Happy early Birthday! I turned forty a few weeks ago, and quit smoking two years ago.
The benefits made it worth the struggle. You won’t even notice them until some time has passed, then one day it will hit you that you don’t have that cough anymore, or that things taste different. It’s a great feeling!
I always offer the Allan Carr’s *Easy Way to Stop Smoking *because that’s what helped me. Some people here say it didn’t do a thing for them, but something magical happened to me when I read that book. I went from two packs a day to none, just like that. I never have had one out of stress (and I have had me some stress!) and despite occasionally wishing I could have one, I don’t really have to fight the urge like I did in the early days. I just remember how much better I feel.
You have to love your body enough to give it that gift, as cheezy as that sounds. I don’t think any replacement like gum or pretzels makes as much difference as putting yourself in a place mentally where you’re ready to move forward. If you’re only smoking a few a day now you really don’t need the nicotine. It’s almost all habit now.
One other recommendation is a meter like Silkquit if you want to have a visual to track your progress. I like checking mine out to see how much money I’ve saved. Last time I looked I’d saved well over four thousand dollars. I only wish I could have socked that money away as I was going along.
Merry Christmas and I hope you’re feeling better soon!