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Nicotine gum

Nicotine gum is a nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) product that is designed to help you quit smoking. Nicotine gum is available at a reduced price through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Read about how to use nicotine gum, its effectiveness and where to buy it.

Nicotine gum looks a bit like chewing gum.

How does nicotine gum help?

Nicotine gum helps you to quit by replacing some of the nicotine you would normally get from a cigarette. You may still get cravings but nicotine gum lessens them. Using the gum can also help to reduce nicotine withdrawal when you quit, such as cravings, difficulty concentrating, frustration, restlessness and anxiety.

How to use nicotine gum?

When you feel like a cigarette, chew the gum until it starts to tingle in the mouth. Then park in the side of your mouth for a minute or so. Nicotine is absorbed through the mouth and slowly released into your body. Repeat "chew and park" for about 30 minutes until the tingle starts to fade.

Pros and cons of nicotine gum

The nicotine gum is one of the cheapest NRT products. However, it is slower at delivering nicotine than the other NRT products (except the nicotine patch). Some people tell us they don’t like the peppery taste of the gum. Some people make the mistake of using it like chewing gum – it's important to rest the gum in your cheek. Other NRT products can be easier to  use.

Effectiveness of nicotine gum

Using nicotine gum doubles your chance of quitting. Combination therapy  – using patches plus the gum – is even more effective again. If you add Quitline to the mix, you’ll have an even better chance. 

How can you buy nicotine gum at the reduced PBS rate?

You can buy nicotine gum at pharmacies or supermarkets. You can also get discounted gum on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). To get PBS gum you will need to get a prescription from your doctor, which you take to your pharmacist. Nicotine gum is available on the PBS in 2 mg or 4 mg strength. 

How to best use nicotine gum?

You typically start using nicotine gum on your quit day (but you can also use it to cut down and quit). There are two different strengths of gum: 2mg (for those who smoke less than 20 cigarettes per day), or 4mg (for those who smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day). It’s recommended to use 8–12 pieces for the 2mg gum, or 4–10 pieces for the 4mg gum, and to gradually reduce the gum over 12 weeks. 

Nicotine gum works best if you use it for at least 8 weeks, and if you have strategies to beat the stress and break the habit.  

For more information: talk to your doctor, pharmacist or Quitline. Request a Quitline callback. Or download the nicotine gum fact sheet.

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