02 August 2006

Allen Carr - helped millions quit smoking

He has helped millions quit smoking, but now - 23 years after he kicked a 100-a-day habit - Allen Carr has been diagnosed with lung cancer. The 73-year-old anti-smoking guru, who is married with 4 children and 11 grandchildren, found out he had the disease during an unrelated routine medical check. The multi-millionaire was determined to remain optimistic. Mr. Carr said that he remains in high spirits and sees this latest stage in his remarkable life as an opportunity to make his method even more recognized. His method encourages smokers to identify the reasons why they depend on cigarettes and eliminate them.

As well as writing Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking, which has been published in 45 countries, the give-it-up guru has established Easyway clinics in over 30 countries. His business partner, John Dicey, said at the weekend that Carr had "spent many years in smoke-filled rooms delivering his method to smokers; it is part of the clinic process that people actually smoke while there. He is not drawing any conclusions, but Allen feels that if that did contribute, it is a price worth paying, as we estimate he has cured around 10m smokers."

Carr was a very heavy smoker, for a long time, but it is not possible to tell if Allen's cancer is linked to his previous 100-cigarette-a-day addiction. He is certain that had he not quit, he would have been dead 20 years ago. Mr. Carr said, "Since I stopped smoking more than 23 years ago, I have been the happiest man in the world - I still feel the same way."

Smokers should not be fooled into thinking that they can smoke for years and then, by stopping, remove all risk of smoking-related disease. There will always be some residual risk. In the same time it is true that not all smoking-related damage is irreversible. The risk of coronary heart disease drops by 50% in the first year after quitting smoking. Skin health improves surprisingly fast.

It is extraordinary how resilient the body is, it can put up with this insult day after day, year after year, and it forgives you - until about the age of 35. After that, lung capacity and lung health decline anyway, so if they are already damaged, the decline is simply faster. It is much more urgent than smokers realize. All warn, however, that none of this counts as a reason not to stop smoking, and to do it as soon as possible. No matter how long you have smoked, it is always worth quitting.

1 comment:

Robert P. said...

He did a good job and saved many lives. Heres to you Mr. Carr R.I.P.

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