Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The number of new smokers, specifically among adolescents, has risen rapidly in recent years. Thus, understanding the role of social influences on patterns of nicotine and tobacco use is important. Clinical studies have addressed the impact social relationships such as family members and peers have on smoking acquisition and susceptibility. As well, preclinical animal models have examined the impact of social factors on drug intake, acquisition, maintenance, and relapse. For example, environmental enrichment (EE) is a multi-faceted model that includes social factors, exercise, and novelty, among others. This model has elucidated addiction-related neurobehavioral effects of these different factors. However, there is a dearth of literature examining the impact of social partners on nicotine addiction and underlying neural mechanisms. Here we discuss the importance of social factors on nicotine addiction vulnerability, and propose new directions for addiction research that integrate social aspects of nicotine use.