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Summary: Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr

  • This article is a summary and review of Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking, a self-help book that helps smokers quit without substitutes, aids, or willpower.
  • The article explains the main points of the book, such as the illusion, the trap, and the easy way to quit smoking, and provides some code examples and exercises.
  • The article evaluates the book’s strengths and weaknesses, such as its popularity, influence, simplicity, style, anecdotes, examples, exercises, criticisms, and limitations.

The Easy Way to Stop Smoking (1985, 2011) isn’t just a book about giving up cigarettes; it aims to put smoking in a completely new light. Smoking is no habit and nicotine no hard drug; smoking is an addiction, but one that can be overcome with the right mindset. These summaries outline the necessary steps and address those questions that’ll arise on your journey to a life without cigarettes.

Who is it for?

  • Smokers struggling to quit
  • People interested in the case for quitting
  • Those who want to learn why willpower alone won’t help you quit

Discover the EASYWAY to quit smoking.

Every year millions of people try to quit smoking – to free themselves, once and for all, from addiction. And yet, the majority of them fail. Why is that? What are they doing wrong?

As these summaries will show you, many of the common methods people use to quit smoking are based on misconceptions about what addiction is and what it means to quit. When it comes to methods for quitting smoking, most of us have been brainwashed, and this makes quitting so much more difficult than it has to be.

So how do you actually do it?

Book Summary: Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking

Enter the best method for putting down cigarettes for good: the EASYWAY. The EASYWAY method is about learning to see your addiction from a new angle, removing the reasons for your smoking in the first place and realizing that cigarettes have absolutely nothing good to offer. Nada. Zip. Zero. These summaries will show how it works.

In these summaries, you’ll learn

  • why willpower won’t help you quit smoking;
  • why cigarettes don’t make you less stressed; and
  • why you should not stop smoking until you’ve read all these summaries.

Quit smoking by questioning what you gain by it.

We’ve all heard many different theories on the best way to permanently quit smoking. Most tell you it’s a matter of willpower, or that it’s all about realizing just how bad smoking is.

But the truth is that smokers do know how bad smoking is. Although all smokers made the initial choice to smoke that first cigarette, they never decided to become regular smokers or to never enjoy a meal without smoking afterward. Most tell themselves that they’ll eventually quit, but are afraid of actually doing so.

So what is it that makes quitting so scary? It’s the phase of misery that we expect will follow, when we won’t be able to enjoy occasions like we used to, when we’ll miss the benefits of smoking that we loved. Those who have tried to quit and failed are even more fearful.

But the EASYWAY to quit smoking is a method without suffering, without the need for an iron will, without withdrawal symptoms. No, it’s not magic! All you have to do is question the reasons why you smoke.

Many smokers say it helps them relax or concentrate. The reality, however, is that smoking does neither. Those feelings of relaxation or concentration are illusory, and battling these illusions is at the core of the EASYWAY.

To make the EASYWAY work, the instructions have to be followed dogmatically, without replacements such as nicotine gum. And, as with any quitting method, you’ll need to be willing to quit in the first place.

This method will reward you with a new perspective. You will no longer envy smokers, but pity them. In the meantime, as you read these instructions, you should continue to smoke. That way your focus won’t be reduced by needing a cigarette. Next, we’ll find out why other quitting methods simply won’t cut it.

Quitting smoking won’t work if you see it as a sacrifice.

People typically think that you’ll lose the desire to smoke if you can go long enough without a cigarette, and that once you lose the desire, you’ll have successfully quit. But this only turns quitting into a sacrifice, making it far more difficult than it has to be.

When we try to quit smoking through sheer willpower, we feel we’re giving up something. But instead of reminding yourself that you’re not allowed a cigarette, you shouldn’t want one in the first place.

This is difficult even when we focus on the advantages of not smoking, such as saving money or improving our health. Even when we get used to these advantages, our mind still tells us that we want a cigarette, and the risk of relapsing is considerable.

Another common quitting approach is cutting back. But by limiting your smoking to special moments, you’ll give smoking an even more positive association. Meanwhile, you’re still addicted but feel more stressed than you did when smoking regularly, and suffer withdrawal pangs all day. Cutting back doesn’t make you want cigarettes less – it makes you want them even more.

