Smokers Anonymous is a self-help smoking cessation group that uses the principles and 12-step method of Alcoholics Anonymous as the basis for its program. The group was formed in the early 1980s under the name Smokers Anonymous, but it changed its name to Nicotine Anonymous in 1990 as a way to include all those who were addicted to nicotine in whatever form. Now, those interested can find Smokers Anonymous meetings at the Nicotine Anonymous website.
Smokers Anonymous, or Nicotine Anonymous, identifies itself as “not a medical organization” and “a fellowship of men and women helping each other to live our lives free of nicotine.” Like Alcoholics Anonymous, the group encourages members to lean on the help of a higher power, but explicitly states that it is not a religious organization. It also does not require members to adhere to any particular creed. Each group is self-governing and there are no compulsory dues or fees. Members meet group expenses through voluntary donations. Addicts can keep their anonymity while receiving support and encouragement from others also striving to beat nicotine addiction. Members give only their first names at meetings.
Did You Know?
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse calls nicotine “the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the US”
- One drop of purified nicotine can kill a human being.
- Nicotine concentrates in the system of an unborn child. Smoking during pregnancy can kill the baby.
- Almost 50,000 nonsmokers die every year from secondhand smoke exposure that triggered a fatal disease.
Finding a Smokers Anonymous Meeting
The Nicotine Anonymous website offers visitors an easy way to find local Nicotine Anonymous smokers support groups. The “Meetings” tab at the top of the site’s homepage connects to a page with links to search-by-state lists, for those in the United States, or search by country lists for international visitors. The Meetings page also displays the group’s voicemail phone number. The Contact page lists the group’s email addresses and World Services mailing address.
What to Expect at Your First Meeting
Nicotine Anonymous states that the only requirement to join the group is a desire to be free of nicotine addiction. Group members use meeting time to honestly share their struggles with nicotine and receive support from other members. The group adheres to a 12-step recovery model to help members stop using nicotine.
The 12 steps of the Nicotine Anonymous smokers support groups were patterned on the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, though the two groups are not affiliated. The rough outline of the steps is admission of helplessness, reliance on a higher power, and the decision to turn one’s life over to that higher power. Once this is done, the addict faces and confesses his wrongdoing, makes a list of people he has harmed and does his best to make restitution. After having made restitution, the addict continues to follow a lifestyle of prayer and communion with God and fellowship with others in recovery.
Nicotine Anonymous also uses five tools to help members kick the smoking habit: support group meetings, a phone list of other members who are willing to offer advice and support in the interim, informational books and pamphlets, the help of another member who is able and willing to act as a personal coach to newcomers (also called a sponsor), and service to others still struggling with nicotine addiction.
Don’t try to kick the habit on your own. Let us show you how much better it is when you walk this path with others. Call us at to find the Nicotine Anonymous smokers support group nearest you.