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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 May 2007, 14:25 GMT 15:25 UK
Quitters' panel: 46 days to go
With just 46 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 65 and a funeral director from Manchester.
His story

DAVE CHAPMAN

Over the last week it's really hit home how close the dreaded date is and so I've actually begun to try and prepare myself for putting that last fag out. I've begun to try and make a concerted effort to cut down the amount I smoke but what I think is really going to help is mixing my times up, so instead of having a ciggie after dinner I'll have one an hour after dinner and instead of having one when I wake up, have a shower first. Hopefully this will break the routine of smoking and make it easier to miss out the usual cigarettes entirely.

I've been alright doing this during the week but the weekend, and namely the pub, makes it so much harder and I've found myself chain smoking simply because that's how I've been for years.

I know that when the ban comes in that won't be a problem but it's playing havoc with my plans to cut down before I quit and aside from not frequenting the pub the only way I can see a way around my dilemma is to not take much tobacco with me. Whether this will work I don't know but even the fact I'm thinking about it makes me feel more confident that I can actually do this.

SANDRA GREEN

I am using patches with a nicorette inhalator for bad times. There are four of us in the office I work in and two of the others smoke.

We also have a "gang" which includes three other people who go "out to play" together several times during the day, which is when I need the inhalator as, at the moment, I feel like I am missing out.

Even with the patches and the inhalator I feel that something is missing. At the moment though I am feeling proud of myself for taking the first step. I hope this continues.

Good luck to everyone else that is trying.

RUSSEL HOPPS

I'm still quit. I've just celebrated my 65th birthday. It was very tempting because there were a lot of smokers at my do, but I managed to hold out.

I'm on the patches, I've got some low nicotine patchesfrom my doctor. After 50 years of smoking of it's tough but I'm determined.

People have noticed I'm looking better and not coughing. Just looking better helps when you're 65. I don't plan on starting again.

REETU KABRA

Things are going quite well. Generally the cravings have subsided and I go most of the day without even thinking about cigarettes. The hardest times are the obvious ones - after a really big meal and when drinking in the pub with friends, particularly with smokers.

One real plus is waking up the morning after a night out and not smelling like an ashtray.

The hardest thing is not the lack of cigarettes but trying to avoid substituting the non-smoking with something else - like eating or drinking more alcohol.

When I'm at work I like to keep a bunch of grapes on my desk so that I have something to graze on if I get stressed but there are times when grapes turn into biscuits, which turn into chocolate - and this is obviously something I'm trying to avoid.


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