitting and treating dependence (August 2022 update)’ paves the way for all local authority smoking cessation services to offer Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking Live Group Seminars as an exciting, A-list celebrity endorsed, clinically proven, easy-to-access, drug-free alternative to their current offerings.
NICE found that the Allen Carr’s Easyway Live Group Seminars were not only cost-effective but cost-saving when compared to existing treatments and that the evidence proving the effectiveness of the method is comparable to that which exists for ‘nicotine e-cigarettes’ which maintain the addiction.
UK-based Allen Carr’s Easyway, celebrating the 40th Anniversary of its conception next year, already has a proven track record of providing live group seminars as part of UK local authority smoking cessation services after conducting a number of successful pilots over the past two years – with more local authorities already commissioning their services as a result.
The Easyway live seminars, which can be taken “in the room” or via Zoom, comprise of a live presentation of the method delivered by a former smoker who used the method to quit themselves. This fully trained facilitator guides smokers through a process described as ‘cognitive restructuring’, helping smokers understand why they smoke and how their addiction to nicotine creates a flawed belief system – a system that not only keeps them hooked, and discourages them from attempting to stop, but also causes immense discomfort and difficulty when they do attempt to quit.
Once that flawed belief system is fully understood, smokers can actually enjoy the process of getting free from smoking. Most need just a single 5-6 hour seminar to succeed, but shorter back up sessions are available for the few that require them, along with post-seminar telephone, email, & text message support. The seminars are equally effective regardless of whether they are attended “in the room” or via Zoom.
John Dicey, Global CEO of Allen Carr’s Easyway comments:
“This is one of the most significant days in the history of Allen Carr’s Easyway, second only to the day, 39 years ago last month, when Allen Carr stubbed out his final cigarette and told his wife, Joyce, that he intended to cure the world of smoking. Well, we haven’t quite got there yet – but with an estimated 50 million smokers helped worldwide we’ve made tremendous progress”.
This guidance from NICE will enable us to help millions more UK smokers, many of whom are suffering as a result of health inequalities and the ongoing cost of living crisis. The fact that all smokers, regardless of income may now have an opportunity to enjoy this innovative, easy to understand, interactive, drug-free live seminar programme in the same way as paying members of the public, A-list celebrities, and those fortunate enough to have employer or health insurance funding – will make a major contribution to local authorities’ levelling up efforts.
Supported by the most brilliant team, it has been my privilege to have spent the last 24 years making the method as widely available, as inexpensively as possible. We have utilised all formats – from computer games or books written specifically for people who find reading difficult, to online video programmes, to workbooks, and versions of the method to help prevent kids taking up smoking. Now, the original, most effective, gold standard version of the method – the live seminars – can be made available to those most in need and least able to afford them.
Professor Dan Frings, from the Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research at London South Bank University comments “The Allen Carr’s Easyway approach has been steadily gaining evidence from a variety of sources, and it is great to see NICE recognise its efficacy in their independent review. These updated NICE guidelines should encourage health care providers to adopt Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking Live Group Seminars as an effective option for those quitting smoking.”