Arizona Smokers’ Helpline

About Nicotine Gum

Nicotine gum contains nicotine and is a strong, potentially addicting medication. Follow medication instructions to avoid side effects and addiction.

Using medications and a Quit Coach together can greatly enhance your chances of quitting, more than just using medication alone.


  • Do not use nicotine gum for more than 6 months; it can be harmful and addicting.
  • Chew the gum slowly and follow your doctor’s instructions to avoid side effects and addiction.
  • Do not eat or drink 15 minutes before or while chewing the gum.
  • If you develop an allergic reaction (hives or rash) stop using the gum and contact your doctor immediately.
  • Before using nicotine gum, talk with your doctor about your medical history.
  • The gum may be harmful if taken with other drugs or medications. Even mild drugs such as caffeine and Tylenol® can be harmful, so talk to your doctor about any problems.
  • Do not use the gum if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects from nicotine gum include bleeding gums, too much saliva, hiccups, indigestion, slight swelling of the mouth, injury to teeth or cheeks, nausea, upset stomach and sore throat.

Less common or rare side effects may include diarrhea, dry mouth, swollen gums, sores in the tongue/throat/mouth, muscle pain, rashes and sweating.

If any of these symptoms develop or get stronger, talk to your doctor right away.

How to Use Nicotine Gum

You must stop using tobacco altogether when you start using nicotine gum.

How to use nicotine gum:

  • When you want to smoke, chew 1 piece of nicotine gum. Chew slowly to avoid ill effects.
  • Stop chewing when you get a peppery taste or feel a slight tingling, usually after 15 chews.
  • “Park” the gum by placing it between your cheek and gums.
  • Start chewing again slowly when the peppery taste or tingling is almost gone, about 1 minute.
  • Start this process again until most of the nicotine is gone from the gum, about 30 minutes.
  • Do not use more than 30 pieces of Nicorette® or 20 pieces of Nicorette DS® per day.
  • As your need to use smokeless tobacco goes away—usually within 2-3 months—use fewer pieces of gum.
  • Stop when you are using 1 or 2 pieces a day, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Carry the gum with you at all times in case you feel the need to smoke again.


Too much of any medication can have a serious outcome. Overdose on nicotine gum can occur if you chew too many pieces of gum or if you smoke while you are using the gum.

Symptoms of nicotine gum overdose may include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Fuzzy vision
  • Cold sweat
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble hearing
  • Dizziness
  • Exhaustion
  • Fainting
  • Headache
  • Low blood pressure
  • Mental confusion
  • Nausea
  • Paleness
  • Fast and irregular pulse
  • Too much saliva
  • “The shakes”
  • Vomiting

Call 1-800-55-66-222 to get started.

Ready to Start Quitting?

Double your chances of quitting successfully by working with a Quit Coach.

Learn about Quit Coaching

The Quit Life

Get helpful tips and guidance – no matter where you are in your quit journey.

Get Started