Two years ago, I stumbled onto this site while looking for another "wannabe helpful" stop smoking site recommended by my insurance. I don't believe I have fessed up to this before. I had already paid for and completed the Allen Carr online course to quit smoking. (I also owned 3 different versions of his printed book.) Didn't work. That year, I had also paid not one, but two hypnotherapists for sessions, believing the problem for me was more psychological than physical for me, and if I could just dig deep enough into my subconscious to root out the problem, then I could quit. Not to mention the numerous failed attempts using patches, gum, lozenges, etc. dating all the way back to early adulthood. I believed myself to be "special" in the sense that it was just harder for me to quit than it was for others. I was in fairly deep denial about smoking having an effect on my health, despite a recent report stating I had suffered a heart attack at some point (and went on about business as usual apparently, cuz this was the first I heard about it), had a year-round runny nose, declining stamina, wheezing, and a truly frightening cough every winter.
What I found here was nothing short of a miracle. Here were people who acted, felt, and believed the same as me in the past. Here were people who found a way to truly beat this addiction. And guess what? Because they know that they could never have succeeded without a helping hand from those that went before them, they feel a sense of obligation to pay it forward. Not grudgingly. Not sitting in judgment. A genuine sense of giving knowledge to others in order to make the world a better place. No "aid" can quit for you. Nobody can convince you to quit but you, and nobody can do the work for you. But if you come here with an open mind, do the suggested reading, heed the advice given here, and stay connected to this community until you know you got this, then it is my honest belief that will EXponentially increase your odds for a successful quit. I know it sounds like something you've heard a million times before, and could not believe. If I can do it so can you. I could surely be a poster child for failed attempts.
Newbies: read as much as you can. When you find someone you relate to, read their old blogs. Do your homework, Say NOPE, I don't do that anymore. one step at a time will get you where you want to go.
To Elders, Quit Buddies, and even those who came in behind me- I feel I owe an incredible debt of gratitude for showing me the way to do this, for all the support offered here, all the wisdom imparted, and the opportunity to just come here sometimes and enjoy a laugh or a bit of entertainment. As long as this community exists, I will tell people the very best way to learn about quitting smoking is right here.
In the early days, they tell you to watch out for the first time you realize you went all day without thinking about smoking. Well, for a very long time one of my biggest triggers or obstacles was unstructured time off work. I am on staycation this week, and realized that I have zero compulsion to smoke. The new normal feels pretty good! (Lest you think I am bragging, I also recently had such a horrible day at work that the thought of "what the heck, I really want a cigarette" did come to mind and remind me that we must always remain vigilant. I was able to think of all the great advice here, and remind myself that smoking would do nothing to improve the situation.)