Most regular smokers fail on the first attempt to quit, once they find out how hard it is! But eventually you get back around to thinking about quitting again, and it is usually more successful since you kind of know what you're in for. And you also know that you can't afford even one small pull of any kind in any tobacco.
For me it was just a matter of being pissed off about being addicted to the bastards, and how they were controlling my life. My entire day, all my plans, everything revolved around the need to schedule in time to get a fix. I could go about 2 hours max without going bat shit crazy, but that was about it.
Long airplane trips (I do these a lot) were hell...as soon as I could start napping and forget about smoking, the asshole flight attendants would be on the loudspeaker to "remind passengers that smoking is forbidden" type of thing and then I was jones-ing hard all over again and couldn't think about anything else. I would stumble off the plane and felt like a real pathetic jerk rushing to the first smoking spot.
Anyways, it is difficult to express how pissed off I was when this fully crystallized in my mind, that tobacco was running my life. And I also thought about the tobacco companies manipulating nicotine levels to keep me smoking. But that was the real kicker!
I quit while using the patch, but only after moving away from Paris and its smoke-filled bars and cafes. It is hard, because the patch gives you a background nicotine level, but the cigarette gives you an instant wallop of nicotine. But I mostly used the patches to tell myself that I was indeed getting nicotine, and trick my mind out of jones-ing.
A side effect of quitting for me (both times I did it) included an instant weight gain of 30-40 lbs (starting from 200, with a 6' height). After 2.5 years I still haven't found a new equilibrium yet where I can keep all of it off, but still working on it. And I was at times quite irritable. I warned my wife that this would happen beforehand, and she said "great!" She hasn't criticized me once for any of the fall out, but has only been supportive.
The thing that keeps me from starting again is the vivid memory of how fricking awful and incredibly difficult it was to quit. I really don't want to do that again!
Funny thing is that I started disc golfing partly because it was something I could do while smoking. I was living in Vancouver, which is the most anti-smoking (well, tobacco, at least) city I've ever experienced. Now when I visit Europe or Asia I encounter a lot more folks smoking, but I still don't have any real desire to go back to it again.
Drivers: Starlite Wraith (158g), Gummy Champion Leopard (150g), 1st Run Z-Talon (150g)
Mid-Range: Star Classic Roc (146g), R-Pro Roc (157g)
Putt/Approach: Legacy Protege Clozer (158g), Glow DX Aviar (150g)