Have you quit yet??
This has been a battle for me for such a long time, also. So no wonder I still smoke-I'm at war with it! What we resist persists. I've done SO much journalling and thinking and non thinking and positive affirmations and prayers and all kinds of nonsense in the name of quitting and I'm still smoking. I did actually quit very easily with a book called 'The Easy Way to Stop Smoking' by Allen Carr, once, but I started again a few months later. Smoking is just something I do to distract myself from Now. So as long as I'm dragging the past around with me or fearing the future, I'm going to reach for something to resist what is, right now. Allen Carr's book was a fascinating read and I quit so easily but it didn't get to the core of the issue. Being Present.
I figure when I do stop, it will be a powerful practice of presence. Most of our thoughts go unnoticed. When you crave a cigarette and you have decided to stop, the argument in your head becomes pretty loud. "Go on! Have a ciggie! It will be so relaxing. No point suffering through this. Just light up!". Then the other voice jumps in, "No! I've quit! No, no, no. I won't. I can't. I'll be a failure. I want to be healthy". Then the other voive pipes up again. Arrrrgh.
So as a spiritual practice wouldn't it be a great way to come back to what is, right now? I like to think that cigarettes have been a gift to me. They make the argument in my head louder, more obvious. Which makes it easier to become aware of what's going on up there. And as someone else here said, when you're ready to quit, simply be aware of the voices. Fully feel what emotions arise and let them be, sit with them. Locate where you feel it physically, and sit with it. I spend all day running from my feelings. Endlessley doing. Afraid to be alone with myself, to hear the thoughts, feel the emotions without doing something to appease them. Hilarious really.
i wouldn't recommend gum or patches. But they may work for you. Sometimes it helps, psychologically, to pat your little patch and feel like it's helping you in some way. Smoking is totally mental. The nicotine leaves your body in about one hour. That's why you crave one approximately every hour. It's your thoughts you have to deal with (that 'we' have to deal with). I know what I have to do, or not do, but I find I'm putting it off, putting it off, putting it off. And I know it's simply because I'm afraid of what lies onthe other side. I'm just not ready to show up and face the music. And if I do, I'll probably find myself eating a pint of ben and jerry's on the hour every hour, to shut those damn thoughts up.