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Customer Review

268 of 288 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take Back Your Life & Health, & Rejoice in Your Freedom. You CAN Do This!, March 23, 2012
This review is from: Allen Carr's Easy Way To Stop Smoking (Paperback)
To All People Out There Who Want to Quit:
(And Even Those Who Simply Want to WANT To Quit)

I understand how it is, I really do. I want to try and help, even if it's something that you've heard a thousand times before. Yes, indeedy, I did have success with this book. I found out that I was pregnant with my first child on January 9, 2012. At age 24 I had been a pack-a-day smoker for almost 6 years. I enjoyed the ritual of taking some "me time" to reflect each day while enjoying a cigarette with an iced coffee. I liked smoking while driving in my car on a beautiful day. If I went out drinking for the night, I could kill a pack in a matter of a couple of hours, no problem. What I really *didn't* like was the disgusting ashtray-mouth the next morning, or, on other occasions, the feeling of panic that would set in if I only had one cigarette left, or, even worse, NONE left. If I was short on money, I'd get desperate, and try any way to get one. I also didn't like the stale taste in my mouth that would linger hours after smoking. I felt self-conscious whenever I spoke to someone really close-up, or when I kissed my boyfriend. I didn't like that when I went on vacation or went to visit someone, I would open my luggage and smell a rank ashtray smell radiating out. I'm sure these are all things you've experienced before.

What really helped me to quit for good (immediately and without regret, depression, or any *real* withdrawal problems) was the imagery in this book about the "Nicotine Monster". The idea that for the past 6 years of my life, I was carrying around this evil little parasite in my brain. He moved in to my brain and made himself comfortable the day that I smoked my first cigarette at a party my freshman year of college. From then on, every single time the Nicotine Monster got "hungry" (which, as time went on, became more and more frequently), he would whisper nasty little demands to my Subconscious Brain. To make sure that everything progressed the way he wanted, the Nicotine Monster would hold a knife to my Subconscious Brain's throat and say: "Subconscious Brain, you'd BETTER go tell Lindsay that she wants a cigarette. You'd better CONVINCE her that it would be a good idea to light up, RIGHT NOW". And my poor Subconscious Brain, fearing the worst, would have no choice but to pass along that insidious message that, repeated over and over and over throughout the years, would CONVINCE me that smoking was a good choice for me, that it made me feel better, that I LOVED it. And so it went. I became addicted. On those occasions that I ran low on cigarettes or didn't have money to buy a new pack, the Nicotine Monster would go BERSERK. He would rattle his cage, scream and shout, kick the walls, tear his hair out, and bombard my Subconscious Brain with some pretty awful threats. Again, Subconscious Brain would pass the urgent message along to my Conscious Mind, which caused me to get sweaty, nervous, desperate, panicky, and, well, act like a DRUG ADDICT. Which is exactly what I was.

When I read this in Allen Carr's book, it clicked for me. It made sense, and it made me realize cigarettes were NOT my friend; they were my keeper, my warden, my prison guard, whatever you want to call it. My smoking was not decreasing my stress, aiding my concentration, or giving special moments of "me-time"; rather, it was turning me into a slave to the Nicotine Monster in my brain. I realized that no matter how many times I tried to appease the Nicotine Monster, his demands would never stop. I realized that no matter how many hundreds of dollars I threw down the drain, or how many puffs I took, the Nicotine Monster would never, EVER be satisfied. At the same time, I knew that I, as a strong, capable, independent woman, COULD defeat this monster by STARVING it. Now that I knew how insidious, sneaky, and evil Nicotine Monster was, I knew how to outsmart it. I knew that every time I sensed the Nicotine Monster asking for its next fix, I would purposely ignore it. I would laugh in its face, call it pathetic, and smugly tell it that I was not going to feed it ever again. I would tell it that it would starve and die without its precious nicotine, and there was nothing to be done about it. I came to that realization immediately after reading Allen Carr's book. It was January 15, 2012 at 5:00 p.m.

THAT'S where the feelings of joy, triumph, and elation come from: the knowledge that you have figured it out. You see it clearly, and therefore you know how to beat it. You will not feel sad, you will not feel like you're giving up ANYTHING, you will not miss it, you will not crave it. You will jump for joy and thank your lucky stars that the cycle has been broken. You have quit. You have become a lifelong non-smoker.