Not smoking for a day or even longer is often done easily if you don’t think about it. But even if you cut back, your thoughts will remain focused on cigarettes, and actually quitting will be as tough as ever. With the EASYWAY, quitting isn’t a matter of restraining yourself. It’s about overcoming the cultural brainwashing that keeps you reaching for another cigarette. Find out more in the next chapter.

Brainwashing is the real obstacle to overcoming a smoking addiction.

Smoking is not just a habit – habits are relatively easy to change. It is an addiction to nicotine. But by understanding the mechanisms behind this addiction, you’ll take your first steps toward quitting.

Nicotine is not only an extremely addictive drug, but a powerful poison. The nicotine you inhale while smoking one cigarette could kill you if it was injected directly into a vein.

But even though nicotine gets you hooked fast, the addiction isn’t all that severe. Withdrawals aren’t accompanied by physical pain, just the feeling that something is missing. When your body receives nicotine after craving it, you experience instant relief – and it’s this relief that leads to chain-smoking.

But after 3 weeks of not smoking, 99 percent of the nicotine will have left your body, and your physical addiction is over. So why do we still relapse after this period?

The biggest problem isn’t the nicotine addiction: it’s the brainwashing that we are subjected to, whether it’s by advertising, the media, or from friends and relatives that smoke. Nearly everyone will tell you that it’s difficult to quit, that it’s a tough sacrifice to “give up” smoking. But believing this is exactly what makes quitting harder.

We use smoking to relieve ourselves of boredom and stress, and to improve concentration or relaxation. But smoking doesn’t make us less bored or calmer. These ideas are simply the result of brainwashing.

The benefits you associate with smoking are nothing more than illusions.

What do you associate with smoking? Relaxation? Socializing? Despite what you might think, relaxation and stress-relief are not the positive influences of smoking. They are only the result of us being addicted, and relieving our craving.

Many of us consider our lives stressful, and this seems reason enough to indulge in a bad habit that’ll help us relax. But most of the stress that smokers experience is caused by the pangs of nicotine withdrawal. Smoking a cigarette will reduce this stress, but non-smokers won’t experience this stress to begin with.

Nicotine itself is a chemical stimulant – so why do so many of us believe in its relaxing effects? The relaxed feeling we get after smoking only comes from feeding your body’s hunger for nicotine. In fact, long-term smokers don’t experience true relaxation anymore.

Improved concentration and less boredom after smoking are also mere illusions. If you’re addicted to smoking, you’ll only concentrate better after a cigarette because the very thought of cigarettes is so distracting when you aren’t smoking. Similarly, cigarettes don’t work against boredom, but only make you lethargic and, thus, more bored.

So with these refutations of the arguments in favor of continuing to smoke, what arguments do we have to motivate us to quit? Saving money and improving health are good incentives, for sure. But these advantages arise gradually, not immediately. You won’t instantly feel young again after quitting, so what can make you motivated long enough to stop for good?

The answer is the feeling of freedom. This is an insight that’ll help you see that smoking doesn’t offer you anything. As soon as you realize that, you’ll be on the path toward quitting, and quitting for good.

There’s no better time to quit than right now.

If you’re thinking about quitting but haven’t yet taken the plunge, it’s probably because you’re waiting for the right time to come along. But when is the right time to quit? When you’re less stressed? When you’ve got less to worry about?

The truth is that there is no right time. The best time to quit is right now, after reading this, if you’re willing and convinced. Timing is not important, as quitting is possible at any time if you go about it the right way.

Of course, you’ll have many doubts before quitting. These are important to quash, because they’ll only get in the way of your achieving freedom. Many ask themselves if they’ll miss nicotine; after 30 days, however, it’ll be out of your system and you won’t crave it any longer.

Others fear weight gain, thinking that they’ll substitute sweets for the banned cigarettes. Withdrawal pangs for nicotine may feel similar to hunger, but if you pay attention, you won’t get them confused.

You’ll also need to stop telling yourself the lie that “just one smoke” or a “special” cigarette is justified. Just one puff is enough to keep your nicotine addiction alive, and to feed the brainwashing that keeps you hooked on cigarettes.

Your freedom begins not after your withdrawal period is over, but as soon as you smoke that last cigarette.

When it comes down to it, smoking is a drug addiction. You can’t quit without experiencing a withdrawal period of about 30 days, while the nicotine slowly leaves your body. But this period is nothing to fear. In fact, fearing withdrawal is just another obstacle to quitting.

Nicotine replacement therapy follows the idea that you have to fight two things: the habit of smoking and the withdrawal pangs of nicotine. But smoking isn’t actually a habit; it’s just an addiction.

