Nicotine gum is a type of sugarless chewing gum that has nicotine in it. Each piece of gum gives you a small amount of nicotine, which helps you stop wanting to smoke. The gum is safe, and research shows using it doubles your chance of quitting. It does not require a doctor’s prescription.
Benefits of using Nicotine Gum
- Reduces symptoms of nicotine withdrawal that can include headaches, irritability, and cravings to use tobacco
- You get to decide how many pieces to chew each day
- Can be combined with the nicotine patch to help reduce nicotine withdrawal
- Comes in different strengths depending on how much tobacco you smoke or chew
How to use it
You do not chew nicotine gum like regular chewing gum. Use the “chew and park” method to help your body get the nicotine you need to quit smoking.
- Chew each piece of gum 5 to 10 times
- Then, “park” the gum in the corner of your mouth
- Wait several minutes and then chew a few more times and “park” again
- Repeat this “chew / park” every few minutes
- Throw away the gum after about 30 minutes
- Do not drink coffee, tea, juices, or colas when you have a piece of nicotine gum in your mouth. The acid in these drinks will prevent your mouth from absorbing the nicotine.
- Most people use the nicotine gum for about 8 weeks. You can use it longer if you feel a need to.
How much should I use per day?
- You decide how much to use each day
- Start with 1 piece every 1 to 2 hours, but do not use more than 24 pieces per day
Nicotine Gum comes in 2 different strengths:
- Start with 2-mg gum if you wait longer than 30 minutes after waking to smoke
- Start with 4-mg gum if you smoke within 30 minutes of waking
Before using Nicotine Gum, let your healthcare provider know if you:
- Have had a heart attack in the last 2 weeks
- Have had a stroke or TIA in the last 2 weeks
- Have a severe heart rhythm problem or a very fast heartbeat
- Have worsening angina or heart/chest pain
- Are pregnant or are actively trying to get pregnant
- Have dental problems or jaw pain that make it hard to chew gum
A day’s supply of nicotine gum costs less per day than a pack of cigarettes! Remember to check with your employer or health plan to see if they pay for all or part of the gum.
Common minor side effects: most of these go away after using Nicotine Gum for a few days.
- Some people have an upset stomach from using the nicotine gum. This is usually because they are not chewing the gum correctly. If the gum is chewed like regular chewing gum, you will swallow the nicotine and it may upset your stomach.
- If you have a minor headache or upset stomach that does not go away after a few days of starting the gum, talk to your pharmacist or healthcare provider.
If you experience any of the following symptoms when using Nicotine Gum, please contact your local pharmacist or your healthcare provider.
- Moderate to severe nausea or vomiting
- Severe headache
- Irregular heartbeat or palpitations
- Severe dizziness
If you experience swelling of the throat or mouth with difficulty breathing, stop using the gum and seek immediate medical assistance. This may be a very rare, but very serious allergic reaction to something in the gum.