Nicotine is quickly addictive and difficult to quit. Most users become addicted.

Commercial cigarettes may contain little or no tobacco. Vegetable matter and dozens of toxic chemicals are added. The addictive effects are augmented with chemical nicotine sometimes sprayed on vegetable matter laid out on the floor.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable diseases in Western countries. It can cause or worsen a wide range of diseases including vascular and lung diseases. The benefits of quitting are immense. The sooner the better.

The cilia that line the wind pipe to bring up mucus and debris are eventually destroyed by hot smoke particles descending at up to 800 degrees centigrade. They take progressively longer with age to recover. At about the age of 35 they recover in about 6 months. Eventually they don't recover and emphysema with an increased risk of suffocation become inevitable.

Smoking can be relaxing or stimulating depending on whether it is inhaled deeply, superficially or through the nose. It brings an immediate effect particularly inhaling through the nose where it is taken directly into the brain through blood vessels.

Smokers tend to have a cigarette instead of dealing with their stress or its causes so it gets in the way of noticing or resolving problems.

Smoking typically takes up hours every week and over a lifetime costs a user hundreds of thousands of dollars if the forgone interest on savings is included. Tobacco company profits are immense.

Intense cravings start to subside after a couple of weeks and usually are quite tolerable after a month. Usually after a few months smoking becomes less attractive and eventually repulsive. Its just a matter of hanging in, finding some satisfaction elsewhere and enduring the agony.

I enjoyed smoking pipes, cigarettes cigars, cheroots and roll your own for 15 years. After noticing that I was puffing when running for the bus I gradually cut down to 4 a day over a period of a year as I headed for the quit date. I planned to celebrate quitting each year on the anniversary with a smoke. For two weeks after I stopped I was no more than a small hole in the universe where there should have been a cigarette. After another two weeks I was easily able to resist but had to remember not to take one. I found myself drawn to smoky places like pubs and standing close to smokers for almost a year. Since then have been increasingly revolted by the smell to the point now that it gives me a slight headache. I had saved myself $240,000 by the time I stopped counting years ago.

Six months after quitting I was chatting with a taxi driver who used to smoke 7 packs of 20 a day and gave it up for 5 years until his wife left him. He was stressed out his skin and lit a cigarette. Within a week he says he was smoking 5 packs a day and two years later still hadn't managed to stop. I never risked that annual cigarette and now couldn’t stand one.

Out of the hundreds of people I have asked only one managed the occasional cigarette. They previously smoked around 5 a day and not every day. Everyone else said that one was followed by another and they were back where they started within days. Interest usually resumes within a few minutes and craving within an hour.

The most important step in quitting nicotine is to remember not to ever have it again.

Smell, taste and fitness start improving immediately.