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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 May 2007, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
Quitters' panel: 55 days to go
With just 55 days until the ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces in England, the Magazine is tracking four smokers on their efforts to quit the habit. How are they doing?

Dave Chapman

Dave Chapman is 22, works for a logistics company and lives in Rickling Green, Essex.
His story

Sandra Green

Sandra Green is 48 and an admin assistant from Dronfield, Derbyshire.
Her story

Reetu Kabra
Reetu Kabra is 24 and a publicist who lives and works in London.
Her story
Russel Hopps

Russel Hopps is 64 and a funeral director from Manchester.
His story


With only two months left before I put out my last cigarette my brain seems to be cramming in as many of them as it can. Half of me is looking forward to quitting, but it's the other half that worries me.

This week I've been planning a last hurrah for pub smokers, which involves a lot of people with cigars and the last night of smoking mainly to take my mind off the fact that I won't be puffing away the next day.

I've also been figuring out the best way to quit and I've decided to go cold turkey the day the ban comes into effect and try to avoid pubs with large outside areas, as that's where I smoke the most.

A couple of my friends have jumped on the band wagon so I'm hoping that's going to help me, but I am determined not to become a classic ex-smoker and nag all of them to quit. Saying that, they're all supporting me, so fingers crossed.


I have failed to give up smoking many times before so I'm going to take all the help I can get this time.

I've been to the doctors to get patches. I think it's great that you can get them on the NHS and I really hope they will help.

What will be one of the hardest times for me is when I am at home. I'm often on my own and smoking is like company for me. I'm really aware that this will be a vulnerable time for me and need to look at what else I can do instead.

It's about tackling the dependency you have on cigarettes mental, as well as physically. I feel apprehensive, but committed to trying to give up.


I have been to my doctors for patches and on previous attempts I tried the gum, but I still find it terribly hard. It is a constant struggle for me.

The hardest part of the day for me is when I get home from work. I used to unwind with a glass of malt whisky and cigarette and loved it. Now I don't but I find it really hard.

One unusual tool that I do used to keep me strong is an old ashtray. It smells disgusting and I take a sniff whenever I fancy a fag. It's worked so far.

But despite the daily struggle, I have noticed positive changes to my health. I no longer cough so much in the morning and my food tastes better.


I'd heard so much about the Allen Carr's book "The Easy Way" and thought I would give it ago. Last time I tried to quit I used nicotine gum and it made me feel sick and gave me really bad indigestion.

I picked my skiing holiday as the time I would start to quit - fresh air and exercise I thought would spur on the desire to quit too. I bought the book and decided to read it in one sitting on the plane and while I didn't incur a sudden rush of enlightenment, I felt the book did change my outlook on smoking.

One of the key messages is the fear of quitting is often worse than the process of actually quitting, which I believe is quite true. Another idea is that you have to see the process not as a sacrifice - giving something up - but as a shift towards better things such as better health and saving money.

Both these ideas have really stuck with me and whenever I crave a cigarette I think about these points. It has helped, plus it means I don't have to chew the nasty gum.

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