Since May 2008 there have been six hundred reported Nicotine Anonymous meetings in thirty eight different countries all over the world. Nicotine Anonymous (NicA) was created in 1982 by a group of Alcoholics Anonymous members wishing to stop smoking and live nicotine free. Like, Alcoholics Anonymous, NicA is a twelve step program and focuses on finding a higher power, turning over self-will, and admitting powerlessness over nicotine. Nicotine anonymous is free to join, and open to individuals of any race, gender, age, or sexual orientation. The desire to quit smoking and live nicotine free is the only requirement to become a member of NicA.
Nicotine Anonymous is distinct in comparison to other treatments for nicotine addiction. Nicotine replacement therapies such as the nicotine patch, lozenges, and gum have a systematic approach. Inpatient and outpatient programs and seminars are usually time structured, and the individual seeking to cease smoking cigarettes or stop using nicotine products must schedule around programs. Nicotine anonymous, however, is offered any time or day of the week. New members can join whenever they wish and returning members know that NicA is constantly available.
Typically, NicA meetings are small, with around seven to ten individuals, and not as focused on sponsorship and consistent attendance as other twelve step recovery groups.
Nicotine anonymous provides three published books, a variety of pamphlets for new comers, and a newsletter, Seven Minutes, for the any individual interested in NicA or member.
- Nicotine Anonymous
- Our Path to Freedom: 12 Stories of Recovery
- 90 Days, 90 Ways
- A Nicotine User’s View of the 12-Steps
- Introducing Nicotine Anonymous to the Medical Profession
- Introducing Nicotine Anonymous
- To the Newcomer and Sponsorship in Nicotine Anonymous
- How Nicotine Anonymous Works
- The Serenity Prayer for Nicotine Users
Cigarette smoking, according to health care professionals, is just as difficult as quitting heroin, cocaine, or alcohol. Nicotine is one of the foremost addicting stimulants. Smoking tobacco gives the individual a feeling of mild euphoria caused by nicotine. Smoking reduces the appetite, and raises blood sugar levels. The beginner smoker also feels more alert and has a better memory recall. Most currently, research has reported smoking nicotine releases a slight increase of dopamine in the brain, and causes the user to feel gratification and positivity.
Withdrawal symptoms of cigarette smoking include, but are not limited to:
- anxiety and irritability
- restlessness and impatience
- hostility and feeling short tempered
- a melancholy or depressed mood
- trouble focusing or concentrating
- significant weight gain
- increased appetite
- reduced heart rate
- involuntary twitching
Nicotine Anonymous helps new members deal with withdrawal symptoms in a healthy way by expressing their feelings in an honest manner to other members. Although, NicA, does not offer medical or psychological advice, it does supply new comers with the opportunity to work a spiritual program, discover a power greater than themselves and create the foundation of a nicotine free network.