This article examines Easyway, a popular clinical and self-help method for the treatment of smoking addiction established by the late Allen Carr in 1984. It begins by addressing how smoking has come to be constituted as a neuropharmacological addiction and some of the issues and concerns raised against this in the social sciences. After situating its theoretical and empirical focus, the article then proceeds with an interpretative thematic analysis of a selection of Easyway self-help texts. The aims here are as follows: firstly, to show how Easyway, as a discourse, constitutes the problem of nicotine addiction in novel and distinctive ways; secondly, to elaborate how the Easyway texts seek to govern readers – paradoxically, through their free capacity for reflection, introspection and action – to overcome their situated addiction to smoking; and thirdly, to identify and locate the significance of the author’s implicit claims to charisma in underpinning his authority to know and treat nicotine addiction.
- Textual analysis