I decided to quit smoking by my 40th birthday (April 13). Usually, I'm a pack-a-day smoker, but the price of cigarettes and the ugly hacking cough and the lingering stench have just become overwhelming: I must quit. Now.
So what I'm doing is tapering off, trying gradually to reduce my comfortable nicotine level. Yesterday, I smoked nine cigarettes. Today I smoked eight. Tomorrow, I will smoke seven. And so on. (By "tomorrow", I mean "today", since my day runs until after midnight, and I'm defining a day by sleep cycle, not calendar.) That should put me at zero cigarettes by April 12, and quit by the 13th.
I'm thinking I'll use the gum to control subsequent cravings. The last time I cold-turkyed it for the three days it took to purge my body of nicotine, and stayed quit for about eight months. I'm hoping to do better this time around. Wish me luck.