The show is hosted by Colleen Dwyer, a senior Allen Carr’s Easyway therapist who is joined by Sir Anthony Hopkins & Francesca Cesati
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Featuring Sir Anthony Hopkins & Francesca Cesati
Please click the video below to watch the podcast
In this episode we have Francesca Cesati, who has been managing Allen Carr’s operations in Italy for over 20 years. Francesca knows firsthand the power of the Allen Carr method, having quit smoking herself and then spreading the message to others through live seminars and publishing programs.
And we have a special feature today from none other than Sir Anthony Hopkins, who is another advocate for quitting smoking with Allen Carr’s Easyway. Sr Anthony Hopkins quit smokng cigars and cigarettes with Allen’s book and he has a message for those who are thinking about doing the same, and we’re thrilled that he took the time to record it.
We also answer questions from listeners including:
Will quitting smoking make me tired?
Is it harder to quit smoking then vaping?
So sit back, relax and let us take you on a journey of hope and inspiration with Allen Carr’s Easyway method.
If you’d like your questions answered drop us a line on email@example.com with whatever you’d like to say or any questions that you have.
Hello and welcome to Allen Carr’s Easy Way podcast, where we explore all things addiction from a completely different perspective here at Allen Carr’s Easy way we don’t believe in using willpower to quit because we know there’s a much easier and much more effective way. I’m Colleen Dwyer. I’m a senior therapist at Allen Carr’s Easyway. I’m the presenter of our series of online video programs and your podcast host. Joining me, as always, is John Dicey the global CEO of Allen Carr’s Easyway and co-author of the Allen Carr books with over 25 years of experience. John has a wealth of knowledge to share. John and I are answering questions from listeners, including Will Stopping Smoking make me tired? And is it harder to quit vaping than smoking? Also joining us today is Francesca, who has been managing Allen Carr’s operations in Italy for over 20 years. Francesca knows firsthand the power of the Allen Carr method, having quit smoking herself way back in the day when Allen first started out operating in London. And since then, Francesca has been spreading the message to others through live seminars and the publishing programs in Italy. And we also have a special feature today from none other than Sir Anthony Hopkins, who is another advocate for quitting smoking with Allen Carr’s Easyway. Sir Anthony Hopkins quit smoking cigars and cigarettes with Allenâ€™s book and he has a message for those who are also thinking about quitting nicotine addiction. And we’re thrilled that he took the time to record it. So sit back, relax, and open your mind to a new way of understanding addiction. This is the Allen Carr’s Easy Way podcast. Okay. So the first question we have is from Vanessa in Malibu Beach in California. And basically, Vanessa said that she’s quitting smoking, but she caved. She stole one from her mother who lives next door. And she said, I’m going to quit again tonight. But she says that she feels when the mental spiralling is happening, the only thing to get rid of it is having a cigarette. And she said, It’s weird because it’s not caused by the big monster. At least not in that moment. But she feels that maybe there are feelings coming up since she’s quit smoking, that she’s never had to deal with before because she thought that the cigarette was somehow masking them. And now that the cigarette isn’t masking them, how does she cope? And that’s the general idea from Vanessa’s email. I think is an interesting one because of course it is the big monster. On one hand, she says it isn’t the big monster, but I think cigarettes used to help me do x, Y and Z repressed feelings or avoid thinking about things. And of course, cigarettes did none of those things. It’s her belief that they used to. That’s the issue. So something isn’t quite right there. I would say. It does sound because I. I did read the whole thing before we kicked it. It does feel that she’s an actress, snatching, quitting. So she keeps stopping and starting and stopping and starting and and that’s probably part of the problem is that the method hasn’t quite clicked for her. So I recommended that that we we sent her some full on advice on how to use a method, again, this time a successor. We’ve done that and and within that just cover that topic off that you know smoking isn’t a particularly mind absorbing activity. It doesn’t take your mind off things, it doesn’t repress thoughts. And the sense people have that it does is very damaging. And it is still the big monster that if you believe it helps you, then well, you believe you get a benefit from it. And it’s quite liberating for most people when they realise that actually, you know, they dealt with all the stresses and strains of life. They’ve dealt with all the terrible thoughts they’ve had to process or whatever else stem this done in spite of the fact they smoke rather than because they smoke and it’s a really, you know, it’s a case of claiming back your your own power. You did it. It wasn’t smoking. It was everything to do with the way you you you’ve processed the information or decided not to process the information. And it’s completely regardless of whether you smoke. What do you think? Yeah, precisely. It. It is the big monster and any thoughts or any influence that would make you think that smoking or vaping is a good idea is the big monster? And actually, I remember I felt really empowered when I quit smoking and I realised that all the credit I’ve been giving to the cigarette for helping me cope with stress actually had been me doing it all along. And not only not only had I been dealing with the the stresses that life had presented to me, but on top of that I was dealing with the stress of being a smoker. So I thought, well, you know, I’m pretty good at handling stress or or at least repressing it if if that’s what the moment called for. So, yeah, the cigarette did nothing and it can it can’t do those things like it’s just it’s not possible. And if, if it were possible then goodness you’d