From breathless smoker to marathon runner

It has been four years since Lita Huckle had a cigarette, yet she started smoking when she was 16 and had been on 20-a-day since then. stopping for her meant more than giving up a favorite habit: "I've always had a weight problem and was scared to stop in case I put more on." The temptation to smoke when out with friends and having drinks was also great. "I once managed to stop for three months using patches. Then I thought I'd be able to smoke socially, but I'd look for any excuse to go to the pub just so I could have a fag. My husband wouldn't kiss me if he knew I'd been smoking."

Lita used NicoBloc to help wean her off her nicotine addiction. "I loved the fact that I didn't have to stop straight away. It gave me a chance to learn how to cope with the changes and get used to not smoking so much over a period of time before the final break."

"I could smoke as long as I put the drops of NicoBloc into the filter. It was one drop in the first week, two in the second and three in the third, by which time I was only absorbing one per cent of the nicotine and tar. After a while, I wasn't enjoying smoking as much as usual."

"I'd have one less in the morning, then one less in the evening and then smoked half a cigarette at a time." Whilst continuing to smoke, Lita progressively reduced her nicotine and tar intake, and changed her 'habitual' behaviour which made the final break possible: "You need some discipline at the end to take that final step. I no longer get the urge to smoke, even in the pub or with a cup of coffee. I have changed my whole lifestyle - before I couldn't run at the gym without coughing and getting out of breath. Now I can run an average of 25 miles a week, and in this last year have run an amazing number of half marathons and runs. Not only has it changed my life, but it has also changed my husband's, who is a non-smoker. He certainly isn't stingy with his kisses any more!"

Lita achieved her post-smoking ambition of running in the 2003 London Marathon raising money for the British Lung Foundation.