Firstly, let me thank you for posting such an interesting subject as all us ex-smokers will testify that it is not easy to give up an addiction such as this.
Having been a heavy smoker in the days when they were still encouraging us to do so and there was no help or advice not to. I gave up overnight when the government put 6pence extra tax on each packet of cigarettes to help pay for some war or other they were waging at the time. It so enraged me to think that I might be contributing to their war fund that I vowed they would never get a penny out of me again. I tell you this because I believe that to give up an addiction we need strong motivation and determination.
I figured that there were¬†several several ¬†facets to the habit that needed addressing:
1) Habit/ routine: This was in some ways the mmost difficult one to overcome because for the most part I indulged in the habit without giving it any or much thought. I found that I was being 'triggered' to smoke by insignificant little things like having a cup of tea, smelling the suphorous odour of a lighted match, or the social phenomenon of a friend offering me a fag - even though they knew I was trying to give up.
2) Psychological/emotional:¬† Nicotine is a drug that calms the nerves and helps us to relax. At the time I smoked, there were plenty of things happening to encourage me to think that I needed calming down (along with the rest of the population). I needed a distraction to occupy my thinking and active time in a constructive way. For me, as I WAS STILL A RELATIVELY YOUNG MAN, this was a gradual involvement in long-distance running, which changed my habits, routine and was devoid of the sorts of triggers mentioned above.
3) Physical addiction: There is no doubt in my mind that I was physically addicted to nicotine and there were well known successful approaches to weaning oneself of addictions- In those days the leading lights in this sphere were Alcoholics Anonimous but their techniques were just as relevant to any other addiction. The fact that I was going 'cold-turkey' and giving up overnight, never to smoke again, made those first couple of minutes,¬† hours, days, weeks and years exceptionally difficult.
Whenever I got the craving too much, I used to remind myself of the term used frequently when I was in the boy scouts and that was 'stickability'. I also reminded myself that every penny spent on fags was¬†money going up in smoke to help support wars and killing people that I¬†vehemently disagreed with.
It's been an interesting journey through life watching the changing attitudes towards smoking that HAVE BEEN INFLUENCED BY GOVERNMENTS and their desire to make money for their various enterprises. It was not until they realised that smoking was costing them more in healthcare than it was collecting in revenue that they decided people should be discouraged from doing it.
I have come to view smoking as just one of the many suicidal activities that human beings indulge in for one reason or another. I have no problems with them doing so as long as they don't try to involve me!
I don't know if my ramblings will be of any help to you but I do hope that you will find your own way to give up smoking and lead a more healthy life in future - if that's what you really want to do.
Bill ¬† ¬†