never have a stress smoker, you know. So yeah. Then I say you can take a lot of comfort from from the fact that you have always handled things, you always will handle things, and you just need to follow the guidance to give stopping smoking the right like attention rather than like you say. John, just stop starting. Stop starting. I think that leads us onto the next topic doesn’t it? Because it is something I think Vanessa was doing was snatching it quitting. So she quit fighting, quitting fighting, queen failing and in quick succession. And that becomes just a just a almost a constant state of affairs. And how do you how do you stop that? How do you kind of draw a line under that pause? I think often it’s best just to stop, stop it, just smoke as normal for a month, carry on smoking, don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t try and cut down or control smoking. Don’t try to quit control to quit. Just re-engage with yourself. Life as a smoker Set the date a month in advance and go from that date. I think that you know, that sounds very simple that but obviously with the advice we give as whether you accuse someone not to be able to do that as well. So to break that sort of stop start, stop thing, cycle thing, you do need that sort of three, four week period as a smoker again before before you brush yourself off from and quit for good once and for all. Yeah, absolutely. And I think the both by saying, oh, I’ll quit tomorrow, I’ll quit tomorrow, you know, I’m going to quit this afternoon or whatever. And you’re basically you’re just denying the true nature of the trap that you’re in. So by keeping that little hope alive, you’re you’re kind of telling yourself that you’ve got a choice. You’re sort of saying to yourself, Yeah, I’ll smoke this morning, but you know, I’m going to quit this afternoon. You keep kind of letting yourself off the hook. 100%. That’s that’s a key part of the addictive frame of mind as well. It’s basically permission to smoke or not smoke, you know, and whenever whether it’s after a day or two, if you sense for whatever reason that is, is not easy feeling inclined to smoke well, and nothing to stop you, then you’ve done it before 100 times before and never really, never get off first base. I think it’s such a such a difficult place to get. And I think to an extent I was possibly like that. I mean, I was terrible. Quitting lasted a few hours, but I wouldn’t do it on a weekly basis or whatever. I think since you have a profile is you sort of you find this momentous moment of stopping smoking in a new last few hours and caving in and they think not going to do that again for a while. And you see through that period of time and until it builds up again and again and again and it’s sort of trying to do the same thing over and over again without success, thinking something different is going to happen. So I should emphasise that towards news, not on calls easy like so that was, I think by then I think the stop, start, stop is something that happens to people who aren’t using the method. I think it’s also something happens to people who are trying to use the method and it can’t, they can’t possibly pay off, you know, the stop start stopping. You’re not reframing things, you’re not going through the method again, you’re not, you know, searching for a new way of looking at a new understanding or whatever. You just kind of think I found a cigarette quick. Again, it’s much, much better to get in touch with some free advice and a reset. Okay. So well done. Vanessa, thank you very much for getting in touch. Okay. So the next topic we’re going to talk about is should people avoid the company of other smokers or vapers after they quit doing it themselves? And that is that’s a point that people perhaps sometimes struggle with because the the official advice perhaps would be to, yes, avoid them, don’t put yourself in a a tempting situation or don’t go out drinking or or just don’t put yourself under too much pressure. And really the thinking there behind it is that you want to avoid being triggered to want to smoke. Yeah, I remember when I tried to use nicotine patches and gum, so this is why back in the nineties, early nineties or something, I remember reading the leaflet that came with them. I can’t remember it was a gum order patches and it had this kind of list of tips and I think one of the fairly early ones was, you know, avoid people who smoke, think, well, what if your partner smokes, if you live with a smoker or what if you spend all day working with smokers, you’re going to lose your job, lose your partner and lose you, lose your home. It doesn’t it just doesn’t work. So counterproductive because even if you did manage to avoid smokers is putting off the inevitable, isn’t it? Even if you two, three weeks down the line and then you go out with a bunch of people who are smokers, then you’ve got to get through that in exactly the same way. We assume at those times we’re going to have a problem. Great thing with with easy way, of course, is and the main reason is saying get out and enjoy life right from the start is because otherwise it creates a sort of a stigma. It does create a thing, A how do you feel you’ve got to jump, Whereas if you just go straight out, you realise you fraid everything’s cold and hunky dory. So yeah, yeah. And don’t forget you have a lot to celebrate. So why should you hide away and kind of lay low for a while? It’s that would definitely be the willpower approach. Just kind of hoping that time is going to solve your problem. And if you can go for long enough without having any nicotine, then you know, miraculously your whole thinking will change. And that’s not what happens. You just build up this fear and you say, Well, I’m okay at home in my bedroom. But if I actually go out into the real world and encounter smokers, then it’s going to be really tough. So yeah, and that’s why it’s so nice to have a completely different understanding and take on it. And then you can go out and be with smokers and love the freedom that you now have. And you can look at smokers not in a horrible way, but you can look at them and you’ll see very clearly that they’re not getting any benefit from that cigarette that you’re having the same conversation You