The 5-Minute Interview: Allen Carr, Anti-smoking guru

'Since I stopped smoking I have been the happiest man in the world'
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Allen Carr, 73, is the author of numerous books on how to quit smoking. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in July this year.

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...

Putting the finishing touches to my last book Scandal. I intend to use it to encourage the media to investigate the reasons for the government, apparently under the influence of the pharmaceutical industry, ignoring it for more than 20 years in favour of the ludicrous use of nicotine patches and gum. My organisation appears to be the only one questioning the lunacy of trying to cure nicotine addicts by giving them nicotine!

A phrase I use far too often is...

"This is my last book." I've said it many times - but I am constantly under pressure from those who have used my method to stop smoking to apply it to other problems.

I wish people would take more notice of...

Me! I have been delivering a cure for smoking for more than 20 years - the medical establishment hasn't shown any interest. A strange reaction given that by 2020 more than 10 million people a year will die because of smoking.

The most surprising thing that happened to me was...

Meeting my wife, Joyce. It was like the old Nat King Cole song with the verse that goes: "I was walking along minding my own business, when out of an orange coloured sky - Crash! Bang! Alacazam! wonderful you came by."

A common misperception of me is...

That I am an American. I was born and raised in the, then, working-class area of Putney, London. I've never lived in the US but for some reason people assume that I am American. I am English and proud of it.

I am not a politician but...

When I look around at our annual international conference for our clinic managers and therapists and see 30 or more nationalities represented, with everyoneenjoying each other's company, interacting together with a common goal, I find it hard to understand how the world can be in such a mess.

I'm good at...

Lawn bowls.

I'm very bad at...

Nothing - except modesty.

The ideal night out is...

Joyce, some friends, a restaurant. The food doesn't even need to be good - just the company.

In moments of weakness I...

Allow Joyce to drag me to the shops.

You know me as a writer/stop-smoking guru but in truer life I'd have been a...

Chartered accountant. I hated it - but I think my analytical mind and accountancy training helped me to discover my Easyway method.

The best age to be is...

73. Even with terminal lung cancer I can honestly say that since I stopped smoking 23 years ago I have been the happiest man in the world.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this:

I'll leave that to philosophers - my "in a nutshell" objective is To Cure the World of Smoking.

Sara Newman

Comments