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Nicotine gum

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. You can get it at most drug stores, and it does not require a doctor’s prescription.

Benefits of using nicotine gum

  • Reduces symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, which can include headaches, irritability and cravings.
  • You get to decide how many pieces to chew each day.
  • Gives you a steady dose of nicotine all day to help you not smoke.
  • Can be combined with the nicotine patch to help reduce nicotine withdrawal.
  • Comes in different strengths depending on how much tobacco you’re used to smoking or chewing.

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 five to 10 times. You may get a “peppery” taste.
  • Then, “park” the gum in the corner of your mouth.
  • Wait several minutes. When the taste fades, chew a few more times and “park” again.
  • Repeat this “chew/park” pattern 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 eight weeks. You can use it longer if you feel a need to.

PLEASE NOTE, this information is not intended to replace the manufacturer’s instructions provided with the nicotine gum. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding proper use of the nicotine gum and consult with your health care provider if you have questions about using this product.

How much should I use per day?

Talk to your health care provider about how much to use.

Before using nicotine gum, let your health care provider know if you:

  • Have had a heart attack in the last two weeks.
  • Have had a stroke or TIA (mini-stroke) in the last two 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.

Cost

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. Learn more about how to get free patches, gum or lozenges from QUITPLAN® Services.

Side effects

See page 32 of the Quit Guide for common minor side effects. If you experience any side effects that worry you when using the nicotine gum, please contact your health care provider.

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.

Please note: This page includes detailed, current information about this medication. Some of the information on this page may not be included in the Quit Guide. The Quit Guide may include additional instructions regarding the use of this medication. You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using this medication and consult your health care provider if you have any questions.