The first step is overcoming the brainwashing that makes you believe quitting is a sacrifice. But replacements for nicotine will only prolong the power that nicotine has over your body.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that they’ll only experience a great change after the 30 days of withdrawal, as if they’ll experience some awakening and suddenly become a non-smoker. This simply isn’t true!

Smoke your last cigarette and inhale deeply. Ask yourself what it’s giving you (nothing!). Then extinguish it with a feeling of liberation. Now you’re already a happy non-smoker.

The nicotine will be no problem within days, but certain psychological triggers, like being in situations you associate with smoking or watching your friends light up, may be. Even when following the EASYWAY method, 10 percent of quitters relapse for this reason. But you can overcome it!

Don’t ban thinking about smoking; you don’t want to make it into a taboo, because that’ll make you crave it more. Instead, reflect honestly upon how smoking impacts your freedom, and you’ll be able to see why it’s not worth the effort to smoke.

There’s no need to avoid other smokers or change your lifestyle completely, as quitting smoking does not need to be a sacrifice. Enjoy being a non-smoker, be proud of your decision, and your life without cigarettes will make absolute sense.

Final Summary

The key message in this book:

Quitting smoking is not a sacrifice, nor is it about restraint. Instead, quitting smoking is about gaining freedom. By overcoming false beliefs about fearful withdrawals and reduced enjoyment of life, and by uncovering the real reasons you depend on cigarettes, you’ll be able to quit with conviction and enjoy a new, smoke-free life.

Actionable advice: Work out which cigarette you need the most, and hate the most.

Before you quit smoking, ask yourself what the most important cigarette is for you. Most will say it’s the first morning cigarette, because that one, after a night without nicotine, reduces the cravings the most. Then ask yourself what is the filthiest cigarette of each day. Most will answer that it’s the same one, the morning one. Now you realize that cigarettes don’t give you anything besides help against your own addiction.

About the author

Allen Carr was a British author of self-help books that helped people overcome smoking and other dependencies, such as alcoholism. He himself quit after 33 years of chain-smoking, during which time he consumed around 100 cigarettes per day. After quitting, he publicized his method, the EASYWAY, and opened a chain of clinics to help people stop smoking with a money-back guarantee. He died in 2006 of lung cancer.

Allen Carr was an accountant and smoked 100 cigarettes a day until he gave up and wrote this bestselling book. He has built a hugely successful network of stop-smoking clinics across the world and is the author of The Only Way to Stop Smoking, How to Stop Your Child Smoking, The Easy Way to Enjoy Flying and The Easyweigh to Lose Weight. In 2004 Allen published his bestselling autobiography Packing It In (Michael Joseph). He was diagnosed with lung cancer in the summer of 2006 and died in November of the same year. It seems likely that the years he spent curing smokers in smoke-filled sessions at his clinics must have contributed to this illness, but Allen Carr remained positive; “Given that I am informed that I have cured at least 10 million smokers on a conservative estimation, it’s a price worth paying.”

Allen Carr was a chain-smoker for over 30 years. In 1983, after countless failed attempts to quit, he went from 60–100 cigarettes a day to zero without suffering withdrawal pangs, without using willpower, and without putting on weight. He realized that he had discovered what the world had been waiting for, the easy way to stop smoking, and embarked on a mission to help cure the world’s smokers.

As a result of the phenomenal success of his method, he gained an international reputation as the world’s leading expert on stopping smoking and his network of clinics now spans the globe. His first book, Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking, has sold over 12 million copies, remains a global bestseller, and has been published in more than 40 different languages.

Allen Carr’s Easyway method has been successfully applied to a host of issues including sugar addiction, alcohol, debt, and other addictions.