but, you know, you’re enjoying the conversation, you’re enjoying the lovely setting, the great atmosphere. None of that is dependent on you having, you know, a horrible stick in your mouth. So you get to enjoy all the good stuff and you don’t have to up with any of the horrible stuff. So yeah, yeah, that would be a big fat no Then to avoiding the, the company of other smokers, right John And yeah, the other thing that they wanted to talk about was will stopping smoking make you tired. It’s a great question and these fall into I mean I think you had quite a few questions along these lines from those people who didn’t leave that I use for whatever reason or whatever this this is along with should you avoid smokers or vapers, This is probably one of the most popular ones, but I don’t think smokers realise I certainly did one on all are smoking outside. Smoking makes you sort of aware of it. And I was a chain smoker. Now I remember waking up just feeling okay and as soon as I lit a cigarette, it was this horrible sort of feeling came over me, sort of almost across visualising stone at the top of my head and just draining through my body, taking all my energy away and just feeling ropey. And all the time I thought that was just normal. That was just how you felt when you woke up in the morning. But after a while, I think you do come to the conclusion you do know as coincides with when you start smoking a cigarette. That’s that’s what the smoking does. You and you feel like you get over that. But I think what I didn’t realise was that’s how I felt all the time that you go through life feeling constantly tired and mythology can run down and lacking in energy. And even though, you know, it’s almost all worked really hard, played hard through all sorts of stuff, it was definitely handicapped by this, this constant tiredness. I mean, you were having smokers while, weren’t you? Did you find the same thing? Yeah, and a bit like you, I didn’t blame the cigarettes. I was just down to like the natural ageing process or perhaps just my lifestyle. You know, if I’ve been going out and working quite full on or just all the conditions that I had. So I just thought, well, like, you know, I’m asthmatic, so perhaps maybe that’s got something to do with it. Or maybe it’s just in my genetics. I’m not I’ve never been, you know, want to get up and go for a run or anything like that. And so I just thought that it was an inherent trait in me. But it was only when I quit smoking, of course, that you then realised that cigarettes were were the cause of it. And I actually thought, God, how did my body survive? Really? Because that’s a lot of toxins that you’re putting inside of your body. And I was in my twenties, my late twenties when I quit, but I was already on the road to ruin really, in terms of my energy. I’d be so tired, like even when I woke up. And that’s I guess when you’re meant to be at your most rested. And I was like waking up and dragging myself out of bed and really, I should have been waking up and sort of beans and raring to go. Yeah, yeah, absolutely right. Sort of relentless, relentless, relentless bombardment. And with any drug, whether it’s nicotine, alcohol or coke or whatever it might be, it disrupts everything natural. And I think it’s just I didn’t realise you were asthmatic as well, because I was, you know, I used to carry a puffers with me and I’ll be terrified to go anywhere without them. Because if I, if I forgot them, I’d have to go home and get them. I literally haven’t used them since I quit. It just went from being that dependent on them and having to have them on me then and that that was that weird, weirdest thing in the world and you sort of thing. Yeah. And really bad. The asthmatic pattern. Nothing to do with the 80 cigarettes a day. I was smoking something which is, which is weird and I think probably a good reason I mention that I was so aware of how it how it made me feel I’d be transitioning first thing in the morning from feeling like just sort of okay. The feeling is I think some people don’t notice this massive surge of energy when they when they stop and I think that’s because you feel the same as you did when you wake up. You just don’t have the feeling later on and so you don’t really remember the down side of it. It’s like pain. You can’t have you broken your arm or leg or whatever. You can’t remember what the pain was like. You were it was really painful. But if you could remember what the pain was like, it would hurt. The brain would cause that pain to reoccur. And I think people just realise if getting rid of getting rid of something that you so used to for some people, then I don’t even notice. I don’t even realise that I got rid of this burden. Yeah. I mean, because maybe it was me. We were such heavy smokers, so it was hard to ignore, you know, like it was hard to ignore the change in the energy levels, but maybe people who don’t smoke as much is not quite so obvious, do you think? Yeah, I think it seems to be. I think most smokers the same argument and even vapers will maintain how much more energy they felt they had when they quit. I think it’s the occasional one that doesn’t notice. And I think the explanation probably explain pretty why why that might be. The question was also would stopping smoking vaping make you tired? I think that was also part of the question, which is weird. I think if you use willpower to stop, definitely. I think most people understand that if you if you try and battle your way to quit smoking or vaping using willpower, you sort of hang on for grim life. It is it really is exhausting and exasperating and frustrating and stressful and all that. Well, it’s not to tire anybody out. So as long as you use it, long as you find it easy, then it is quite the reverse. You feel liberated and free and full of beans. Actually, the prospect of is vaping more difficult to quit than smoking? It’s a good question. I think in a similar way, You know, methadone can help heroin addicts get free from heroin. It’s not many people realise that it’s actually harder to get off methadone than it is to get off heroin. Just well, when I sort of ironies of a method like cessation programs for heroin and vapers, more and more so recently I’ve been describing how, how