On my theory, as long as your desire the cigarette, there are some important "destructive behavoirs" to break before quit smoking (or better - try it).
As long there is a desire, you´ll always feel the "non smoking time" as a punishment - and as long you feel so, can´t be a cure...well it CAN but, you´ll never be very statisfied with your life, something you miss than maybe till death.
ive now found a name that came very close at amazon "self-defeating thinking patterns".
And i think smokers or people who tend to addictions (most of them) are caught in their "self-defeating thinking patterns" mostly BEFORE they´re getting addcited to something.
Another theory i find very interessting is the hormone-theory, which says that fast addictive poeple dont pruduce enough happiness hormones. But i dont think thats given by birth - its the lifestyle, the "self-defeating thinking patterns" again. If you´re generally more pessimistic its natural. One leads to an other.
I had a generally anxiety disorder, at this time i´ve learned a lot about those, thinking patterns, hormones (i never took antidepressants or hormones - i wanted to regain a normal level by my own), and awerness.
And someday i found out it really good works with stop smoking too.
My girlfriend p.E. smokes sometimes - a week not one cigarette, than a day two, a week a package a day, than 2 months not any, she doesnt need it, she doesnt desire it. her father does the same over 50 years. They can quit and start whenever they WANT. They´re also very aware of their bodies. She stops at two or three glas wine, because it dont taste as good as the glasses before, or they dont watch tv over 5 hours, because they´ve enough after 2 hours.
they´re most of times aware of their bodies and minds. They listen to it and no body wants 20 cigaretts a day, or 10 pints of beer or 6 hours watching tv, 5 coffees, and so on.
The Example you gave with your mother - i dont believe it was a over night decission - i think its a process, she was ready for it, broke the circles, maybe more than "just" stop smoking happend in the months before or after, that would be very interessting.
i know a couple of people who changed their lifestlye before or after quitting dramaticly. p.E. like me started doing sports after years without, or changed their food, or found a spiritual way for themselves.
For me it fits well, if you do more sport, you´ll be more aware, if you change your food some thing, spirtual ways may change the first two things and reverse. Once the progress is started, a lot happens, not everytime fast, but it will. And one of the very logical results are that if you start doing good things for your body and soul, the destructive things find lesser and lesser place in it.
So i felt more and more that smoking doesnt fit anymore, its completly out of place.
I dont want to say "cold turkey" doesnt work, i want not to say nicotin-gums and so on, or allen carrs books (and many others) doesnt work - they just aren´t the way for my person, and that awareness, meditation, watching and understanding and finaly turning his "self-defeating thinking patterns" into positives, is a very good way, not only for just stop smoking, but rather many problems in life.
PS: ah lily you from switzerland, so the german word for " "self-defeating thinking patterns" is Verhaltensmuster, maybe you will know a better one