Joel bumped this thread to the top a couple days into my quit when I still had two unsmoked packs of cigarettes in the kitchen cabinet (I had quit totally spur of the moment, in fact, just an hour after a smoke run to buy cigarettes). I kind of pooh-poohed the suggestions that it was a bad idea, after all I was proving I was stronger. Until about day five or so when I found my mind visualizing those cigarettes. I could picture the pack, upper right side of the top shelf of the cabinet to the left of the sink. Right next to the first aid kit, the headache pills, and the eyeglass wipes. After a few minutes of that visualization getting stronger, I knew Joel was right. This was a very, very dangerous situation. I went straight to the kitchen, destroyed both packs, and threw them in the garbage.
I have to laugh at the description of unconsiously reaching into a shirt pocket for cigarettes. My funniest "first time trigger" was at the four month mark. I was a totally comfortable ex-smoker at that point. I did back to back seven hour car rides -- one solo -- without a single thought of smoking. Then, one day, I went clothes shopping. After an hour or so in the store, I walked out and, before I had even gotten to the curb, I noticed that my hand, like Dr. Strangelove, had gone to my shirt pocket to get the cigarettes. I burst out laughing. Of course. For my entire adult life, the first thing I did after an hour cooped up in a clothing store was desperately reach for a nicotine fix. This was humorous. I didn't really want to smoke. It was just a trained response. But, what if I had actually had a pack of cigarettes in my shirt pocket?