I'm doing good having quit cold turkey back in March. Tonight I've been wondering why? What are the "secrets" of my success so far?
All I can think of is this: when I quit, I absolutely was ready to quit. I was thoroughly disgusted with the habit, with myself. I wanted to regain control over my own life. So I guess one secret was being absolutely ready to quit - not just doing it on a lark.
Also, I started a journal which only lasted a few days, but it was a place where I could write down anything and everything that was on my mind. I never showed it to anyone (I think I may have quoted it here once or twice), so it was truly personal and for my eyes only. The journal allowed me to say "out loud" whatever was really on my mind, without worrying about how anyone else might feel about it.
Another key to my success was to join this website and "hang out" with other quitters. Here was a source of encouragement, similar stories, inspiration, etc. Not sure if I'd have made it without this site.
For me, a big secret was quitting cold turkey, because I never had to manage anything except my own cravings. No patches, pills, or anything else. While your mileage may vary, and I'm not saying my way is superior to any other way for others, I believe it's the only way that would have worked for me. I tried patches a long time ago. Didn't work for me.
In the beginning, it was important to reach milestones. One day, three days, one week, three weeks, one month, etc. That's why an iPhone application that counted how many days since I smoked was so useful for me. In the beginning, I looked at that thing every day. Every damn day.
Another technique that helped me was to start to actually encourage my cravings to take me on. It was like, "Come here, craving! I want to beat you up, knock you down, and totally defeat you. The sooner I beat back the cravings, the better."
I don't know if it's literally true, but I decided there were a finite number of cravings I'd have to deal with once I quit. A couple of hundred, a thousand, maybe more, didn't matter. The sooner I dealt with them, the better, I thought. So rather than try to run from cravings, I actually almost literally tried to FEEL cravings in the beginning, so I could defeat them.
So, to summarize: Make sure you really want to quit for good. Start a journal. Join this website. Consider cold turkey. Get a quit meter. Celebrate your milestones. And don't fear your cravings; instead, bring 'em on and beat them. The sooner, the better.
Hopefully, some of these ideas will help a newbie or two. I no longer come to this site for support, but I do like to pop in every now and then and say something to encourage the newbies.