Using Nicotine Gum to Quit Smoking
Nicotine gum can be used ‘on demand’, whenever you experience a nicotine craving and feel like smoking.
Like nicotine patches, nicotine gum is available in a number of different brands, and you can also choose from various flavours such as fruit and mint. You may have to trial a few different brands to find one that’s best for you.
Nicotine gum is available in 2mg and 4mg strengths.
If your first daily cigarettes is more than 30 minutes after waking:
- Start with the 2mg nicotine gum
- Use 8-12 gums per day for 8 weeks or more, with a maximum of 20 per day
If your first daily cigarettes is less than 30 minutes after waking:
- Start with the 4mg gum
- Use 6-10 gums per day, with a maximum of 10 per day
You can use nicotine gum when you experience a craving, as well as at times when you’d usually smoke.
Nicotine gum is not suitable for smokers who use dentures.
How do I use nicotine gum?
The first thing to understand is that nicotine gum is not like normal chewing gum.
If you chew the gum too much, you may swallow some of the nicotine, which needs to be absorbed by the lining of your mouth, causing nausea.
- Bite or chew the gum 3-4 times, until you feel a tingling sensation or ‘peppery’ taste
- Flatten the nicotine gum and place it between your cheek and gums
- Occasionally move the nicotine gum around your mouth, biting or chewing 2-3 times to release more nicotine as needed
- Don’t eat or drink anything except water for 15 minutes before and during use
- Discard the piece of gum after 30 minutes
You may need time to get used to the taste of the gum, so keep going for a few days if you don’t like it at first.
Side Effects of Nicotine Gum
Nicotine gum side effects may include a sore mouth, jaw pain, hiccups, or nausea. Consult your doctor if you experience any symptoms that may be related to Nicotine Replacement Therapy.
To find out more about NRT products, contact your doctor, pharmacist or the NSW Quitline