This may be a personal thing, and believe me, I don't claim to generalize this to everyone. Some may find my mindset controversial, but maybe it will help a few people. Take it for what it is, which is simply an idea conceived by a fellow smoker (one which is a little "kooky" I admit), and if you don't like it, disagree and move along. Kooky ideas work for me sometimes when even the most accepted treatments (nicotine patches, gums, pills, etc) won't, but I admit I've just conceived this idea recently in the last month or so, and am becoming somewhat of my own guinea pig to it.
Through observation of smokers in the process of quitting (including myself), I've come to the belief, wrong or right, is that a lot of what makes quitting hard is the opinion of smoking that people (especially nonsmokers) tout loudly, the denial that smoking is a personal choice, and impatience with the quitting process. "This is a disgusting habit, I hate myself for doing this, it's something I should be ashamed of. I need to quit RIGHT NOW...but I can't...it's so addictive..." This attitude is, of course, perpetuated by our self-righteous and judgmental society. Smokers are labeled as "stupid," placed in the same category as drug addicts, sometimes even labeled as "evil sinners." Often, because of the harsh judgments, smokers are often confined to their own spaces (which are becoming fewer and fewer thanks to smoking bans) and, in order to avoid scrutiny, often are compelled to place the blame elsewhere: addictiveness, ad campaigns, "big tobacco," what have you. This blame deferral is definitely supported by the nonsmoker crowd, who then say, "Oh, it's okay, you're just a gullible victim of money-hungry tobacco executives," which of course leads to anti-smoking campaigns, harsher laws on public smoking, cruel pseudo-scientific studies on the effects of smoking, etc. It becomes a vicious cycle of self-resentment and hopelessness, which leads to stress, which leads to craving, which leads back to self-resentment and hopelessness.
This is my mental process, and it takes an extreme amount of will power and discipline (and may not work for everyone), but I've found that it works for me, and I hope that it will work for others as well. Acceptance, responsibility, self-empowerment.
Despite what others say, I reject the idea that I am somehow no longer in control. First and foremost, I accept that I enjoy smoking. I don't just do it because I'm some sort of nicotine-junkie. I'm perfectly aware the health risks, but because I enjoy it and I choose to do so. I will not "give it to god," because god is powerless if I choose to defy him. I alone will determine whether or not I quit. Preparation.
Due to the addictive nature of nicotine and the oral fixation of having a cigarette, it will not be easy, and this I am also aware of. I will need to prepare myself mentally, and until I am prepared, I should not begin the process of quitting. I will need to build a positive support base (I'm observing that HealthBoards is a wonderful start for this). I will prepare my family and those who have to deal with me on a daily basis and ask for their patience, as withdrawal symptoms may cause me to be irritable. Patience.
When those close to me and I are prepared mentally, physically, and emotionally, I will wean myself off of cigarettes gradually. I note that, as with any other highly addictive drug such as a strong pain killer, nobody quits cold turkey. Doctors prescribe a gradual process of taking the person off of the drug. I will do the same, and I will abide by my limits religiously. I will find alternatives to the oral fixation, and I will be patient with myself, because this will not be an easy process and I may fail at times, but this is no reason to keep going. I will use positive reinforcement every day, even long after that first day I've gone without a single smoke. Resisting relapse.
I haven't reached this point yet.
Like I said, I'm my own guinea pig, blah blah. This will be the most difficult to write, but if people like this idea so far, maybe I'll try to expand upon it...
"Do or do not. There is no try." -- Yoda