Nicotine Anonymous

Nicotine Anonymous is a 12-step program available to people who want to stop using nicotine. This program is open to those who are using nicotine withdrawal aids and smoking cessation products.

Nicotine Anonymous Overview

Nicotine Anonymous is a non-profit program. The only requirement for joining is the desire to be free of nicotine. Members of the group are expected to abstain from tobacco products.


In the same way that Alcoholics Anonymous helps people who want to live free from alcohol live sober lives, Nicotine Anonymous uses fellowship to provide help and support to people with an addiction to nicotine. The fundamental principles the group works with are known as H.O.W. ("Honesty, Openness & Willingness").

The recovering nicotine addict must be honest with themselves about the excuses they made that allowed them to continue using nicotine. Openness comes into the mix as the member incorporates the 12 steps into their recovery as well as accepting help from other members. A willingness to act helps the person to do what is necessary to break free from the addiction.

Traditions, Steps, and Process

Nicotine Anonymous has adopted the 12 steps used by Alcoholics Anonymous. The first step is for members to admit that they don't have any power over nicotine and that they are turning their lives over to a Higher Power for help. The Higher Power is not meant to be in the sense of a religion; the type of Higher Power is up to the individual involved.

Attending meetings and hearing about how other members have been able to stop using nicotine helps new members to stay away from this drug as well. Meetings are also a place where members can discuss the challenges they are facing in trying to stay off nicotine.

The group provides members with a Phone List for use in between meetings. The Phone List has a list of first names and phone numbers of members who are willing to provide support to others in between meetings.

Effectiveness: Does Nicotine Anonymous Work?

A survey of nicotine addicts has indicated that the majority of them feel that a program with a spiritual approach would be beneficial when trying to stop using. People who are heavy smokers or who have smoked for a number of years are more likely to believe that a program like Nicotine Anonymous will be effective.

Getting a Sponsor

Sponsorship is an important part of Nicotine Anonymous. Sponsors are members of the group who are committed to abstinence from nicotine and who are willing to help newer members. Acting as a sponsor to someone else is a way for someone to pass on the benefits they have received from being involved with Nicotine Anonymous.

After you have attended a few Nicotine Anonymous meetings, you may feel comfortable enough to choose someone to be your sponsor. If you haven't chosen someone by that point, you can approach the Chairperson of the group and ask them to suggest a sponsor for you. The group may be able to arrange for an e-mail sponsor in some cases.

Find a Nicotine Anonymous Meeting Near You

Visit the Nicotine Anonymous web site to find a list of meetings by U.S. state or country. You can attend meetings online or by phone as well. Or, visit our addiction recovery programs directory for more information.