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You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.

If at first you don’t succeed...

Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of smokers - smokers who smoke for pleasure and smokers who draw when stressed. The former use cigarettes when they feel good -for stimulation and relaxation. The latter use cigarettes as a coping mechanism to deal with stress, anger, tiredness, anxiety and so on. Pleasure smokers typically smoke fewer cigarettes a day and may go for extended periods without smoking at all, only having a puff when they are in a place (the bar, for example) they associate with the habit. Smokers who use their habit as a coping mechanism tend to be far more reliant on cigarettes though, smoking regularly throughout the day, and larger quantities overall than pleasure smokers. Their overdependence on cigarettes makes the task of quitting much harder because, whereas pleasure smokers can simply look for a substitute stimulant, smokers who use their habit as a coping mechanism must solve the underlying problems that compel them to want to smoke as much as they must kick the habit itself.

That said, quitting is possible so long as the smoker is at least in contemplation mode. There are six different modes smokers can find themselves in. The first, pre-contemplation, is typically the most difficult point from which to start quitting. This person has never really thought about quitting before, nor sensed any necessity or urgency to quit. He or she is likely going to be poorly motivated and willpower is a major hurdle that may prove too much to overcome with such low motivation levels. These smokers tend only to say that they will try to quit when pressured to do so by a loved one, but really they have no desire whatsoever to give up.

Such individuals are unlikely to be affected by public health warnings and rarely listen to the negative publicity smoking receives in the media or place any importance on the wider society’s view of them and their habit. They are relatively content and the prospect of success in their quitting, in the long term, is low, unless they have some direct personal experience of the ill effects of smoking, like, for example, a close-family bereavement or a smoking-related health scare they (or someone close to them) have had, as only this sort of fright will give them the motivation to genuinely want to change their attitude and quit.

Someone who genuinely wants to quit is in what we term “contemplation" mode. These people, the contemplators, are of a mind to quit but still lack the motivation to try. They are constantly saying that they will quit, and often set vague far-off dates for when the act of quitting is likely to occur. A husband might say to his wife, for example: 'when we have our first child, I will stop smoking'. Part of him means it, and, to even acknowledge the need to stop and the implication that smoking would have adverse effects on his children’s health is a step in the right direction. However, in reality, while the smoker knows he should quit, his motivation to do so is still not high and he seriously doubts his own willpower which is why he draws attention to a time when, as he perceives it, his willpower will have increased - such as after the birth of his firstborn.

Really, the only way to ever successfully give up smoking is to just get on with it. Don’t put it off until tomorrow; the task starts now. Each time we allow ourselves another excuse to have even just one more cigarette, our willpower has folded and we have succumbed to our nicotine cravings. The action mode, then, is the one all current smokers must try to place themselves in. Here, they really are trying to quit and not just talking about it.

People have different approaches to action mode; some change brands initially, some cut down on the amount they smoke, others wear patches or take other nicotine substitutes, and a few try to go cold turkey, a practice that does not actually have a very high success rate. The key thing that everyone in the action mode has in common is the will to try. Likely though it may be that this will will be broken at some point or another, the smoker that is resolute in his determination to keep trying to quit will, statistically, succeed. For example, more than 70 percent of ex-smokers (that is, former smokers who have been off cigarettes for in excess of one year) tried and failed to give up once before they were successful. Almost one fifth of all ex-smokers fall into the tried-and-failed-between-two-and-four-times category. There is one clear message then to be got from this: keep trying!

When you get to the maintenance phase, the phase in which you have stopped smoking completely, but are still within that first year of having quit, there is a tendency to assume that you are out of the woods. Sadly, this is where many people are let down by their over-confidence. Phrases such as ‘I’ll just have one - sure I don’t need them anymore’ are not uncommon at this point, and all the hard work it took to quit is undone in a moment or two of madness where one cigarette quickly becomes two, two become three and before you know it, you are a fully fledged addict again. It is important, therefore, to be conscious of the possibility of reverting to type during the first year, and to be on your guard. That said, failure is not the end, so despair not; you have simply entered another phase - relapse.

Relapse is a return to daily smoking after a period of non-smoking. Almost three quarters of smokers will find themselves here the first time they try to quit. There is, however, a danger of giving up on trying to give up at this stage, which is the wrong attitude to take. Failing in the quitting smoking stakes actually makes you less likely to fail the next time you try -practice really makes perfect in this game. Pluck up the courage to try again and you will find yourself in a very familiar place to smokers: renewed-action mode. In this mode, you are as determined as ever to quit, but you have an edge - you can learn from your past mistakes and keep your expectations realistic.

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