Allen Carr

Acting

Introduction

Allen Carr (2 September 1934 – 29 November 2006) was a British author of books about stopping smoking and other psychological dependencies including alcohol addiction. London-born Carr started smoking while doing National Service aged 18. He qualified as an accountant in 1958. Carr finally stopped smoking on 15 July 1983, aged 48, after a visit to a hypnotherapist. However, it wasn't the hypnotherapy itself that enabled him to stop – "I succeeded in spite of and not because of that visit" and "I lit up the moment I left the clinic and made my way home...". There were two key pieces of information that enabled Allen to stop later that day. First, the hypnotherapist told him smoking was "just nicotine addiction", which Allen had never perceived before that moment, i.e. that he was an addict. Second, his son John lent him a medical handbook which explained that the physical withdrawal from nicotine is just like an "empty, insecure feeling". He claims that these two realisations crystallised in his mind just how easy it was to stop and so then enabled him to follow an overwhelming desire to explain his method to as many smokers as possible.