Quitting smoking is a simple process if you are educated and practically impossible if you are not.
The key insight is that nicotine is a physically addictive drug. It hijacks the dopamine reward system in the limbic area of the brain.
The only way to successfully quit is to abstain from all nicotine intake for 72 hours, 3 days.
The main reason people fail to quit permanently is because they are duped into believing that the painful physical withdrawals they feel during those 72 hours is going to be with them forever, but the truth is after 72 hours, you are free.
After 72 hours the physical withdrawal feelings, which are very real, go away. Then you will coast through the next week and a half. After 14 days the neuronal system is completely healed. There’s no trace of nicotine in your body and your sense of smell comes back.
Nicotine patches don’t work because nicotine itself is the physical addiction. And quitting “gradually” not only doesn’t work, it can be the biggest hell you put yourself through because it only keeps the withdrawal pain alive for an extended period.
It’s important to remember that during these 72 hours your not going to be constantly in pain. You’ll have three or four separate cravings a day that if you look at a clock, only last about 5 minutes. You’ll have a craving first thing in the morning, at noon, in the afternoon, and then one other at night.
It’s absolutely critical that when you begin your “quit” you must physically get rid of all nicotine in your house, otherwise when the physical cravings come you won’t have the strength to resist. Don’t put them in the trash can outside or you will find yourself digging through the trash first thing in the morning. You must physically destroy them. Physically break them up and flush them down the toilet or take them to a bin further away than the nearest convenience store.
Remember you’ve only got 20 minutes total of pain a day for three days, and then you are home free. It’s very simple, if you follow these few simple rules, and impossible if you don’t.
Also, after your quit is in place and your feeling good, you must remember, and this is not an exaggeration, if you even take one smoke after this, which would be out of choice and not physical addiction, you will be immediately hooked and have to go through this whole process again. Nicotine can’t be casually integrated into your life like you see in the movies or like the Carrie character seems to do in “Sex and the City.” For 95% of the population nicotine is physically addictive with one single dose.
(Information learned from personal experience and the nicotine cessation expert Joel at WhyQuit.com)