Nicotine Anonymous ("NicA") is a non-profit 12-step fellowship of men and women helping each other live nicotine-free lives.
Nicotine Anonymous welcomes all those seeking freedom from nicotine addiction, including those using cessation programs and nicotine withdrawal aids. The primary purpose of Nicotine Anonymous is to help all those who would like to cease using tobacco and nicotine products in any form. The Fellowship offers group support and recovery using the 12 Steps as adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous to achieve abstinence from nicotine.
Their website includes the following features.
- Explanations of the group - its background, principles and methods
- Meeting Finder (In Person, Telephone and Online)
- Organization Information
- Newsletter (Seven Minutes) Archive
- Online Store
The first meetings began in February 1982 one on one meetings between a group of Southern California AA members to focus specifically on smoking cessation. These meetings began under the name Smokers Anonymous in Los Angeles. In June 1982 the founders, Rodger F, Robert K, Stephanie S, Dan H, began holding group meetings in Santa Monica California. Shortly thereafter another group independently started in San Francisco.
In 1983, a Manhattan, New York group of meetings formed independently, also formed by recovering AA members, specifically to address their smoking addiction. They called themselves "AA for Non-Smokers". During the same period, two groups started in Cleveland, Ohio.
Then in May 1985, Maurice Z., a California member, authored an article for Reader’s Digest. Thousands of letters poured in from people wanting to know more about this new Twelve-Step fellowship. That year Smokers Anonymous groups started independently in Woodstock, NY and in Islip, NY. Within a year there were a hundred meetings identified.
In 1986 the group members met for their first conference in Bakersfield, California to form a fellowship, originally known as Smokers Anonymous.
These groups met again in 1987 in Monterey, California. In April 1988, the fellowship’s first official World Services Conference was held in San Francisco.
The fellowship was renamed Nicotine Anonymous in Phoenix, Arizona at the 1990 World Services Conference because the Smokers Anonymous trademark was not available, but also, importantly, the delegates decided the focus of recovery should be on the drug nicotine rather than any single nicotine delivery system.
In 2000, "NicA" was selected to abbreviate Nicotine Anonymous at the annual World Service Conference.