12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 15 May 2007
A few years back, I read Allen Carr's book and packed in smoking easily and effortlessly. A few months later, I lit "one cigarette" and resumed my old smoking habit, easily and effortlessly. I had consoled myself with the fact that I always had Carr's miracle book to fall back on any time I wanted to quit again. When that time came, I re-read Carr's book, but it didn't work a second time.
And so began my quest to quit smoking definitively. I tried Carr's other books, and they didn't work. I tried Neil Casey's book -- worked for a few days -- and then failed. I was getting to the point where I was believing all the horrendous stories were true...that smoking is an exceptionally tough nut to crack, and one that you must battle with all your life.
Then I noticed Kristina Iving's book on Amazon. I did a bit of digging online, and liked the cut of her gib. I was particularly taken with an article on her website that was a "De-Carr-inisation" speech. As brilliant as Carr's book is, it DOES have its flaws. Carr is so unconditionally certain about his method that I always believed it was a fatal character flaw in myself that made me keep smoking in spite of reading his stuff.
Iving's book takes a slightly more substantial approach. She successfully marries all the best bits of Carr's methods with the beefy reinforcement of NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) and a real eye-opening explanation of the three factors we need to defeat in order to live a successful existence as a non-smoker.
I found the book a really refreshing and exciting read, and the character of NITCH is one you are unlikely to forget. I also loved her own personal stories of her battle with cigarettes. And Instead of the mass repetition that Carr was guilty of, Ivings doesn't print any chaff. As far as I can see, she has covered just about every base.
I have now been a non-smoker for nearly a month thanks to her book and, amazingly, it has been even easier and more enjoyable than the first time around. I know a month isn't a long time in the context of smoking cessation, but I am certain I will never touch another cigarette again (if nothing else, my last failed attempt taught me the lesson of "one cigarette").
I hope people will take a leap of faith and purchase this book and implement the suggestions, give it the reviews it deserves and drive it up that chart. This book deserves to be read by a lot of smokers!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2006
I'm privileged - through a connection, I had a chance to read the manuscript of this book long before it was published; a year ago in fact. I'd been smoking for near-on 15 years, roll-up's mostly, and somewhere between 20-30 a day, every day. Things were getting worse and worse: within a minute or so of waking I'd be looking for that first cigarette, I'd smoke another couple on the drive to work, and as soon as I got to the office it was out onto the balcony for yet another. On and on it went. I didn't smoke in the house, but I was spending half my life out in the garage, smoking, and I was finding myself getting ill, constantly catching awful colds, painful coughing, throat like sandpaper.
Since reading this book I haven't had a single cigarette - not a single drag, and I'm confident now I'll never smoke again. The key thing this book taught me was you can be free, totally free, from cigarette cravings. It's not like being an alchoholic, you won't have to take it one day at a time every day for the rest of your life - you can be free. When you're on the fags its hard to imagine life without them as being anything other than miserable, always being deprived of something you enjoy. But that's balls, I can see that now. Give up smoking using this book and you'll see you're actually adding something to your life, and that smoking is totally negative. You only ever smoke - ever - to temporarily remove that feeling of wanting a fag. Break that vicious circle and you're free: you won't just have stopped smoking, you'll have stopped yourself wanting to smoke, permanently. That's the message here. I'd really recommend this book, it's really helped me.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2010
I had been smoking for 10 years and got into my 30's thinking I wanted to quit, but was too scared to let go of something I was convinced that I "needed" and "enjoyed". I had slowed down my consumption but did not believe I would ever have the strength to stop.
I had read Alan Carr a couple of times and not really committed to stopping, but it is this book which, in one read, really convinced me to own my addiction and see it for what it was.
I read this book cover to cover, committed to doing all the exercises which I found useful, set a day to stop, and - stopped! On the evening before stopping I added the extra bolster of a hypnotherapy CD which taught me some useful breathing exercises if I were to experience a craving.
Now, nearly 3 years on, I am so incredibly happy to be a non-smoker. I have never looked back, never regretted not inhaling toxic poison!
For the first week or so I did experience the odd craving, and by far the worst was when we had an office party and drunk a fair amount, then people started to spark up cigarettes - I wasn't prepared for the strength of that craving a week after stopping, but I walked away. This book teaches you that you always have a choice.
Basically, if you think you're ready to quit but scared and not sure how, trust this book, and most of all, trust yourself- you can do it!
UPDATE October 2012- Still a non-smoker, and very happy about it!
on 26 September 2012
I'm a pretty cynical, stubborn, lazy person who unfortunately suffers from a highly addictive personality. So whilst I'd tried countless methods of quitting over the decades, from Zyban to new age "nicotine wave cancellation therapy", none of them could ever beat my seemingly natural urge to smoke. I'd also tried a few books, two of which were written by Allen Carr. But the only thing those books made me feel was like someone was trying to trick me into giving up my favourite thing in the whole world. On top of that feeling of deception I also found them obnoxious and patronising. So once I'd finished reading I actually vowed to smoke more from that point on as a rebuttal to everything those books stood for... not quite the desired outcome.
