I started at the very young age of 12.
Mostly peer pressure, the 'cool' thing to do. You could cash in a glass milk jug and get a pack of filter less Exports, back then, approx. $.51.
I continued smoking for another 14 years, met a nice man (who was an ex-smoker), settled down and before long, I was pregnant. So I quit, cold turkey, no problem, or so I thought.
After having our child, returning to work, juggling life issues, it wasn't long that I took up my previous 'bad' habit again. This was in the mid 80's and smoking was still socially accepted.
After filling my lungs, for 18 years, pack and a half a day - I found myself starting to lose my voice. I was always clearing my throat, coughing, going horse while talking. The straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, was completely losing my voice while talking on the phone one evening to a friend. It was the 'wake up' call I needed, that if I didn't choose to quit on my own - smoking was going to do it for me.
I did it Cold Turkey.
Was it hard? You bet.
What worked for me, was identifying 'when/why' I wanted to smoke, and took the time to talk myself out of it or filled the urge with something else.
I wanted a smoke with a cup of coffee, driving, drinking alcohol, stressful times. By acknowledging the 'habit' times, I was able to overcome them.
Do I still get urges to smoke? You bet.
I got the 3 day, 3 month, 3 year urges and still to this day, 27 years later. The urge now is barely a fleeting thought and again - usually when one of the habit conditions are present: ie drinking, stress.
Anyone can do it. You have to truly want to quit smoking to be successful.
I wish anyone wanting to quit great success! Don't let smoking control you. You're much stronger than that!