First off, you need rules to cut down on smoking. Mark Twain, remarking in an article on smoking, said that there needs to be rules for smoking and thus his rules were: He never smoked two at a time, and never smoked while asleep.
One needs discipline. To go from a pack or more, to 5 cigarettes a day is really hard at first, but it gets easier after several weeks and months. One’s body chemistry becomes acclimated and will adjust to less nicotine over time, such that too many or too few cigarettes might make one feel ill. Also it might be like moving from the basement to the top floor, consciousness wise. Cigarettes cloud your consciousness; fewer cigarettes will make for a clearer mind. One will always slip and smoke more. The mind can rationalize anything. The trick is to limit the slip to only one, two or three. And always, always the next day and day thereafter go back to the five only rule.
Change cigarette brands. The secret to fewer cigarettes is a strong hit that gives you satisfaction that can last from 3 to 5 hours. You are not only reducing nicotine content, but salt, sugar and unknown chemicals as well, and menthol is addictive in and of itself. Get off of menthol. A technique is to change to Sherman’s, which is a brand of cigarette sort of like a cigarillo. Sherman’s are organic and salt and sugar free, so they get you off everything but the nicotine. Try smoking only a quarter or a half and see how long you can make it to the next quarter or half. Do not smoke them like regular cigarettes, or there is no purpose to the exercise.
If one starts with a strong cigarette like Sherman’s and changes to another brand after consumption has been reduced to 3 to 5 a day, find a cigarette that is strong enough to maintain same no smoke periods, and seems to have the best salt/sugar relationship for you.
Never smoke a cigarette dry. Always drink something with it, like coffee, tea, milk, or some other beverage. Make this drink a very small amount, 6/8 ounces, just enough to take a sip before each puff. This will mean you have to prepare to have a cigarette. It will also mean that your mouth, throat and wind pipe will be coated so as less the chance of cancer. It will mean you can’t just light up. This enforces the discipline. This means also, you might not smoke the cigarette unconsciously. If smoking is killing you, seems one at least should be conscious of the suicide. Make those five cigarettes like a spiritual experience each time.
If you can do this you can quit. If you can do this you can do anything. But for sure you will know you are a drug addict, and your life revolves around cigarettes. Some might say – 5 cigarettes a day, why smoke at all? But if one loves smoking, or needs it for self-medication, maybe better than other uncontrolled substance abuse, pharmacological depressants with side-effects or moonscape. Once one has found a state of consciousness, as feeling great all the time, it is difficult not to want to feel great all the time. Discipline is the means to maintaining a steady state, which is steady feel good consciousness.