I can barely remember when I smoked my first cigarette, but I got addicted when I was fifteen. For the next sixteen years (I’m now thirty-one), I fluctuated from a little under a pack-a-day to over two packs-a-day.
How did I quit? Once, cold turkey, lasted a couple months. Twice, for aproximately twenty-four hours (on my own once, with a friend once). I also quit for two and a half months when I went to Basic Training (I started up again in AIT).
Then, about six or seven months ago, I found a good reason to quit when my wife got pregnant. That plus the desire to die of something other than emphysemia got me into the right frame of mind.
So I got on the Zyban plan. It really helps a lot.
Other stuff I do/have done: rearrange my environment and habits. Switch my brands of cigarettes before quitting, and cut down on the amount of cigarettes I smoked prior to the Big Day. Cut down on the caffeine. Set up a reward system for myself based on money saved. Concentrate on how much better I feel (it wasn’t instantaneous). Pray. Exercise. Change my environment and schedule. Stay real busy that first day or two. Temporarily avoid high stress situations (although I found out that life is more stressful without the stress–go figure). Brag about how much will-power I have.
The Zyban and the accompanying (common sense) plan is great, though. If you’re in the right frame of mind, where you really want to quit instead of just wanting to want to quit, I highly recommend it.
As to the OP’s other questions:
**How do you deal with the cravings? ** Besides losing my temper more often? Exercise and relaxation techniques, depending on the situation. And eating more.
Did you gain weight? Lose it? Yeah, I ton of weight. About forty pounds, and several inches on my waiste size. I understand, though, that a weight-gain this significant is rather unusual, though, so don’t let that hold you back. Do expect to gain some weight though, because it’s normal. My weight-gain’s leveled out now, however, and I’ll lose some (but not all) of it through a more well-thought-out diet and a more regimented exercise plan (instead of just when I want to work out or have a nicotine fit or whatever).
What changes (positive or negative) have you found since quitting? Other than the positive and negative stuff I’ve already mentioned, I find I have a little more money and a sense of accomplishment. It was hard and I’m happy I did it.
How long has it been? Do you ever smoke - at all? Seven months? Something like that. And no, I never smoke.