Nicotine gum is an over-the-counter form of NRT that delivers nicotine through mucous membranes in the mouth. When you buy nicotine gum, it comes with very clear instructions on how to use it and for how long, which we will summarize here, but be sure to follow the insert instructions yourself.
Chew a piece of the gum until there is a pepper-like taste in your mouth; at that point, you will park the gum against your cheek. Alternate chewing and parking the gum for between 20-30 minutes.
It has two strengths: 2 mg and 4 mg. It is recommended for between 1 and 3 months, and no longer than 6 months. You should not chew more than 20 pieces of gum in a single day.
Because food and beverages can cause problems with absorption, before chewing a piece, avoid acidic foods and drinks for at least 15 minutes.
Using the nicotine gum may cause one of more of the following side effects:
- Throat irritation
- Sores in the mouth
- A racing heartbeat
A note on nicotine gum:
The American Cancer Society notes that some people become dependent on the gum, and that as many as twenty percent of users continue using the gum a year after having quit smoking.