Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research

New LSBU study supports Allen Carr’s Easyway (ACE) method to quit smoking

LSBU's Centre for Addictive Behaviours are working in collaboration with St George’s, University of London
23 January 2020

Academic researchers at LSBU's Centre for Addictive Behaviours (CABR) in collaboration with St George’s, University of London, have carried out the largest and most authoritative research trial of its kind, to test the effectiveness of Allen Carr’s Easyway (ACE) method of quitting smoking.

The report, is published today in the academic journal Addiction.

The results of their research trial detected no difference in success rates between the ACE method and services offered by a UK specialist stop smoking service. This is significant because it shows that the ACE method is effective and could be offered as a drug-free, viable and cost-effective additional treatment option for the NHS.

The results show that the ACE method produced an abstinence rate six months after the target quit date of 19 per cent, compared with 15 per cent for the specialist stop smoking service.  This independently conducted, randomised controlled trial had 620 participants, with 310 in ACE and 310 in the specialist service. Abstinence from smoking was verified by measuring carbon monoxide in the exhaled breath of participants.

The ACE method emphasises a drug-free approach to smoking cessation. ACE comprises a single (four and half to six hour long) group session with subsequent supportive text messages and top-up sessions, if required. It aims to convince smokers that smoking provides no benefits. In comparison, the standard treatment followed by the NHS, focuses on nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or ‘Champix’ plus a series of weekly psychological support sessions.

The results of the study reflect these different approaches with 91 per cent of specialist treatment participants successfully quitting used NRT, Champix or an e-cigarette. In contrast, in the ACE group, only 13 per cent of those who successfully quit used these products.

Professor Daniel Frings, from LSBU’s research team, said “In a gold-standard randomised controlled trial, we observed levels of smoking quit rates that are indistinguishable from those generated by a specialist stop smoking service.

This was achieved by combining one-to-one psychological support sessions with Nicotine Replacement Therapy.

“These findings offer compelling support for the effectiveness of the ACE method for quitting smoking.”

Read the report in full here.