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Nick became a non-smoker thanks to a free place on an Allen Carr Easyway seminar. Now he’s swapped a bad habit for a good one – practising his German!
I was a smoker for 45 years – a 20-a-day man - but not anymore. I smoked my last cigarette at 4pm on 16th September.
My parents both smoked, so cigarettes were always around when I was young, and it was all too easy to get hold of them. I could go down to the local pub and get cigarettes put on their tab. And I smoked at school, the usual thing. Smoking was everywhere and pretty much the norm.
I had quit smoking once before. Managed to give up for a whole two years. But then... you slip-up, have just one and think you can handle it, think you are in control. But the minute you have that ciggie you put nicotine back in control.
I’d been thinking about giving up for a while, had already started putting myself into the mindset of a quitter. Making that first move to register with LiveWell put these thoughts into action. It was good to see how many choices there were too, all for free and some, like the course I went on, worth hundreds of pounds.
LiveWell talked me through the options: nicotine patches, vapes, gum, coaching - and the one-day Allen Carr Easyway seminar. I really liked the sound of that and thought I’d give it a shot. It was that idea that I would have an exact date and time when I would be giving up, that being a non-smoker would be a done deal within six hours, that really appealed to me.
We can all talk and think about stopping smoking but it’s the doing that counts. Signing up with LiveWell and then committing to go to the Allen Carr Easyway day held me accountable.
The thing about NRT is you can go and get your patches and gum, but it doesn’t mean you will start using them. There is still an opportunity to delay, make excuses. Having that Easyway quit date in the diary really worked for me, being able to tell myself that, next Saturday, I am going to give up smoking.
I went to Southampton for the Allen Carr seminar. I hate doing stuff online and prefer in person. Only two other people were on the course, so it felt like a personal experience. Sharing the trauma of quitting with others helps you feel less alone.
I had looked up Allen Carr online, so I had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen on the day. The focus is on the positive – you are not giving anything up, but instead gaining – your health, your finances. There is a lot of repetition to drum the message in. Every hour you are actively encouraged to go out and have a cigarette – and I did!
It felt a bit weird to be smoking all the way through a stop smoking day, but I was happy to go with the flow. I had my cigarette every hour and thought: ‘I’ll enjoy it while I can because when I walk out of here at 4pm I won’t be smoking any more’.
And the end of the session I smoked my last cigarette, threw it in the bin and walked out a non-smoker. I felt pretty rough for a few days but that's just your body getting rid of all the toxins. But my positive mindset from the seminar has stayed with me to get me past that. Health-wise it is only going to get better.
My family and friends had been trying to encourage me to give up for years and they are really pleased for me. But I don’t want praise. I tell them not to talk to me about it or say, ‘well done’. I want keep things normal because talking about smoking – even in a positive way – makes me think about it more.
I have to admit I have thought about cigarettes since the quit day. It has been part of my life, an ingrained habit, for such a long time. Certain times of the day, particularly, at 6pm, at the end of the working day I would always go outside and have fag and a drink, at 8, go out again for a smoke.
I have stuck to all these routines because that works for me. If I change things too much it will feel too different and make me think about cigarettes more. So, I go outside at the times when I normally would go out for a cigarette except, I don’t smoke. At 6pm I enjoy a gin and tonic, without a cigarette and at 8pm I go back out and I chat to myself- in German. One side effect of giving up smoking is that my foreign language skills will improve!
I want to say this is a new phase in my life but actually it isn’t. My life hasn’t changed but my health will. It’s the same life, but I am living it as a non-smoker now.
Be inspired by Nick and get support from our team. We can set you up with a quit package that words for you, including 1-2-1 coaching, nicotine replacement, plus tools and tips to help you succeed.
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