I smoked for 23 years before I finally quit. One of the biggest factors for me was learning that smoking is not just a nicotine addiction, but WHEN we smoke is as much a habit. I live in NH so we get some cold days in the winter, so my first step was not smoking at work. We were not allowed to smoke inside and we had a cold spell so bad that I just couldn't bring myself to go out. This also helped me at home because I have a child and there was no smoking around her or in my house. I decided if I had made it through that week without smoking during the day then I would keep it up. In a matter of weeks I went from almost a pack a day to only smoking in my car when my daughter wasn't with me. I did that for about 2 years. I just couldn't seem to get rid of the 3 or 4 a day I was still smoking, so I got what's called a Nicitrol inhaler. I don't know if they are available anymore bu it was a small cartridge like thing with a nicotine filter that was suppose to substitute for a cigarette. For me this was a better option then the patch because of the the hand to mouth motion. So instead of a cigarette you're supposed to puff on this. It sat in my car next to my smokes for months. Then one day I was in a rush to do some things. I thought I had a full pack of smokes plus the one left in the almost empty box. It turned out the "full" pack was empty, but I didn't realize it until I got home that night because I was out with my daughter all day and there was no smoking around her. I smoked my last cigarette on my way to pick her up that day. It was too late for me to go get another pack and by the time I got up and out the next day it occurred to me that I went a full 24 hours without smoking. I decided to see how long I could make it, and finally took out that Nicitrol inhaler. I only used it a few times....it was awful, it tasted nasty and burned, but it did help because it gave me something to do with my hands. I chewed so much gum for months after that, but I have never smoked again. That was almost 7 years ago and I don' miss it one bit.
So I told you this story for a reason....Sometimes all the planning in the world won't help. One day you'll be ready and you'll just do it. Every time I set a quit date, I would get so anxious that I would smoke more and convince myself that I'd fail, so I never even tried. But I knew with all I am that one day I would quit, and I held on to that belief, and one day I did. I didn't plan it, I didn't mean to do it. It just happened. I won't tell you it was easy because it wasn't. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. I was sick for over a year. I would shake for no reason, I would break out in a cold sweat, I got sick to my stomach at least once a day. I also developed migraines and had them occasionally over a period of 3 or 4 years. But it was and still is worth it to me. I would estimate that from the first time I decided to quit and I actually did, it was probably about a 5 year process of small steps with some successes and some failures along the way. But I did it and you can to. It's hard but not impossible, so don't give up. Good luck to you.