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How Does Nicotine Gum Work & Does it Really Help You Quit Smoking?


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Nicotine gum is another form of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) it comes in different flavours and strengths.

It is designed to beat your cravings to smoke and gradually wean you off nicotine.

How does nicotine gum work?

You chew it like normal gum to release the nicotine slowly in your mouth. With cigarettes, nicotine is released into the blood through the lungs, through the blood it reaches the brain in just a few seconds. With the gum it takes longer, the nicotine gets into your system through the blood vessels in your mouth. The gum also releases much less nicotine than a cigarette would.

The gum comes in either the 2mg strength, which you take if you smoke your first cigarette more than 30 minutes after waking up. Or the 4mg strength which you take if you smoke your first cigarette within 30 minutes of waking up.

You don’t keep chewing the gum as you would with normal gum, rather chew it just to release the peppery taste then hold it in the mouth between your gums and cheek. You chew and park the gum until there is no flavour left. At this point, the gum is done.

Be sure to use the chew and park method otherwise the nicotine will get into your saliva which you will swallow and this may cause a stomach ache, hiccups or heartburn.

You don’t eat or drink 15 minutes before or while you’re chewing the gum.

Nicorette advise a 12 week quit program and 9 pieces of gum each day for the first 6 weeks.

Exact instructions will be found on the packaging. Read the packaging for any side effects, warnings, and further instructions for using the gum.

Source: WebMD.com

Does nicotine gum really help you quit smoking?

I couldn’t find any up-to-date, credible trials on nicotine gum that I can use to make a concrete case for its effectiveness for quitting smoking. Some sources say it doubles your chances of quitting, but these studies can also be biased as they are the sellers. Some may not find the taste to their liking either.

I think that if it really helps with cravings, weans you off nicotine, and helps you quit smoking for the long term, that’s good. The gum can help because it takes the place of a cigarette to occupy the mouth, but bear in mind that it may also have a placebo effect and it doesn’t come cheap for a 12 week program. If it does have a placebo effect than not using the gum and working with the real cause of smoking cessation will be a better option. It may also help to use gum with other aids or techniques to quit smoking.

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