unpleasant they found vaping, which isn’t something that was in the brochure, if that makes sense. Everyone says no medical profession in some countries, you know, vaping is much less harmful to smoking. This is true to an extent. We’re still waiting for data on that. Really. As the vaping market develops, gains longevity the mid to long term effects of vaping certainly seem to be growing. You know, stuff we’re seeing in seminars, people we’re talking to on social media, describing your very experience, a very similar experience to smoking, how in terms of how it makes them feel tired, lethargic, controlled and not well changing generally not well. And I think there sole reason for that obviously is still poisoning your body. But but I also think that lots of smokers and vapers use both. So some people will smoke when they can and right when they can’t through actually taking in more nicotine than they had done before. Likewise, even those that exclusively vape because they can do it anywhere at any time, any place. They’re addicted to nicotine. So they do this natural tendency that can and it’s actually been quite a few people like this is just saying even people who have never smoked say they end up completely hooked on a fight, whether it’s a disposable or a tank or whatever it is, and it can be almost constant. I think they can do it in the car they can do at home when the kids are asleep, and then by going outside for it or whatever. But certainly on lots of devices you can regulate the amount of nicotine you get. And I think the natural tendency for any addict is to eventually notched up to the maximum. So, you know, almost inevitable. A lot of disposables, things like health bars, whatever the latest version is, I think they contain sort of something like 40 to 50 cigarettes worth of nicotine in that one device, which is disposable because people tend to to puff away on them. When I have sort of a spare moment, it’s not like a cigarette. You’re like, they smoke it for a while and stop it out. This it’s 45 cigarettes long, if that makes sense. In one way, more, more people who found themselves once they went onto disposables go through one a day in which a lot of nicotine. And I think it does worry me that health authorities who are so invested in vaping being the way forward for smokers won’t ever take into account or they won’t take into account the the tendency for any addict, every addict to get more of a drug. They always want more. They never decide to have less. It’s a progressive, a progressive thing. And you know, who knows what the consequences of that are? I think we have to say we’re kind of obliged to say being in the UK that government advice is to, you know, if you can’t stop switched to vaping as it’s seen as less harmful as smoking, which is probably true, but no one knows in the medium to short term. The whole point is really what we say. What would you switch to vaping when just as easy to stop, easier to stop and it’s getting expensive now. I think vaping. I think disposables in the UK certainly costing sort of five or Â£6 per device was at six or 7 USD, something like that. And that adds up and sort of only just about half the price of cigarettes I suppose, isn’t it. And the prices will only, will only go up. So I think some people for a whole variety of reasons do find it harder to quit vaping than they might have done to quit smoking because of some of the stuff we’ve talked about that they can do any time, any place, anywhere. This nice obstacles stand in the way of fighting, kind of to leave the house to do it and not to leave a lot of time. Don’t have to leave the office to do it more and more so so with easy way, we’ve we found over the course of many years since vaping has been around the latest find it equally easy to stop the smokers and that’s the really good news. So now Life seminars, the same seminar works for smokers or or vapers or or people who do both leave. Even for someone who has never smoked. The Stop Smoking Stop Fighting seminar will still work for them. We also have the book and online video program for those who have never smoked if they want to. Literally, just like everything to do vaping, then path to freedom for them is easy as well. So yeah, technically for a variety of reasons, vaping can can be harder to quit smoking if you using willpower, but equally easy if you’re using easy way. Yeah, that’s so true. I guess I was thinking like with smoking, there are so many different solutions being presented to smokers, albeit that they’re not successful. But you know, there are nicotine replacement therapies like the patches and the gum and the vapes and also the Zyban and hypnotherapy and acupuncture, whereas the market for quitting vaping is a lot younger, so there’s not many as many solutions being put before the vapour. And I also wonder whether vapers are a bit like casual smokers in that they think, well, you know, I’m not as bad as so-and-so, so who’s having an actual cigarette? And so the vapour is less incentivised to actually address their issues. And even if their loved ones are saying, you know, come on, please quit in the vapers mind, they’re thinking, Well, I’m on, I’ve done this, I’ve gone from cigarettes to vapes. What, what more do you want? You know, So although maybe the slavery is awful and the damaging and negative effects like you say, and who knows what the long term mid-term effects of vaping vaping will be shown to be, but in the vapers mind they’re just like, well, by comparison, smoking, is it really that bad? You know? And it’s so easy to do and it looks so it looks like this innocuous thing. It’s not like these elf bars and these geek bars. They, they don’t look out of place in a pencil case or a makeup case. You know, they’re very nicely designed. So they just look innocent. I think psychologically, people who switch to vaping might find it harder purely because because of exactly what you just said sort of elsewhere in the world of vapour smokers, which is why people try to sense, okay, this is this is not as bad as smoking. So that’s kind of okay. In the UK, they’ve been pretty much brainwashed into thinking along terms of things. It’s almost harmless, you know, going back ten years, the people responsible