I've given up smoking twice recently! Once, because about a month ago I was hospitalized for ten days and thus didn't have the opportunity to smoke. A few days after leaving the hospital I started smoking again for about a week, and then gave it up again last week.
Initially I wanted to stop because I was concerned that it was damaging my health. I have been smoking between 40 and 50 a day for the last ten years, having started again after a five-year stop. Prior to that I smoked between 20 and 40 a day for about fifteen years (starting in my teens).
My health fears were recently confirmed, albeit no direct connection between my deep-vein thrombosis and smoking was officially established. It didn't need to be proven. I have never been seriously ill before, and thus the remotest relationship between illness and smoking was sufficient enough to make me wonder what the heck I had been trying to achieve. That is, I pretty much knew I was signing myself up for serious trouble, before the hospital episode even started. When it did, it was simply a tick in the box. Smoking causes illnesses. This can be proven by smoking like a madman for several years until something bad happens
Reading the above, one might conclude that I'm stopping for health reasons. While that is partially true, it's actually not the main reason. I had the opportunity to think about my predicament while in hospital, and came to the conclusion that there aren't any real benefits to smoking, at least not for me. It's quite humbling to realize that one has been doing something repetitively for many years without really knowing why! Sure, I know that I was satisfying a craving, filling time gaps etc. but I couldn't come up with a good reason for why I really wanted to smoke, other than that it what what I was used to doing (i.e. a habit). I like to think of myself as a relatively intelligent person, but under the circumstances I could only conclude that I must be rather dim to take such a long time to come to such a simple and logical answer, but at least the light bulb finally came on.
Sadly, I can't yet illuminate the rest of the world. It seems some people have that Eureka moment, and others don't. I would love to explore that phenomenon and pass on the knowledge... I hope to be able to do so one day.