Allen Carr

Allen Carr was born into a working class family in London, England in 1934. An athlete and avid anti-smoker as a child, he started smoking while doing National Service in 1952. By the time he qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1958, he was a chain smoker. As Allen said in his biography: “On a bad day I smoked five packs, and never less than three.”In addition to his chain smoking Allen was, by his own description, a ‘serial quitter’. He found quitting tough, but staying quit even tougher. “I once lasted six months of sheer hell before I caved in and lit up” he said. “I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried like a baby. I was crying because I felt I was condemned to smoke for the rest of my life.”Shortly after this traumatic incident, a combination of events led to what he described as “my Eureka! Moment”.“I realized that it wasn’t a weakness in me, or that the cigarette was so wonderful that I couldn’t live without it, but that my brain had become scammed into seeing the relief of withdrawal pangs as genuine pleasure or stress relief.