In these difficult times we hope you and your loved ones are safe and well and getting the support you need to get through this pandemic.
The impact of COVID-19 will be felt for months to come and this page will provide updates on the impact to Allen Carr's Easyway and answer some FAQ's about quitting during this time.
Update 10th March 2021
Most of New Zealand continues to be at Alert Level 1 which means staying home if you are sick, practicing good hygiene and using a face covering if physical distance cannot be maintained. Auckland is now at level 2 but that does not change anything for our in person events.
In-person seminars are available in Auckland and Christchurch. Our venue can accommodate the necessary social distancing and will comply with the current level of restriction.
Our live online seminars are always available for you to quit from the comfort and safety of your own home.
Is now the right time for me to quit, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic?
There has never been a better time to quit smoking than right now! It’s not because cigarettes are harder to come by during lockdown, and it’s not because the outcomes for smokers who contract COVID-19 are so much worse than for non-smokers, and it’s not because you’ve got plenty of time on your hands. It’s simply because you’ll enjoy your life so much more as a happy non-smoker.
As a wonderful bonus when you quit, you don’t have to worry about running out of cigarettes, or about the health fears, or the money, the slavery, or the damage addiction does to your self-esteem.
It’s fabulous to enjoy freedom from those worries, but don’t make them your motivation to quit. The only motivation you need is to be free.
What is your main message to smokers in light of the Covid-19 pandemic?
I think we’ve all probably heard the advice from the world’s leading medical officers about smokers being more vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19. The message has been pretty clear; now would be a great time to quit smoking.
The #QuitForCovid campaign is gaining momentum on a daily basis, and lots of people seem determined to emerge from lockdown having gained something positive. Whether that’s a new skill, better fitness, or trying out yoga or mindfulness, there’s a real sense that people are looking to use this horrible period in our lives to at least gain something positive.
My message to smokers would be that there’s never been a better time to stop. Not because of lockdown, financial issues or health worries but simply because it would be wonderful to emerge from this crisis free from the slavery of smoking. That’s a bonus that will stay with you forever and not just for the duration of this Covid-19 outbreak.
How can people quit smoking whilst under lockdown without behavioural support of nicotine replacement therapy to hand?
Part of the challenge of getting through lockdown is having to do without those things which we take for granted.
There is nothing to fear from quitting smoking and Allen Carr’s Easyway are happy to provide free of charge advice to anyone, whether they elect to use Easyway – or decide to simply quit smoking on their own.
Our online seminars are easily accessible, they don’t require you to leave the house or use any kind of nicotine or other kind of drug and if you follow the guidance they deliver – you should not only find it easy to stop smoking – but thoroughly enjoyable. There is nothing to fear and everything to gain.
Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking isn’t just a theory; it is clinically proven by two independent clinical trials as being as good as, if not better than, the very best support that is provided by the NHS in the UK, and HSE in Ireland’s Quit.ie programme.
What advice would you give to the friends and family of anyone wanting to quit smoking whilst under lockdown?
That’s another great question. There are some easy mistakes that can be avoided. In our eagerness to help our loved ones to quit we want to be encouraging, supportive, and “there” for them, but this often comes across as pressure.
Whether it’s repeatedly checking in with them, “How are you feeling about it?”, then asking the exact same question half an hour later, or whether it’s tip-toeing around them in case you risk messing with their mojo, “less” is definitely “best”.
Be loving, warm, and considerate – but try to be as normal as possible. If the person who’s quit says something like, “I’m doing great”, then hearty congratulations and encouragement are the perfect response. An extra cuddle or hug (if you’re self-isolating with them) or a big thumbs up message if you’re not.
However, if you see that they’re struggling – or if perhaps they fail – please don’t judge them. It is easy to stop smoking – but only if you know how. I remember after my repeated failed attempts to quit I felt worse and worse about myself. Never be angry with them for failing – if you understood addiction then you’d understand why.
If people who have tried quitting smoking are under stress and are urgently craving a cigarette as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, what would you advise them to do?
I think the world is still a little in shock. Never, in peacetime, have so many of the population been so stressed simultaneously. It’s inescapable.
The first thing to remember is that the stress is real for everyone. The second thing to remember is that far from relieving that stress, smoking would add to it further. The third thing to remember is that the stress can only hurt you if you let it.
For those of us lucky enough not to be on the front line of this crisis we should undertake to control our stress levels for the benefit of those who are. There are an extraordinary number of people for whom we must gratefully remain “de-stressed”; doctors, nurses, shopworkers, warehouse workers, drivers, volunteers, and anyone who is out there working hard, in the most difficult conditions imaginable, to help us get through this crisis. We can help them all – just by taking good care of ourselves. Physically and mentally.
There are so many brilliant resources online, via apps, books, audiobooks and podcasts that can help everyone deal with the stress that this crisis is causing. Learning to handle stress better is a brilliant thing to do and a skill that will remain with you for life.
For those heroes at the front line I would say a similar thing, but ever so gently, ever so respectfully, I’d say - do what you can, at this terrible time, in these terrible conditions, to somehow find relief from the incredible stress you must be dealing with. Talking to friends, talking to family, or simply being comfortable being alone if you’re one of the brave, selfless souls living separately from their loved ones so that they can support the elderly, the infirm, and the victims of this virus – do what you can to feel as comfortable as you can.
Relaxation, mindfulness, and meditation techniques are readily available online and quick and easy to follow. It’s so important to protect yourself mentally as well as physically, as much as you can.