for for vaping becoming a smoking cessation tool. We described is no more, no more worrying than someone about a cup of coffee. You know, they didn’t relate it to someone having 50 cups of coffee a day, which is the nature of nicotine addiction. So there is that. And part of what we do with the book only in one video programme, One Life seminars is kind of undo that brainwashing. I mean, for starters, all smokers are worried about how they might deny it and might help how close their mind from it that they are. But health concerns don’t help us quit trying to make it sort of harder to quit. We just get inside of a cigarette. So all this stuff sort of unravels during the seminal and the fact that vaping might be less harmful to smoking. It’s neither here nor there, really. The fact is it’s the control of the slavery self esteem. You’re feeling daft of sucking this weird looking thing amongst those will take it into account. It is easy. It’s just that kind of sense that they have a get out for get out of jail free card that that might might get in their minds and and the method pulls them away from them. Thanks very much John, for answering those questions. And now it’s time for Sir Anthony Hopkins He is one of the most celebrated actors of all time and a true legend in the entertainment industry. He has won numerous awards, including an Academy Award, two Emmys and a BAFTA. He has generously given his time to record a message for us all So let’s get to it. Here is Sir Anthony Hopkins. Hello. I’m Anthony Hopkins. You know already that Allen Carr is widely considered to be the world’s leading expert in stopping smoking. Now, I myself stopped smoking some years ago, but I have often been tempted to smoke the occasional harmless cigar, the occasional harmless cigarette. Anyway, some friends of mine who had stopped smoking using Alan’s methods suggested they read his book. I did. It was such a revelation that instantly I was freed from my addiction. My close friends of mine have found it not only easy, but unbelievably enjoyable to stay stopped. As a result, I feel healthier and happier. I don’t pretend to understand what it is that Allen Carr says that makes it so easy. If you have already seen the video or read the book and are still smoking, it means quite simply that you have misunderstood. And that’s all. Just imagine being trapped in a complicated maze for most of your life. Well, Allen Carr has a plan to that maze. It’s as if he is saying, Take a left turn here now. Right. Turn down another left and so on. But if you ignore one of the instructions, there is simply no point in following the rest of them, you will still be trapped in that maze. Don’t forget, when you do stop smoking, you are doing something quite wonderful for yourself and something quite wonderful for your life and you will feel great to think that you are stopping So hereâ€™s wishing you luck. Hello, I am Francesca I am the person responsible of the Allen Carr Easyway in Italy And I am also a therapist of Allen Carr and the editor of Allen Carr’s books in Italian. Oh fantastic. Thank you so much for joining us today. Francesca. I was just going to get stuck in straight away. How old were you when you first started smoking and what kind of a. Smoker were you? All right, first of all, thank you for inviting me to this recording. I was very, very young. Obviously, I would never tell how old I am, but very, very young. I remember also it was a very odd experience thinking back, because the first pass I was given to me by the mother of a girl friend of mine when I used to go and play, she was convinced a cigarette helped her digest. So I remember one afternoon I went to play with these girlfriend of mine and had my first pass, which now it’s terrible, I mean to be denounced to the police. This lady that said at the time obviously was, I don’t know, seemed normal, but so that was my first experience and I’m pretty sure probably had my digestive same system because protection sake. But from that pass I remember I used to go and play with this girl more often, so I became a week and so on and obviously my parents didn’t know anything because otherwise they would have barricaded me in the house and so on. I grew up in a family where there were four people. I lived with my grandparents as well, and the two men I am, my dad and my grandfather smoked, while my grandmother and my mother never smoked, so smoking was fairly accepted. Also, that was a time where more or less 90% of the male population smoked. But obviously my dad was absolutely contrary to to to me smoking. So then I went to senior school and then original pass became a more pocket chair with my class mates. And slowly, slowly I climbed up to 20 cigarette a day. And then I remember after 22 years of smoking I had reached 4045 cigarettes a day. So I was a serious smoker. But going back to my young days, I had a particular memory of grandfather because I am an only child. Obviously my grandfather was my dear friend. He was the one who taught me to read. He was the one who told me to read that the hands on the grandfather clock used to take me to music lesson. So I was really, really very fond of him. But if I think back, I realise that I never seen him without a cigarette in his mouth or in his hands. And I also do remember I have this very clearly in my mind that I never seen him study out a cigarette, but rather inflict the lead and from the tip of the cigarette with this tab and put what of me? Cigarettes. But in my mind at the time most cigarettes where without filters. So you just stick what remained of the cigarette in his pocket and once warm it would end to the pockets and put those box in the metal box and he would use those crumbled to make himself the new cigarettes. And obviously these was something he had learned during the war when everything was rationed. So they were hard to establish how much flour, how much coffee, how much tobacco you could have. And there were people starving. And I’m pretty sure the same situation repeats itself today in the situation of war, people that give perhaps a piece of food to have some tobacco. But because and I remember hearing that this was happening also in concentration camps, people would just give their last