Hi there Ruffeo,
Good for you that you want to quit!
Well, first of all Im sure that you realize that everyone is different and the method they use to quit totally depends on what works for YOU. Since you already tried the gradual approach and it didnt turn out well for you could mean that it didnt work for you THAT TIME or maybe you could go about it a different way? OR it could mean that that just isnt what works for you and maybe cold turkey is the way to go. Have you tried aids like the patch, gum, etc? Those help lots of people also.
Some gradual approaches are switching to a brand you dont like, holding off for a cigarette for as long as you can in the morning/all day till you just cant STAND it without a smoke, ONLY smoking outside/while standing up/etc. I personally find these methods dont work for me and I end up "cheating" anyway. For me it was all or nothing so I had to go cold turkey. But like I said earlier, everyone is different
With you basically only smoking half a pack it shouldnt be a big problem with the cold turkey approach, with some stop-smoking aids possibly? Keep trying you'll get it!
Browse the other posts on this board for some REALLLY good info when you have time, they will help you a lot. Take care and keep us posted please! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY on the 22nd!