In both of these instances a person has to make up his mind to quit. I do not believe in gradually tapering off of cigarettes, narcotics, or alcohol. You need to make a total break. That means you should get rid of anything you have that might tempt you.
In my case, when I found Jesus, I poured some valuable Scotch down the drain, to the consternation of my wife, who had not yet made the same commitment. That was a definite break for me. From that moment on, I was not going to drink any more. I believe this is the case with any habit a person regards as sinful. He or she must say, “That’s it. That’s the last one. No more.” And from that moment on, ask God to help you.
You must confess that you have been doing something you consider wrong, and that you have been defiling the temple of God. You must tell God that you want and need His forgiveness and deliverance. You must renounce your habit and cast the spirit of alcohol, the spirit of narcotics, or the spirit of nicotine from your body. Command it to leave you and resolve that, with God’s help, you will never again smoke another cigarette, another joint of marijuana, or whatever it may be that you are giving up, again.
After that, do not consort with those who helped to get you into trouble or who would soon have you back where you used to be. It may be hard to do that, but it is necessary. Instead, you should try to find some others, preferably Christians, who have given up the same habit themselves, to support you during the first days of quitting. Alcoholics Anonymous is one such group that is very helpful.
It takes about thirty days to establish a habit. You have to get into the habit of not smoking or not drinking. It will take about the same length of time for your body to clean out the poisons and the chemical dependency. After that time period, the craving should be over, and in the case of cigarettes, you may discover that the smell of cigarettes and cigarette butts will actually become repugnant to you.
Excerpt taken from Answers to 200 of Life’s Most Probing Questions, Copyright 1984 by Pat Robertson.