- Written by Marcel Gemme C.C.D.C
The 12 Steps Programs: Nicotine Anonymous
There are many different fellowships that have adopted the 12 Steps philosophy that was invented for Alcoholics Anonymous. One of them is Nicotine Anonymous.
The main purpose of Nicotine Anonymous is to help smokers overcome their habit and also overcome their addiction to nicotine. It was created in February of 1982 in South California by Alcoholics Anonymous members. It was first called Smokers Anonymous. It was changed to Nicotine Anonymous later when it was incorporated, since Smokers Anonymous was not available for trademarks. Shortly after the first group was created, another independent group was formed in San Francisco to address smoking problems with the 12 steps program.
In 1986, the first conference for Nicotine Anonymous was held in Bakersfield, California. Nicotine Anonymous, unlike Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 steps programs, do not really emphasize the need for someone to be a member for all of one’s life. A lot of the members will come and go, for example, when they have attained their goal of being nicotine free, they might not attend every meeting after that for the rest of their lives. It is esteemed that the average number of members attending a Nicotine Anonymous meeting is about 7.
The movement, since its beginning, has grown a lot. It is estimated now that there are over 600 meetings located in at least 38 countries. This means that a lot of people can get help to quit smoking.