I have never personally experienced addiction. I have a friend who's son has an addiction to alcohol and from what she has told me, I still have a little trouble relating to it. If I know something is bad for me, I just don't do it. That is just how I have always done things.
I believe there's a genetic component to substance addiction, including to nicotine from smoking. So that some people have a greater tendency to become addicted, and a much more difficult time breaking that addiction.
I'm apparently virtually immune to physical addictions, and my Father was the same way. He smoked for 25 years, from the 1930s into the 1950s, more as a social convention than anything, what men did.
(BTW, one of my favorite keepsakes of his is a gorgeous sterling silver and black enamel 1930s Art Deco cigarette case from Alfred Dunhill, the inside beautifully engine turned silver, something a gentleman carried in his jacket breast pocket. Along with other Art Deco accessories like cuff links and tie clips of his that I treasured.)
But that cigarette case was put away and never used again when he read the first reports in the late 1950s of cancer being linked to smoking. He just quit cold. No little-by-little, no withdrawals, he just stopped, because he wanted to. Versus my Mother, who was definitely a nicotine addict, who never could stop despite she and my Father wanting her to quit.
When I entered the Army in the 1960s everyone smoked. Even as Basic Trainees we were allowed time for a smoke break. Hell, even our C-Rations had a cigarette 3-pack in them with matches, usually Lucky Strike or Camel.
And so I tried to fit in and conform, and forced myself to smoke for nearly a year. Bought unfiltered Camels at the PX, smoked them at the enlisted club bars, tried to look butch like the other soldiers. (Though I was already riding a Harley-Davidson to the clubs at that time, should have been butch enough)
I smoked for almost a year, hating it the whole time, thought it was needlessly expensive and stupid, and never did succeed in getting hooked. And when I'd had enough, like my Father, I simply stopped. And I've not smoked another cigarette in 45 years.
I apparently have whatever genes, like his, that resist nicotine addiction. As well as alcohol dependency, which he likewise never exhibited. A few weeks ago I had to abruptly stop drinking because of some new meds I had to take for a while.
So I did. No drama, no withdrawals, no nothing. And I still went to gay bars with my husband, who continued to drink alongside me (he's a very light drinker), people drinking all around me, while I ordered fruit juices and water. Not a problem. No shakes, no personality changes, no irritability, no sleep problems, nothing more than a change in my "diet".
But I also know addiction is very real for some people, like my Mother and my late partner, for whom AA didn't work. It can be tough for them, and really not all their fault.