Nicotine gum is not used like ordinary chewing gum. You chew it a few times and then “park” it between your cheek and the space below your teeth. The nicotine is absorbed mostly in your mouth.
- Can be used regularly and when you feel withdrawal symptoms or urges coming on.
- Acts faster than nicotine patch or quit-smoking pills.
- Can be used with the patch to deal with breakthrough urges.
- You control how often you use it so you won’t get more nicotine than you want.
- May help delay weight gain associated with quitting.
- Comes in two strengths.
- May help substitute for a cigarette because you put it in your mouth.
- Available without a prescription (over-the-counter).
- You have to remember to use it regularly and often.
- You should not eat or drink for 15 minutes before using or when it is in your mouth.
- Some people don’t like the taste or feel of nicotine gum.
- May be hard to use if you have dentures or other dental work.
- Requires learning how to use properly to work and to avoid side effects.
- Can cause stomach upset.
Possible Side Effects (and what you can do about them):
- Mouth or jaw soreness (don’t chew it like gum – learn more about how to use).
- Stomach discomfort, hiccups, and too much saliva (do not chew, suck or swallow; try lower dose or wait longer between doses).
- Light-headedness, nausea/vomiting, throat and mouth irritation from getting too much nicotine too fast (review use instructions – don’t chew like gum).
Nicotine Gum Precautions (If any of these apply to you, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider before starting to use gum.):
- A heart attack in the last two weeks.
- A serious heart rhythm problem.
- Pain in your heart (angina) that is serious or getting worse.
- TMJ disease (bad pain in your jaw especially when eating).
- Could be pregnant or are breastfeeding.
- Less than 18 years old.
More precautions and general information are available about nicotine gumexternal icon.
The quit-smoking medicines talked about on this website are approved by the FDA for adults to use to quit cigarettes. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or younger than 18, you should not use these medicines without talking to your doctor. If you use tobacco products other than cigarettes (like cigars, chew, snuff, hookah, or e-cigarettes), talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider or call the quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) to get help with quitting. All the ways to use medicines presented here are reviewed in Smoking Cessation: A Report of the Surgeon General (Chapter 6)pdf icon. Some of the ways have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA.