I had a very difficult time with these thoughts. I was honestly feeling I might never be free.
(Yep, near the end of no mans land)
When I learned the following, it was a POWERFUL turning point in my quit. For with this knowledge, I knew I could and would be free.
The pleasure receptors that have been sensitized to nicotine are replaced with ones that aren't sensitized and have thus, never known it. This happens over the course of about a year. Same princlple as skin cells sloughing off, Our bodies cells are constantly being replaced.
Once this has changed (after a year of abstinence from nicotine), the only influence on me that is different from someone who never smoked is my memories of smoking.
This is why unlearning smoking is essential. That is done by simply making new memories without smoking until we don't think of smoking any longer.