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“Thanks to Allen Carr’s Easyway, I am now a thoroughly happy non smoker.”

January 2017

“Thanks to Allen Carr’s Easyway, I am now a thoroughly happy non smoker.”

John Dicey, Worldwide CEO & Senior Therapist, Allen Carr’s Easyway, interviews Mark Keen, Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking North West & North East, UK

John: Tell me about your life as an Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking Therapist Mark?

Mark: Years ago, I fell in love with a series of books written by Douglas Adams, the first of which was entitled ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. It was a comedy sci-fi series which wasn’t afraid to tackle the big questions we all want answers to such as “what is the answer to life, the universe and everything?” To my delight, the answer to this gargantuan question is revealed to be simply ’42’.

Years later, by coincidence (or was it!) this number cropped up again in my life. In the 12 years I have been involved with Allen Carr’s Easyway, I have occasionally taken it upon myself to do some anonymous research based on the registration cards completed by clients who attend the sessions. I have looked into all sorts of things, such as the average age that my clients start smoking, what brands are smoked the most in the different areas I operate in and the reasons clients quote for wanting to quit the weed.

However, the aspect that I have found most interesting over the years is the age that clients eventually come to us. My average client is 42 years old.

I have wondered about this on occasions and questioned why I rarely get teenagers attending the sessions. The conclusion I have come to is that smokers have weighing scales in their mind’s eye. On the one side there is the smoker’s perceived pleasure battling against the health worries, financial implications and social concerns.

But why 42? Well, this means that the average smoker has now been smoking for 27 years and this, combined with the usual ageing process we all have to suffer means that the weighing scales eventually tip and we understand the answer to life, the universe and everything. That smoking is a mug’s game.

To be fair it was a few years before my 42nd birthday that I reached that point. I was always ‘quitting on New Year’s Day. I tried quitting cold turkey, I tried a hypnotist, I tried being a ‘casual’ smoker but I was always back on 20 a day within two weeks.

In my perception, everything about smoking was wrong, so I couldn’t understand why I was still doing it, I didn’t even have the illusion of thinking I gained anything from it any more.

John: So how did you come across Allen Carr’s Easyway?

Mark: Eventually someone gave me a copy of ‘Easyway to stop smoking’. It was actually a loan but I still have the book. I never lend it out in case someone doesn’t give it back. I began reading with trepidation, scared that it might actually help me to quit!

That book changed my life and thanks to Allen Carr’s Easyway, I am now a thoroughly happy non smoker.

John: So how did you come to join the organisation?

Mark: Two years after I stopped smoking I had decided to take a break from my job in the media with a view to doing something different. In the back of my mind I had thoughts about helping people stopping smoking but had no idea how to go about it. Through pure serendipity, literally the next day I met someone who had been offered a position as a trainee to become an Easyway therapist but had had to turn it down due to previous commitments.

I grasped the opportunity, made it through the rigorous recruitment process, and was happy to start the training a couple of months later by which time, incidentally, I had just turned…42!

If that isn’t proof that Allen knew a little about life, the universe and everything, what is?

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