spoonful of super to to be able to to have a couple of puffs. But because the tobacco was never enough, people used to just pick one that was left a cigarette from the pavement. And so it was my grandad who spoke to me about these and used to call these tobacco the pavement cats. And these was a sort of activity which I picked up. I went back to in my later years as a smoker, because I fundamentally think that there are two kind of smokers, the one that can’t bear the idea of being without cigarette. They have cigarettes everywhere under the pillow, in the fridge. The whole idea of remaining without cigarettes to make them get into a state of panic and they go to their graves with the cigarette packs. So if I have a the judgement day to come, they would have one problem. They wouldn’t have to worry about how to live without cigarettes. So they think they ate a cigarette everywhere and then that inspired a group, The minimalist and I belong to that one that’s going in and out from England to Italy and so on. Despite that, I never actually bought a carton of cigarettes because I was always convinced that I was on the verge of quitting. And so seen all the carton, but just bringing home the idea that it was a terrible waste of money. However, this did not stop me to popping out to the newsagent four times a day to buy a packet of ten each time and hoping that that might be my way back, might be the road to come up to Damascus and that I would see the light and suddenly stop smoking but never happened. But these led to a situation in which I would ring without a cigarette and I remember parties with friends, so they’d go away at 2:00, a nice night tidy up and it’s, Oh my God, I am without a cigarette. So I would explore the packets. They were a list and it’s very, very rare that people leave a cigarette behind. They leave the umbrella. It is raining, the coat is cold, but they never forget cigarettes. So then I would just inspect ashtrays. And if I were to find half of cigarette smoke, I would just thank God. And then the person who had smoked it could have either typhoid, cholera, What it did matter. It was a gave to. And if everybody had actually smoked everything, then I would go back to the famous pavement cats. I would just get five or six cigarettes and then crumble. What was left against the filter in one sheet of toilet paper? Because in my imagination that was the nearest to the cigarette paper. And then you have to be the Clint Eastwood first version because toilet paper does and there is absolutely nothing left. So couple of packs, 2:00 and my and I went to sleep. So I was a serious smoker, I suppose. Yes, I think I was. Yeah. It sounds like you are serious, but you is you still kept alive the hopes that you were on the verge of quitting. Why do you think that was? What? Continuously. What made you want to quit? Why did you start thinking like that? Because every winter I had bronchitis. Because I was spending a fortune and I could feel that that wasn’t good for me. And I tried everything I been. I tried some herb cigarettes They were sending it to chemist. I tried some spray that fundamentally blocked your mouth. So if you have stuck a cigarette in it, you just was unable to speak. It was a horrible thing. I tried agyapong. I tried. And noses in London. So there was this pathetic attempt, sir. And I smoked in pregnancy. I loved to sing. There were five days. I’m not. I’m not proud of it. Probably they were ten days, smoked half of the time and then sticking half a tube of toothpaste in my mouth, because obviously the official version was to take that I wasn’t smoking any more. So despising myself profoundly and feeling terribly guilty. And then something happened and I bought six chairs from an antique shop and I had to I decided that I would just Mend them because the seat was completely gone. So I enrolled myself at an upholstery course in Twickenham, and I used to go to Lesson and every now and again I used to pop out to have a cigarette and I came back one day one lady said, Would you like stop smoking? Oh, yes, of course, but I did it. Well, my husband was a chimney. It occurred to a gentleman and chatted for an afternoon and he’s now three months that he doesn’t smoke and that imagine how happy is it. So I looked at it and I said I did tried it. Noses. And so she said, that is not hypnosis, just to chat. And also if I don’t remember wrongly, if you don’t manage to stall, they will give you your money. But I guarantee that the of this she made an offer I couldn’t refuse. So I it took me a few weeks to decide to make this phone call and then I arrived in Raynes Park and rang trembling finger. But Bell and a darker lady came to open the door. Now I know his choice is Alan Carr’s wife. And then she took me to a room which where there two people writing a filling questionnaire and his room was full of books and letters and letters. And my body gleamed through some of them and they were all thank you. I will be grateful to you for the rest of my life. I owe you my life that you shall be made saint. And I was thinking, My God, sir. Mr. Carr and Mrs. Carr, I’m spending the night writing these things and the scattering in the flats. And I said, That’s quite good, because the handwriting looks pretty different. Obviously my first thought was these. Anyway, then I was taken into another room and there was a gentleman next to a pile of cigarette. You could hardly see him because in that room everybody was smoking at once. He was talking. 