I think whats made a real difference to me is the awareness that for the 20 years that I have been a smoker I have never ever been free of cravings. Of course it also holds true that I am currently experiencing even stronger cravings, but at least I know for sure that those are temporary.
I can remember soooooo many times that I heard of other people going to the cinema, and momentarily wanting to go too.... until I remembered that I simply couldn't go that long without desperately needing a cigarette, having to interrupt everybody's movie with me standing up, leaving, and then coming back ten minutes later, and worrying how much of the movie I'd missed. So very many times when a non smoking restaurant looked interesting, but I declined to go in on the basis of their non smoking policy. I used to brag about it, but now it's just plain sad that I couldn't even go through the c-section birth of my one and only most-beautiful-girl-in-the-world daughter without being totally distracted from the moment by cravings. Only 6 hours afterwards, instead of relishing the precious moments with her I was sitting outside smoking, even while my wounds were oozing blood which was literally dripping on the floor.
Or being at work, one eye always on the clock for when I can afford to take the next smoke break, and then frantically spending that break not taking my mind off of things and relaxing but frantically rushing to get coffee, go to the loo, and force feeding myself as much nicotine in as short a time as possible to ward off the cravings enough that I can concentrate on work for a change.
Now my life is no longer determined by the timetable of a captor that seems so very benign as it relieves me of the discomfort caused by my cravings. Instead I live according to a timetable created by ME. Which includes the privilege which was denied me before: breathing comfortably.
Every day I am astounded by how very little I crave cigarettes now. I live with 2 people who smoke, but my only reaction is pity for their suffering, and inestimable gratitude for my own miracle.