You chew nicotine gum as a way to help yourself quit using tobacco. The gum contains nicotine and feels and looks like chewing gum. When you chew the gum, the nicotine begins to slowly release into your mouth. Then you hold the gum in your mouth between your cheek and gums.
Cigarette smoke passes nicotine almost instantly into the blood through the lining of the lungs, and the blood takes it to the brain in a few seconds. The nicotine in the gum takes several minutes to reach the brain. This makes the "hit" less rapid with the gum than with a cigarette. Nicotine gum also delivers much less nicotine to your body than a cigarette would.
How to use nicotine gum
Nicotine gum comes in several flavors and in two strengths: 2 mg and 4 mg. Start with the 4 mg strength if you smoke 25 or more cigarettes a day or if your doctor recommends it.
Do not chew nicotine gum like normal gum. Instead, use the "chew and park" method:
Other tips for using nicotine gum
It is possible to become dependent on nicotine gum, but this is rare.
Nicotine gum does have side effects. Read the package insert before you use this medicine.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Smoking Cessation Resources
- Natural Ways to Whiten Your Teeth
- Non-Small Lung Cancer: Which Meds Work?
- Does Smoking Cause Hair Loss?