1. I decided that I really wanted to. I had been smoking for about 20 years, mostly roll-ups. My daughter was born and I thought "I really want to see you grow up, dance with you at your wedding, see your children etc". I was 38 at the time and realized that I may not be around and if I was then I might be the sad old guy who couldn't walk, sitting in the corner.
2. I bought strong nicotine gum (took her with me in the pushchair, which was sort of symbolic). I figured that it cost the same as smoking so even if I got addicted to that who cares. I chewed that gum when I needed to and normal gum at other times.
3. I avoided situations / things where I would normally smoke. The coffee in the morning, tea after dinner, down the pub.
4. A couple of weeks later I moved on to the weaker nicotine gum, but carried on with the same regime of avoiding times / places when I would be tempted to smoke.
5. I then gave up the nicotine gum, but kept using normal gum. I also only went to places like pubs when I was with people who would not give me a cigarette if I asked for one. Sadly a lot of smokers try to encourage people to take it up again, when you have been drinking it is all too easy to succumb. I have some good mates who I was an arse to, after having made them promise not to give me a cigarette. A few next day apologies, taken in the right spirit. I am eternally thankful to these chaps, they know who they are
6. On one occassion during that 7 years I smoked, in a pub, with a guy who encouraged me to smoke. I was disgusted with myself and it hardened my resolve to keep going, that was several years ago. It would have been all too easy to have taken it up again, which is why I am sure the addiction stays.
I now do not give the terrible example of smoking to my children and have greatly increased the chance of actually getting that dance at the wedding. Life is good.
Don't get me wrong, giving up smoking is feckin' difficult. It's one of the hardest things you can ever do. However if a weak willed bar steward like me, who did it for 20 years, can do it (so far so good) so can any of you chaps.
You know it makes sense.