When I was growing up, the general consensus was, smoking was a "bad habit." People in the know realize it's actually 2 addictions, the physical and the psychological.
I believe we are creatures of our memories which continually form our routines.
Once we try something new that provides a positive outcome for our dopamine receptors it is incorporated into our routine. It may be a sport such as tennis or golf or beach volleyball, or music or crafting, or, helping others. It can be frequent or infrequent We do things that make us feel good.
As we take on responsibilities such as a job and later a family, our priorities change, but, we still look for islands of pleasure.
We made smoking those islands of pleasure with its dopamine release. A 5 minute break for a chemical lift.
I was in a position of smoking whenever I wanted because I was self employed. People who had regular jobs were somewhat restricted to normal break times. I don't know if those people had withdrawal symptoms waiting for their break to come but I imagine some of them did.
Our lives revolved around those breaks. The thought of smoking was always floating around in the back of our minds, pack in pocket or purse, lighter at the ready. Even after we had families, we managed to slip away to smoke. Rain or shine, sleet or hail, the need to smoke, never failed.
And then it did.
All I had to do was decide, the same as you.
Once you aren't connected by the nicotine, it's much easier to see your way clear.