I'm writing this review today though having been quit for over 2 years and owing that achievement primarily to a book, this book in fact. And incidentally I'm pleased to report that I feel exactly the same in my daily life today as I did when I used to smoke - I don't feel like I've given up anything bar a pointless and ridiculously expensive drug addiction (I hear they're the same price as Cuban cigars now). I still enjoy pausing and thinking about life, I still enjoy coffee and beer, I still stand outside chatting to people about nonsense, I still get a buzz in the mornings, I can still focus on large tasks at work, I can still relax after a good meal... I've lost nothing whatsoever and I feel very happy indeed.
Easy to feel that way in retrospect perhaps but reading this book was honestly the the first real step - after years spent searching every nook and cranny for help - to achieving that state. I'm not saying it's the be all and end all because the NHS stop smoking service and NRT both had their part to play also... but without this book underpinning them they too would have been worthless.
The beauty of this book then is it presents a genuine picture of the underlying addiction you're experiencing. And once you fathom the mechanisms of that addiction then, believe it or not, you're most of the way quit already. Knowledge really is the key, the information just has to be presented in the right format. Put it this way: if some goofy stranger told you that the burgers you ate were all made of reformed poo then you might think "Well, it looks and tastes like a burger and I don't believe you, goofy stranger" and you'd probably continue chomping away. But if you watched a poo being squeezed from someone's anus before being delicately seasoned, hammered out into a burger shape and served to you on a plate... well, now you may no longer want to eat that burger, your mind may be changed for good. It's the same principle the Allen Carr books are based upon but here it's presented in a more down-to-earth and honest manner and with more detailed information. You don't need to take anything on trust is the main thing, the logic and science are both sound. It's a quit smoking book for those who are a little more cynical and inquiring than the majority of the herd.
Overall this book is the prime cause of my current good health and its 5 stars are thus well earned.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2006
This book was brilliant. It was unexpectedly funny, very accessible and full of excellent advice from everything to preparing to quit, quitting, staying quit and learning what to do if you relapse.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2006
Getting to grips with the ideas in this book about WHY people smoke has fundamentally changed my beliefs about my own smoking and is really helping me stop.
Lots of "self-help" books are thin on ideas but padded out with waffle and repetition to make the reader think they are getting value for money. This isn't the case with this book, which has a very soundly researched underlying strategy based on what psychologists call Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
The text is broken up with illustrations as well as insightful diaries from quitters and would-be quitters, which keeps things reasonably lively. The author's professional experience with smokers shows through clearly.
One helpful device is a character called 'Nitch', which the author uses to personify our own inner voice that encourages us to continue smoking. At first I though this was just a gimmick but actually the thoughts this little voice expresses are spot on, and seeing them in black and white on the page does help one realise how illogical our own cravings are.
Let's face it, giving up smoking is never going to be easy, but this book does provide some really helpful tools. I suppose I can't promise that the approach presented here will work for everyone, but the book does encourage the reader to really challenge some very deep ideas about why they smoke, and what the author writes here really does ring true for me.
A definite thumbs up from me.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2006
At last, an intelligent, well-written guide to stopping smoking. It helps you to understand just why you smoke, and guides you through every stage of giving up, including what to do if you relapse. It is written with great depth of understanding and humour by a self-confessed ex-smoker, who also happens to hold her doctorate in this field. If you really want to give up once and for all, this is the book for you.
on 19 March 2014
I had been a smoker for 35 years and all I can say is that I am not smoking anymore thanks to reading this book. I had read the book by Allen Carr and although it stopped me from smoking it unfortunately did not last. This book by Kristina Ivings I found goes deeper and answers the questions that Allen Carrs book did not, ie: why you continue to smoke when we know we do not want too ! For anyone who wants to stop smoking then I would recommend reading this, after all what harm could it do that you are not already doing by continuing to smoke !!!
on 31 December 2013
I'm buying this book for the third time to give to a boy at work. It's over 4 years since I read this book and I haven't had a cigarette since. For 35 years, 'Nitch' ruled my life but now I'm free of him. Kristina explains it in such a way that makes sense and it's an enjoyable read too. We both smoked and hadn't had a holiday for nine years. Two years after stopping, we could afford to go round the world for a month! The best book you can ever invest in.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2006
This book was brilliant. It was unexpectedly funny, very accessible and full of excellent advice from everything to preparing to quit, quitting, staying quit and learning what to do if you relapse. Definately stands out from the other smoking books I have read.