1. You're addicted to nicotine
2. Smoking has been your response to everything in life. It's all you've known for years.
You need to free yourself from nicotine. BUT
If you do use a patch or other nicotine aid, do not think of it as some kind of magic.
Unlearn the mental cues to smoke while you are using it.
I found it much easier to get to the point of not needing the NRT (I used the patch) by using it while unlearning the habit part. (The memories and emotions connected to the physical act of smoking.)
I didn't try the patch. Trying it would have indicated if it didn't work I would try something else. So, if I tried everything else and none of them worked either, where would that leave me?
Your brain is where you unlearn smoking.
When you want to smoke, you need to catch yourself and say, I don't need to smoke instead of I need to smoke.
Once you start building your new non smoking habits it becomes easier and easier because it's now become automatic to catch yourself before smoking instead of automatically smoking.
You are going to learn alot about yourself.
You may begin at anytime once you've decided you don't want to be a smoker anymore.
Only you can make that decision.
6.33 years from my last cig