Nicotine gum gives you a burst of nicotine to help with cravings. It can be used together with the patch. Using two nicotine products together can help people who smoked heavily.
There are two strengths of gum. The best one for you depends on how many cigarettes you smoked. You can chew up to 20 pieces per day, depending on your cravings. Most people slowly reduce their gum use every week, as withdrawal symptoms lessen.
How to use nicotine gum
You should not chew nicotine gum like regular chewing gum. You should:
- Use the “bite and park” technique. Bite the gum once or twice, then “park” it between your cheek and gums.
- Wait one minute, then bite and park the gum again.
- Repeat the bite and park process for 30 minutes.
- It takes 15 to 30 minutes for the gum to start working. This means you should start using the gum before you need it. For example, if had a habit of smoking on coffee breaks, you should take the gum 30 minutes before a coffee break.
- Don’t eat or drink for 15 minutes before using and while chewing the gum.
Talk to a nurse or doctor before taking nicotine gum if you:
- are pregnant or breastfeeding;
- are being treated for any serious heart condition;
- have had a heart attack or stroke within last two weeks; or
- use any prescribed medication regularly.
Stop using the gum immediately and see a nurse or doctor if you have:
- chest pain;
- irregular heartbeat;
- leg pain;
- strong stomach pain; or
- rash or hives.
Nicotine gum does have side effects, including:
- upset stomach;
- mouth, throat or gum irritation;
- sore jaw;
- headaches; and
- trouble sleeping.