Which brings me to my next point. Imagine that a year later, you're at a party and you see someone smoking. In a moment of poor judgment you think: "Hmmm, I bet one cigarette wouldn't hurt, just for old time's sake. I've been quit for a year now, so this'll just prove that I'm not longer addicted." You light up a cigarette for the first time in a year, take a puff, and as the smoke fills your lungs and is circulated throughout your bloodstream, the Nicotine Monster (dried-out, contracted, and crumpled in a pile of death in a dusty corner of your brain) suddenly SPRINGS to life with all its former vigor. "FINALLY!!!!" it says. "AFTER ALL THIS TIME, I'M ALIVE!! AHHH, PRECIOUS NICTOINE, MY BELOVED FOOD, YES! NOURISH ME ONCE AGAIN!!!!" Nicotine Monster does an evil, devilish victory dance on the floor of your brain, laughing manically and already planning ways to infiltrate your Conscious Mind once again and once again secure its front-row seat in your life.

DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU. You're better than that. You're stronger than that. Don't let some dead, dusty old punk-ass Nicotine Monster rob you of your freedom.

I know that got a little bit dramatic near the end there, but I really hope this is helpful to you in some way. Allen Carr has helped not only me, but also my father (who has been smoking 3 packs per day since 1968), my two brothers, my best friend, and my best friend's boyfriend. All of these people shared my same experience, and are now spreading the message to their own loved ones, friends, and anyone else who will listen. Good luck, stay strong, and remember why you are doing this. FEEL the power of your own brain, your own body, and REJOICE in your freedom. Peace to you and yours!
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 31, 2012 3:06:34 PM PDT
M. Fain says:
This is a really great review! I really felt like I was reading a horror story starring the "Nicotine Monster". It is very helpful and thoughtful of you to reach out and offer encouragement. It is really hard to imagine my life without cigs, but I am seeing a glimmer of hope that it really does exist. Thanks again for the review.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 12:07:29 PM PDT
It's my pleasure! I'm glad that you got something positive out of my dramatic re-enactment. But it's not overly dramatic, because that's exactly what's going on in your brain. Best of luck! It really is as simple as looking at your addiction in a new way. If you understand how it works, you also understand how to stop the cycle and be free from the Nicotine Monster once and for all. :) YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Posted on Apr 7, 2012 8:58:21 AM PDT
Icedeer says:
I think this is just what I needed. I'm reading Carr for the second time this weekend. You've refocused my attention on the Monster, not the "quit".


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2013 11:21:03 PM PST
Thank you much. I'm in the midst of "trying" to quit and your post is helping my resolve--changing my perspective from "giving up" cigarettes to "escaping from" cigarettes.

Posted on Aug 19, 2013 7:13:05 AM PDT
anonymous says:
Nice write up. Loved reading about the nicotine monster again. Hope you leave an update, on your anniversaries. Pasted my second anniversary in July.

Posted on Aug 27, 2013 1:59:02 AM PDT
G. Morgan says:
I just wanted to thank you for quitting so soon after you found out you were pregnant, and I'm very glad you found this book.

Posted on Apr 25, 2014 4:31:33 PM PDT
C. Hayward says:
This was exactly my experience. I smoked for 40 yrs and its been 8 yrs since I read this book and had my last cigarette. Remember those Disney cartoons where Donald or Goofy had a "devil" on one shoulder and an "angel" on the other trying to convince or dissuade them from doing something? That was me, especially driving in my car. I had the Nicotine Monster and the Allen Carr's Conscious Mind instead. I would mediate the conversation, talking to both and laughing in the face of the monster. Other drivers probably though I was nuts, but, hell, it worked!!! I also asked myself who's in charge here: me or this cigarette. Answer was ME, I'm a grown man for heavens sakes! The "no such thing as one cigarette" is soooo true. Even after 8 yrs, I"m so proud of myself, pat myself on the back and feel much better. Thank you Allen WAS easy!!!!!!!

Posted on Jan 23, 2015 8:41:59 AM PST
This was exactly my experience, you have put it beautifully. I quit 1.5 years ago and will never go back. I smoked for 35 years and was smoking 3 packs a day when I quit. I give all the credit to Allen Carr's book, without it I would not have stopped. The feelings of joy, elation and triumph are so true. Please give this book a try, believe in it, because it truly does help you quit smoking.

Posted on May 12, 2015 10:34:16 AM PDT
ParHarley says:
Your review has prompted me to order the book~! My sister in law quit cold turkey a couple of years ago with it, but now that I have a grandson, I feel the desire to truly quit. Thank you!
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