5 hours later I came out from that house fairly surprise and sort of in a peculiar state of mind because awful me was saying, you stop smoking. And the other half said, No, now you do not. And these went on for months. I would just wake up in the morning and say, I’m a little smoker. And that was in 99. I just wait, just wait. And and then I had to admit I had to stop smoking. And it was, I suppose, the equivalent of being illuminated sort of. Do they still would have to reach agreement on that? And fundamentally was incredibly easy. And whenever I saw people smoking, I would just really say, you just go to see these gentlemen, because immediately it figures out you’re saving the world. The attitude. I ask Alan at the time if he was doing something in Italy when it came out from the seminar and he said, No, no, no, I’m too busy here because I could see that there were already books in German and so on. Obviously it was an incredible experience. And now I’ve been doing seminars and working in Italy for the UN for 25 years now, but still I haven’t lost the enthusiast. AM And if anything is growing is growing. And so what happened? How did you come to be the franchisee then for Italy? I had come to live in, in England in 1978. The idea was to say that for six months, 20 years later it was still there. But in a way I wanted to, I don’t know, come back more often to Italy. And also nobody knew about the idea and been Italy a great smoking country. I thought perhaps I should take the good news to to my fellow citizens. So I, I got in touch with Alan and he had started having franchisee around Europe. And so originally I started with Milan. I only had the franchise for Milan and then it became the whole of Italy. And I remember that for about ten years I did this very peculiar life because my son at the time was ten and he was in school there and I was working in Italy, so I used to do London, Milan, London, Milan, Rome, London, Milan, Rome, Florence, because by word of mouth people were saying, Oh, there is a group of people that want to stop in this place. And so so I come back to see my I call it the Book of My Life, which was the first record of of my seminars of the time. And I used to do second it first thing in the afternoon, second and third in the morning. And then leave it and then the following day and going in now to do another seminar in the afternoon. And I really don’t know how I did it because obviously I had to come back because my, my son was, was, is cooler. So I used to spend say one week around and then back again, but I managed. And you knew how the book did you as well in Italy. Francesca Yeah, well yes, because the book was originally published by a very big Italian editor and misspelling and Cooper But like every big publishing house, it was just a number in the catalogue. So when I started doing the seminar, he, I contacted them and I said, You should publish it because he’s doing very well around Europe. Oh, yes, perhaps. And I offered to do the seminar too, the employees, to, to show that the method was working, perhaps, perhaps get a look at the translation, perhaps fax silent, fax, silence. At one point the rights went back to Alan Carr and somebody said, But why don’t you publish it? Me already? I was leading this ridiculous life going up and down the plane and so on. And I said, But I don’t know anything about publishing. Yes. Oh, it’s nothing. It’s nothing. You really do. The translation and then we will printed in England, ship it over and blah, blah, blah. And so I did it on a plane and on trains. I retranslated the book and then it was published in December 2003. So this year will be the 20th of its existing existence in Italian and IRA. But the beginning I didn’t have a distributor, so we used to send books out from the post office because obviously it was fairly same as in other countries. So the brothers, the Italians used to just ring the person initially saying, Oh, you should read this book and so on. So we received requests and we would go to the post office and send it sent. So first print was 3000 copies, then 5000 copies. And then I said, I can’t carry on this life, I have to find a distributor. So rang a couple of them, but they would ask how many people, how many books have you got in your catalogue? And it’s actually just one. But he’s selling very well. And I said, No, we are not interested. So and so I think spring 2004, I managed to get to this distributor, Old School Ali, and met this gentleman. And so we went to the office and I said, You take this book because this is the how would you say it in English, The Hand with a golden or the golden goose? The goose with the golden eggs. Yeah, something like that. And he said, okay, let’s try. And now the book has been in print, as I said to you for 20 years, and I sold 1,680,000 copies. So not bad. Not bad. Yeah. Wow. That is very impressive. Francesca And all those people that have been saved from your efforts. Well, the source of the book is. I have. I’ve done a little. I haven’t translated in English, but that is a little introduction. And the book, which fundamentally says I’m just a book, I can’t even read it. But I know that when people read me, they are happy and then they suggest to me to other people it hasn’t been. I was born in December as well in mind me in other stories, and fundamentally I was born in a post office. But now I’m I am 20 and I got 14 brothers who are much older than me. For example, the English one that was born in 1985, blah blabber blind, and that is the Russian and the German and so on. We are a big family, but we are all very proud of what we do. So this is the book talking. I love the. And so what’s it been like then? Bringing the message to smokers initially and vapers I guess now as well? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, it’s very hard obviously, because we know the mentality we had when we smoked is not the right moment now with the electronic cigarettes and the ICOs and the jewel and so on, that is that limitation of damage, which is absolute distorted and, and mad philosophy because one start from the assumption that one has to damage itself. But it is not true. We don’t need to damage ourself. So it’s been very gratifying because you know that you can really change people’s lives in a few hours. And we have plenty of testimonials from people who had bought the books or came to the seminar. And and I did a seminar in Rome a couple of weeks ago, and there was a chap who had come to the seminar 15 years ago, and he stayed 15 years without smoking, very enthusiastic and then did the silly thing go and at the end of the seminar he said, I will always be incredibly grateful to you and to the method and that what is amazing. E You have exactly the same enthusiasm that you had 15 years ago and it’s true, every time user is there are new people that you have to help out or the the whole in which they’re full and, and then you know that once they see the trick of the smoking, they are much more capable of seeing all the various other tricks that the society in which we live, the culture in which we leave, play on ours. And and so for these is a very gratifying work. And, and I will always be incredibly grateful to Alan for that chat that afternoon 35 years ago. 35 years ago. Says 40 years since Alan discovered the method. 