AN ANTI-SMOKING clinic that claims to help people quit in 20 minutes has treated more than 34 smokers since it opened three months ago. The UK's first Quit Easy centre, in Derby, pioneers a pain-free treatment that releases endorphins to eliminate cravings. It will even be open on New Year's Day to help people achieve their resolutions. One ex-smoker who stubbed out his last cigarette with the help of Quit Easy is Graham Baines-Chambers.
It was his six-year-old daughter Erin's serious heart problem that made the 38-year-old want to stop smoking. After 20 years with a 20-a-day habit, quitting was a struggle. When he saw an advert for Quit Easy in the Derby Telegraph he decided to try it. Graham admitted he was dubious about claims the clinic could cure his addiction in under half an hour, using a small electrode. But, after not touching a cigarette since his treatment on October 28, he has no doubt about its success.
He said: "My daughter has no control over the fact that she has heart problems but I had control over what I was doing to my own health as a result of smoking. I never used to smoke around her and always had a cigarette outside but you could smell it on me, so I was desperate to give up. "I had tried everything to quit, from herbal remedies to prescribed medicines, but nothing had worked. I would stop for a few weeks here and there but sooner or later would pick up a cigarette again. I still can't get over the fact I have given up completely after just a 20-minute session."
The non-invasive, pain-free method used by Quit Easy in Bridge Street involves attaching a small electrode to the ear. The electrode emits a low-frequency current that apparently releases endorphins which eliminate the craving for nicotine – all in 20 minutes. Graham, who paid just over £360 for the treatment, said: "It was a bit like acupuncture. They attached an electrode to one ear and left it there for a bit, then put it on the other ear and then on the skin just under my nose.
"It felt a bit warm and I got a metallic taste in my mouth but that was it – no pain, nothing. I was a bit dubious about it all, as it sounded so simple, but I can honestly say that I am not even tempted to have a cigarette." Graham, of Bonsall Avenue, Littleover, used to spend £35 a week on cigarettes. He has spent the money he has saved on a course in portable appliance testing, which he hopes will help him set up his own firm. He said: "I am looking at setting up my own business and have been able to use the money I've saved from not smoking to kick-start that."
Quit Easy has helped people aged 38 to 65 ditch their habits. Managing director Bob Bradley brought the treatment to England after a Quit Easy clinic in Singapore helped him to stop smoking. He said: "We think that there will be a lot of people who want to give up as part of their New Year's resolutions, so we will be there to give them a hand."
Derby GP John Grenville, secretary of the Derbyshire local medical committee, said the scientific basis for the treatment was very limited. He said: "I have read about the service and could not see how it could possibly work, but if it does indeed stop just one person smoking then that is good news.