This article is from the Stop Smoking FAQ, by email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
Another form of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is chewing gum laced
with nicotine (sold under the brand name Nicorette in Canada, the U.S., and
Europe. Like the patch, it provides nicotine to the person quitting smoking
via a less psychologically- attractive delivery system, and allows for a
more gradual (and theoretically more comfortable) departure of the drug
from the bloodstream. Another factor which might appeal to some people is
that the quitter has full control over gum use; unlike the patch, which is
designed to deliver a steady and constant flow of nicotine, the gum is used
in response to withdrawal cravings. You use it when you feel the need, and
wean yourself off the drug by using fewer pieces of the gum per day. Even
if you take months to go off the gum entirely, you will still be realizing
many health benefits from not smoking.
That the nicotine gum requires the user to take an active role in nicotine
dosing may make it an undesirable tool for some people. It may seem too
much like smoking in that you are responding to the body's urges for
nicotine by supplying it on an as-needed basis, only with gum rather than
with a cigarette. OTOH, you may prefer to have control rather than use the
patch, which sends nicotine to you whether you think you want it or not.
If you find the gum upsets your stomach, you may be using it incorrectly.
The package directions for Nicorette gum specify that you should chew a
piece with small chews every minute or so, and "park" it between your cheek
and gums when you're not chewing. The package also states most of the
nicotine will be released within the first thirty minutes. If you chew
Nicorette like regular gum before the nicotine is released, this could and
probably will upset your stomach. Note that after the 30 minutes you can
treat it as regular gum and chew as often or as vigorously as you want.