35 years since you quit with a programme and 20 years since the book has been since you published the book in Italy. And 25 years and how you do this work. Is the method applied to other things in Italy? Right? We have the webcast for the our caller. We have the books on the fly. Now. Wait, so we do most of the book about and they are available in terms of seminar. Do you know how many what percentage of people smoke? Now I’m vaping in Italy. Right? Yes. The figures had been going down until the college and then I can’t read. The last two years there’s been an increase of 1 million people coming back to smoke or starting smoking and that e-cigarette had an increase of from 2017 to 2021 of 750%. So I was I was going to say and I might have made this up in my own head, but I had it in my mind that you were the inspiration for Alan to write The Fear of Flying book. Was that right? I think it could be. It could be because I was petrified of flying. Absolutely petrified. I remember dragging the poor soul of my son between London to Milan. He took us. It was a sort of I saw Rob Roy last night, so it was more or less the travelling of that time with two days to go from London to Milan, because I got on the train and then the other cross and then it led to Paris taking another train. And so, and, but I was petrified of flying, petrified. And I mentioned that to Ireland and Alan said, well I don’t like it as well, but I am writing a book. And so I think I have it somewhere. And he called me the Red Baron. Also at one point I do not hear at all that the flying of the First World War. And I must say once he sent me the draft, he did actually have quite a lot. And then my following time as a therapist and moving the therapist I did flying and there was no other way to do it. And I was fairly relaxed. Now I catch the plane and I’m fairly fairly relaxed. Yeah. Oh, that’s good. Yeah. It was great. And I could apply his, you know, the logic to to the fear of flying as well. I wasn’t absolutely, absolutely there. But you can apply his logic to every aspect of, of life. So I remember one lady Oh 50 years ago, send me an email and said, I’m not mad. And when somebody started saying I’m not banned, you have to be very prepared and might be slightly mad. But anyway, she said, I read the book and I stopped smoking six months ago and I’m incredibly happy. Well, I have a bad relationship with a gentleman for quite a long time. If I were to the book Putin instead of the word cigarette, I put the name of these gentlemen. Do you think I would be able to get rid of them as well? And I remember I was in Sardinia because I was going to do a seminar in a corporate company nearby petrol company, and I was sitting in the garden of the hotel. We took me about an afternoon, but I wrote Amazing. Yes, I think you can no doubt wonder. I wonder if she’s French. I never heard from her about it, but I suppose because again, he doesn’t work for fear, but he works on What do I get out of these? And if you get out on me, nasty things, then why do you do. It. In the field? Because there’s a lot of parallels between smoking and maybe a bad relationship, aren’t there? Because you like it undermines you’re your confidant. Absolutely absent. Makes you feel like you need it. You’re dependent on it for your courage and your confidence and your ability to handle stress. And so, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And you are petrified to lose. Watching real reality doesn’t exist because really it’s all a figment, your imagination and you’re perfectly capable of living without these this all enormous tool that you drag around thinking that gives you courage and God knows what it no knows is yes is a key to many, many doors that lead to freedom and absolutely. Yeah. And it’s been 35 years for you since your your last cigarette. What do you think would have happened, Francesca, if you hadn’t of quit smoking? I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be here because as I said to you, I smoked everywhere in I mean, there was a time where my dad was, I think is the introduction of the book. I used to go and visit my parents and my mother would start behaving like a traffic warden to carry on like these young ladies. You will end like him and like him Was my dad sitting at the table next to a gigantic cylinder of oxygen destroyed by emphysema and chronic bronchitis. And I would look at my dad, but obviously I wasn’t seeing because 2 minutes later I was in the bath with the window open and smoking. So I smoke. As I said to you, when I was expecting my child, I smoked in hospitals, I smoked everywhere, everywhere. So I don’t think I would be sitting here talking to you if I’d counted if I didn’t buy those chairs and if I didn’t match that lady. And he said, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Yes. Funny how life works out, isn’t it? But I’m so pleased you did buy those chairs. Francesca. I’m sitting still on them. They are still they in Milan? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. They are still here. And, and I looked at them and say, Yeah. Paul St Anne’s has stood the test of time. Utterly, absolutely. Good job. Thank you so much for today, Francesca. Thank you for all the work you do in Italy. And that brings us to the end of our podcast. I hope you enjoyed listening to the insight shared by Francesca and Sir Anthony Hopkins and the Addiction Central segment led by John. I say I also want to thank you, our listeners, for tuning in. Your support and engagement means the world to us, and I really hope you found today’s podcast informative and entertaining. If you did enjoy the podcast, I would love it if you could take a moment to like, subscribe and review. It helps us to reach even more people who can benefit from the content that we provide. So that will be back again. Same with more thought provoking questions from our listeners and guests. Until then.