Health, Addiction and Recovery, Health Recovery, Self Help, Smoking Recovery, Substance Abuse Recovery, Personal Transformation Self-Help, Medical, Smoking, Psychology, Tobacco, Philosophy, Inspirational

Table of Contents

Foreword to the US Edition
1. The Worst Nicotine Addict I Ever Met
2. The Easyway
3. Why Is It Difficult to Stop?
4. The Sinister Trap
5. Why We Smoke
6. Nicotine Addiction
7. Brainwashing and the Sleeping Partner
8. Relieving Withdrawal Pangs
9. Stress
10. Boredom
11. Concentration
12. Relaxation
13. Combination Cigarettes
14. What Am I Giving Up?
15. Self-Imposed Slavery
16. I’ll Save $x Every Week
17. Health
18. Energy
19. It Relaxes Me and Gives Me Confidence
20. Those Sinister Black Shadows
21. The Advantages of Being a Smoker
22. The Willpower Method of Stopping
23. Beware of Cutting Down
24. Just One Cigarette
25. Casual Smokers, Teenagers, Non-Smokers
26. The Secret Smoker
27. A Social Habit?
28. Timing
29. Will I Miss the Cigarette?
30. Will I Put on Weight?
31. Avoid False Incentives
32. The Facy Way to Stop Smoking
33. The Withdrawal Period
34. Just One Drag
35. Will It Be Harder for Me?
36. The Main Reasons for Failure
37. Substitutes
38. Should I Avoid Temptation?
39. The Moment of Revelation
40. The Final Cigarette
41. A Final Warning
42. Over Twenty Years of Feedback
43. Help the Smoker Left on the Sinking Ship
44. Advice to Non-Smokers
45. Finale: Help End This Scandal
Final Instructions
Tell Allen Carr’s Easyway You Stopped Smoking
About the Author
Allen Carr’s Easyway Centers


Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking is a self-help book that aims to help smokers quit their addiction without using any substitutes, aids, or willpower. The book was first published in 1985 and has since sold over 15 million copies worldwide. The book is based on Carr’s own experience of quitting smoking after being a heavy smoker for 33 years. He claims that his method is different from other methods because it does not focus on the negative aspects of smoking, such as the health risks, the financial costs, or the social stigma. Instead, it focuses on the positive aspects of quitting, such as the freedom, the confidence, and the happiness.

The book consists of 33 chapters that cover various topics related to smoking and quitting. The main points of the book are:

  • Smoking is not a habit or a pleasure, but an addiction to nicotine, a drug that creates a physical and psychological dependency in smokers.
  • Smokers smoke because they are addicted, not because they enjoy it or because it gives them any benefits. Smoking only relieves the withdrawal symptoms caused by nicotine, which are mild and temporary. Smoking does not relieve stress, boredom, hunger, or any other problems. It only creates more problems such as health risks, financial costs, social stigma, and loss of freedom.
  • Quitting smoking is easy and enjoyable, as long as you change your mindset and attitude towards smoking. You do not need any substitutes or aids such as nicotine patches, gums, pills, or e-cigarettes. They only prolong the addiction and make it harder to quit. You do not need any willpower or force yourself to stop smoking. This only creates a sense of sacrifice and deprivation. You do not need to feel sorry for yourself or envy other smokers. This only makes you feel miserable and tempted. You do not need to wait for the right moment or occasion to quit smoking. There is no such thing as a right moment or occasion.
  • You only need to understand the truth about nicotine addiction and see smoking for what it really is: a deadly addiction that does nothing for you except harm you. Once you do that, you will lose all desire and interest in smoking and you will be free.

Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking is a popular and influential book that has helped millions of people around the world to become happy non-smokers. The book is written in a simple and conversational style that makes it easy to read and understand. The book is also full of anecdotes, examples, and exercises that help the reader to relate to the author and his method. The book is not based on any scientific evidence or research, but on Carr’s own personal experience and observations. However, many readers have reported that the book has worked for them and that they have quit smoking without any difficulty or discomfort.

The book is not without its critics, however. Some people have argued that the book is too simplistic and unrealistic, that it ignores the individual differences and circumstances of smokers, that it exaggerates the benefits of quitting and the drawbacks of smoking, that it uses manipulative and misleading language and logic, that it contradicts itself on some points, and that it may not work for everyone. Some people have also claimed that the book is outdated and irrelevant in the modern era of vaping and e-cigarettes.

The book may not be perfect or flawless, but it is certainly worth reading if you are a smoker who wants to quit or if you know someone who does. The book may not work for everyone, but it may work for you. The book may not be the only way to quit smoking, but it may be the easy way to quit smoking. The book may not be a miracle cure for nicotine addiction, but it may be a powerful tool for changing your mindset and attitude towards smoking. The book may not be the end of your journey to freedom, but it may be the beginning of it.

The choice is yours.

How to Quit Smoking Easily and Enjoyably with Allen Carr’s Easy Way

Alex Lim is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. He has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Alex has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. He is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Alex lives in London, England with his wife and two children. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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