Stop smoking books

To go straight to the StopSmokingUK review of stop smoking books, click here.

Stop smoking books

The purpose of the StopSmokingUK website is to give smokers as much information as possible to assist them. This means information about the different kinds of help there are to stop smoking, but the idea is to present a broad range of information about smoking generally, all of which will help the thinking smoker to make the right decisions.

There are very many stop smoking books on the market, and such a book is the first point of reference for some smokers, particularly the ones who are prepared to spend a little time and effort on helping themselves (as opposed to going to their GP for a drug that purports to do it for them). So how do you choose a good stop smoking book? They all seem to have a different message, and naturally they all claim that their ideas are the best, so given that you are likely to buy just one, which one should it be? How do you differentiate between those apparently conflicting messages?

It rather depends on you yourself, and what you are looking for. On our website we review the three main books that are available in the UK, so here is an introduction to them.

If you want a book that will ‘brainwash’ you into believing that you don’t need to smoke, then any book by the late Allen Carr might be for you. His books were quite good at persuading people not to smoke, as long as they didn’t stop and think about the logic of what he was saying too closely, because the logic didn’t really hold up to close scrutiny. You will find it a bit repetitive, which some people don’t like, whereas some people find that is just what they need to get the message to stick in their minds, which is why it was written that way. The book is a bit short on facts, if long on persuasive ideas, so as I say it suits a certain type of reader.

If on the other hand you want a book that is going to treat you as an intelligent adult then you might prefer The NSCI Stop Smoking Handbook, by Robert Brynin, the Research Director of the National Smoking Cessation Institute. This book, despite being used by stop-smoking therapists, is surprisingly readable. In fact it was written for smokers themselves, not therapists, although hypnotherapists and acupuncturists who work with smokers have taken to it in such a big way. The Handbook is in two parts. The first gives you all the information you are going to need to stop (and this really is information you don’t see elsewhere). The second part takes you through a series of exercises, using the information from part one, in a logical, easy-to-follow programme.

(You can read free sample pages of this book – click here.)

The third book we review is by Gillian Riley. This has neither the advantages of the Allen Carr book nor Robert Brynin’s, in that Ms Riley is a psychologist and her approach is to persuade the reader that smoking is purely a psychological problem. Allen Carr knew this is not true, whereas it’s all Gillian Riley has to offer, and since the great majority of smokers know they are addicted to nicotine, even if they don’t understand exactly what that means or what to do about it, a book that says addiction doesn’t matter, not as brainwashing but as a statement of medical fact, does rather lack credibility.

There are, as I said, many many more stop smoking books than these, but depending on what you are looking for you probably don’t need to look further than these three.

The National Therapist Directory: Hypnotherapists in Manchester


Welcome to Stop Smoking UK, the realisation of a long-held dream

For more than two years we have planned to create an information and advice website for smokers that overcomes the extremely limited information that is currently available. Fair enough, there is a great deal of information, but actually we have been more concerned with the quality than the quantity. Everyone, it seems, has something to say on the subject, but you may have noticed that what they have to say relates very closely to what they have to sell.

That, of course, is the nature of the world, and it’s also the nature of the Web. Everyone wants to sell an idea at the very least, but more probably a service or a product. We believe this gets in the way of providing the quality of information smokers really need. The NHS / drug company combine has a large number of websites, but they are, of necessity, about using drug products to stop smoking. Hypnotherapists will tell you about hypnotherapy and acupuncturists will tell you about acupuncture to stop smoking, but not about anything else. All of this means that you would need to read a lot of websites to start to get any balanced information, and even then you would have to know how to select the good from the bad. Putting this more succinctly, the commercialisation of information has made the information worth less.

Stop Smoking UK is designed specifically to remedy this problem. It is non-commercial, carries no advertising, and in its biggest section, The National Therapist Directory, therapists are listed free of charge, so no one therapist or group wields any influence.

On the information pages much of the content is courtesy of the National Smoking Cessation Institute, which is the long-established authority on the subject, and indeed the Institute is funding SSUK in the short term. These pages include some really helpful information on the different methods for stopping smoking and a free advice service you can use by e-mail. Then there is a section on stop-smoking books. Currently we have just three books reviewed here, but this will increase in time. As you can imagine, we’re pretty busy just now, but we’ll get round to reviewing more before too long.

There’s a ten top tips section, as you might expect, but with a difference. The Web is full of ‘tips’ for smokers, and most of it is platitudes. Actually, most of it comes from the NHS / drug company combine, so that isn’t really surprising. Ours is really rather more interesting, so do take the time to read that section. Then we have the complete text of The Little Yellow Book, written by Robert Brynin, the Research Director of the NSCI. This is great – do take the time to read it.

And finally, back to the National Therapist Directory. This is listed by country / county / town, so if you are looking for a hypnotherapist in Harrogate, an acupuncturist in Andover or an NHS service in .. well, anywhere .. it’s all there. We don’t differentiate between the NHS, the National Smoking Cessation Institute, franchises like Allen Carr’s Easyway and independent hypnotherapists and acupuncturists. We are still very much in the process of building this up at present, so there are plenty of, say, hypnotherapists in Manchester listed but we’re still short of hypnotherapists in Southport, Carlisle and other medium-sized towns, and we’re listing very few hypnotherapists in Henley, Lewes, Camberley and a host of other small towns yet. If you are a hypnotherapist or acupuncturist who can help smokers, please get yourself listed (you’ll see how on the National Therapist Directory home page), and tell your colleagues. We want this quickly to become a national resource for all smokers, no matter where they live.

This is all very new, and we’re still open to ideas as to what help we can give smokers, but we think we’re made a good start. Please spread the word, whether you are a smoker or a therapist, or just someone who’s interested. The more people know about us, the bigger we will become and the more we can achieve.

Finally, I want to say thank you to the team that have made this possible. They know who they are, so I won’t mention names to avoid embarrassing them, but they have been brilliant.

And by the way, you can contribute in more ways than one. No, not with money, although it’s nice of you to think of it. We want to publish an interesting news page every week, and I mean not just about us but about whatever is going on out there in the world of smoking cessation, so if you see anything on the Web or indeed in the print media you think people might be interested to read about, do send it to us. Our email address is

Silly comment of the week

For every person who smoked and died young, I can give you other names, especially in my own profession, who didn’t…. Are there no doctors who would admit they haven’t a clue why this is so? … I intend to stick with my far more natural, delicious, pleasure-giving tobacco.”

David Hockney, a very modest artistic talent, gives us the benefit of his wisdom on smoking. Why, I don’t know. He doesn’t ask me my opinion on art, after all. Just as well, really.

Until next week.

Benedict Goodall

PS. No Smoking Day this year falls on Wednesday 14th March this year. It would be nice if the Press informed the smoking public about us, but I’m afraid they only usually take their information from the NHS / drug company combine, so we’re not hopeful.