I quit smoking for good back in 1999 after smoking for about a decade. This is a story I tell smokers when I am hanging outside with them while they finish up a cigarette.
I had developed some sort of lung infection, bronchitis or somesuch, but I kept on smoking even though I was sick. Smoking in that condition was unpleasant as I was deeply congested. I soon associated smoking with retching.
Eventually I became so ill that I was bedridden. To relieve my symptoms, I took the over-the-counter drug Nyquil or the generic equivalent. The primary effect of this drug is to put you to sleep. Whenever I awoke, I would take some more Nyquil. I slept for three days straight.
When I recovered, I noted that I had not had a cigarette the whole time I was in bed. I had made it through the worst of the nicotine addiction withdrawal period by simply sleeping through it. I realized that I had an opportunity there so I never smoked again. After about two years, the craving stopped completely.
In summary, here is a tongue-in-cheek retrospective three-step plan for how to quit smoking:
- Get a lung infection
- Attempt to smoke while sick to develop an association of nausea with cigarettes
- Drug yourself so that you sleep through the worst of the withdrawal period