This is my third quit site, and I was saddened by the loss of my first two. I was extremely active for about 12 years on the first one, and then it radically changed in ways that made me uncomfortable. So I left. The second one simply disappeared into cyberspace after I was on it for a couple of years. I'm happy to be here, but I'm a bit reluctant to invest as much as I did with those previous sites.
Briefly, I've been quit since late 2001, and I was able to quit by pairing smoking cessation with other significant changes in nutrition and exercise. It was not easy at all (an understatement to be sure), but I persisted; interestingly and surprisingly (especially given how miserable I was for so long), I haven't had a single craving or even passing thought of smoking a cigarette in close to fifteen years now. Not one. And I've had a fairly eventful decade and a half.
I won't go into all those "events"; however, I will note that nearly seven years after I quit (at age 40 and in excellent physical condition), I suffered a major (so-called "widowmaker") heart attack and cardiac arrest (outside of a hospital setting), and it was pretty miraculous that I: a) survived; and b) survived without any cognitive impairments. Indeed, the cardiologist who saved my life (and who still cares for me) characterized my survival and recovery as a "once-in-a-career outcome." It was a challenging and often frustrating physical recovery, but I very explicitly used the lessons of my quit as I tried to take one day at a time in regaining my strength and stamina and maximizing the efficiency of my remaining healthy heart muscle. I now run regularly and participate in races from 10Ks to half marathons. I've been incredibly fortunate.
By profession, I'm a college teacher, and I love my work. The training for it was interminably long and extremely stressful (and not at all unrelated to the health catastrophe at age 40), but it's an absolute privilege to work with students as they strengthen academic skills and refine professional goals.