Kristina Ivings vs. Allen Carr

Just curious as to what people think about the similarities and differences between these two authors of stop-smoking books and their methodologies?

I have yet to read Allen Carr, so I can't comment about him right now. All I can say is that K. Ivings made a lot of sense overall, except that I cannot agree that we only smoke because of addiction. I still think that we derive other pleasures out of smoking than purely the need to smoke.


3 Replies

  • Hi Michael,

    I think probably 99% of the 'joy' of smoking comes from alleviating the withdrawl. This is what keeps us going back time and time again. However I also believe there are other factors. I used to enjoy the 'escape' it offered, almost like a time out if something got too much.

    Another factor that was important in my remaining a smoker was actually the smokers club. Particularly since smoking inside public places was banned, smokers have a sort of common 'naughty' club where you can strike up conversations with people far easier than simply in a bar. In many respects the comments we make here about huddling in the cold would be repeated whilst banished to smoke and as someone who has moved around a lot I found it a great ice breaker. Some of my best friendships were forged over a ciggie.

    However, I would never go back, after all how many friendships can you maintain when dead? And I still stand by my statement that 99% of the 'enjoyment' was actually simply the 'thank god' of stopping withdrawl.

  • Have only read Allen Carr so can't compare the two, but the nub of AC for me is a change of mental attitude and that the addiction is under my control. If I chose to control it - I can, it is easy. Now I would not go so far as to say it is easy yet, but definitely getting there and feel well prepared to go forward with the quit.

    Having failed after a 5 month quit previously, due to a massive depresion, I have been scared to try again. AC has given me the tools to change that and I intend to use them all. Have never before felt that this is THE quit which will last and it is a good feeling:)

  • I think part of what AC says you would really like. There's one chapter that really stuck with me and that was the one that explains why you don't need to necesarily over-eat or chew gum once you quit in order to be 'doing' something with your hands or mouth.

    He explained that the feeling of needing to do this was because as smokers we identifed many feelings as 'I want a cigarette'. So now that we're non (or ex) smokers when we are stressed, depressed, having a bad day (or maybe even happy!) we can't identify these feelings as what they are and instead all we think is 'I want a cigarette'. Some people then feel like there's a void to fill (instead of dealing with the emotion at hand) and these people will then over-eat.

    I think this kind of thinking works to explain why a lot of people tend to eat more when they quit (more than what should be attributed to the appetite suppresant effet of cigarettes) and also it explains why once we're free of the addiction to nicotine (physically) we still want it mentally.

    Smokers seem to have a warped and distorted way of identifying their feelings and I really think it's once ex-smokers get rid of this that they become non-smokers.

    Can't comment on KI and if she makes this argument too though, have only read Allen Carr.

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