So I'm at the 3 week point in quitting smoking - with just one relapse late on saturday after a few drinks. I didn't even want to smoke it - it was more of a cigar. Other than that, nothing.
Many people suggest that the first two weeks is the hardest. I think it is very difficult, because the need for a cigarette is all of the time. However, it is also when your will to quit is at it's highest. You tend to create a mindset, and lock in to it.
Past the two week point, I think it is much more harder, with 4 main challenges:
1. Urges. At this point, you feel relief - the urges aren't constant, and you feel successful. The problem is, the urges come in waves. Suddenly, for about 5-10 minutes, you get this ridiculously strong urge to smoke. These are very tough to handle if you are around other smokers - overcoming it is very, very hard. The key is to do something distracting for those 5 minutes - pick up a ball, walk around, do something.
2. Rewards. As hilariously stupid as it sounds - you feel that you should reward yourself with a cigarette for quitting. I proved I can quit, so I can have one!
3. Moods. The mood swings continue, but again unexpectedly. You might go from a "hyper-high" to very low in minutes. The low is the tough part - because when you feel depressed, guess what you want to do???
4. Why? When it's been a few weeks, you start asking yourself "why did I quit again?" You are starting to feel better, so it's tough to remember why you quit. You generally remember the good cigarettes - mornings with a coffee, with a beer, on the phone, driving, etc. You forget the bad ones - the ones you forced down because you had to satisfy the addiction. Combine this with an attitude you might feel of "Why bother quitting? I like it."
It's annoying to quit smoking.