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Nicotine gum

The nicotine gum is a type of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) that can be used to help you stop smoking. Nicotine gum helps to reduce cravings and feelings of withdrawal by replacing some of the nicotine you would normally get from smoking. Nicotine gum is often used together with the nicotine patch, which is a long-acting type of NRT, to help you quit. Watch the video and read the information below to learn about nicotine gum and how to use it to help you stop smoking.

How to use nicotine gum – the “Park and chew method”

Nicotine gum looks like regular gum, but you don’t use it in the same way you would use normal chewing gum. Here's how to use it correctly – it’s called the park and chew method. There are three simple steps:

Step one: Use the gum when you feel like smoking. Even better, try to anticipate when a craving might strike, and use the gum before the craving takes hold.

Step two: Pop the gum into your mouth and start chewing. When you feel a tingling sensation, park the gum under the tongue or between your gum and cheek. Park it until the tingling stops and then start chewing again. 

Step three: Repeat. Park and chew the gum for up to 30 minutes or until the flavour is gone and the urge to smoke has eased. Then, throw the gum away. 

Some types of acidic drinks like coffee, fruit juice, soft drinks or beer can affect how well the gum works. Wait for 15 minutes after having these drinks before using the gum. The gum also won’t work as well if you take it while eating or drinking.

How the nicotine gum helps

Nicotine gum helps by replacing some of the nicotine you would normally get from smoking; it can help to manage cravings. Using the nicotine gum can also help to manage some of the other symptoms of nicotine withdrawal when you quit such as difficulty concentrating, frustration, restlessness and anxiety.

What dose should I use?

Nicotine gum comes in two strengths: 2mg and 4mg. The right strength and dose for you depends on when you have your first cigarette in the morning and the number of cigarettes that you smoke each day – talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the right dose for you. 

Use the gum for at least eight weeks, reducing the strength and frequency of use as directed.

How can I get the nicotine gum at the discounted PBS rate?

You can buy nicotine gum at pharmacies, supermarkets or online. You can also get the gum at a discounted price on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). To get the nicotine gum at the discounted PBS price, you will need to get a prescription from your doctor, which you take to your pharmacist.

Under the Closing the Gap Scheme, eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can access nicotine patches, gum and lozenges for free or for a small co-payment. Speak to your doctor or call the Aboriginal Quitline on 13 7848 for more information.

For your best chance of quitting

For your best chance of success, call Quitline and use a faster-acting type of NRT (mouth spray, gum, lozenge or inhalator), along with the nicotine patch. It is safe to use these two types of NRT together.  NRT helps to reduce your cravings to smoke, while Quitline will help you to identify your other triggers to smoke. Call 13 7848 to speak to our friendly and qualified Quitline counsellors today.

For more information: talk to your doctor, pharmacist or Quitline. For an overview of nicotine replacement therapy, watch our NRT frequently asked questions video. You can also view the patient resources on the Alfred Health website.


Click to download this webpage as a factsheet (PDF).

If you're thinking about quitting

If you're thinking of stopping smoking, chat with one of our qualified Quitline counsellors on 13 7848, Mon - Fri 8am - 8pm. Quitline provides non-judgmental, empathetic and tailored support to help you along your quitting journey. Quitline is a culturally inclusive service for all, including the LGBTIQA+ community. We also have Aboriginal counsellors available as well as an interpreter service for people who speak languages other than English.

Please note, this information is not intended to replace consumer medicines information or health professional advice. If you would like to provide feedback, please contact quit@cancervic.org.au.

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