Well increased concentration is one, which I took advantage of while working on a degree.c
...Might apply to meditation as well. It settles the mind.
...Then there is all that learning about generosity and friendship you get from being part of a community that looks after each other.
True, but there are a number of non life threatening and physically damaging ways to go about these. Its great that until now you've managed to derive benefit from an otherwise harmful substance, why not derive the ultimate benefit of conquering the addiction once and for all? If you do it with the proper intentions, it will not only generate a great deal of merit, but also willpower, diligence, and...
There's the daily practice of patience, as every day several people will assume you are so ignorant you have no clue, and tell you "Smoking is bad for you, you know." as if they were the only person in the world to figure it out.
...if you want to learn about patience, quitting any addiction will strengthen your patience to a far greater degree than ignoring mundane and predictable comments.
There is the solitude of stepping outside for a smoke and seeing the stars and a glowing halo around the moon, or meeting a friendly passing pussycat that everyone else misses out on.
If you have time to do this in order to smoke, you have time to do this and not smoke.
One learns a lot about how society operates when one is a smoker.
Or if one is inclined to pay attention to whats going on.
It's odd that people speak about smoking as if it were purely, inherently evil. Fortunately the Buddha taught us not to believe in inherent natures and pursue a middle path, one in which we can see everything as it is - a mixture of harm and benefit, in flux, changeable in every moment and often surprising.
The Buddha taught us to overcome our attachments, because attachment is the cause of suffering.
I don't think anyone here lacks compassion for you, at least I hope not. I have great compassion for you, I've had a number of attachments and I know how hard they are to overcome. I never started smoking, but I'm merely thankful that it made me feel sick when I tried, otherwise I would probably be a smoker. So its not that I have some great virtue that you lack or that any judgment is being passed on you. I still have attachments I am trying to overcome, but I am *trying*. I sincerely hope that you too will at some point in the very near future, perhaps even now, resolve to *try* to remove this attachment once and for all.