Nicotine gum

Nicotine gum gives you a dose of nicotine as you chew. It also gives your mouth something to do instead of smoking. This can help you break the habit.

Nicotine gum is a fast-acting form of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) that can be used in combination with nicotine patches.

Combination is the best way to use NRT to help you stop smoking. It is safe and recommended in Ireland's National Clinical Guideline on Stop Smoking Care.

Choosing the strength of nicotine gum

You can get nicotine gum in 2 different strengths:

  • 4mg strength - use this if you smoke your first cigarette within 30 minutes of waking up and smoke more than 20 a day.
  • 2mg strength - use this if your first cigarette is 30 minutes or more after waking and you smoke fewer than 20 a day.

How to use nicotine gum

  1. Chew the nicotine gum slowly until the taste becomes strong or hot.
  2. Rest the nicotine gum between your cheek and gum - this helps the nicotine get into your bloodstream.
  3. When the taste fades, repeat the process again.

Keep chewing and resting the nicotine gum until there's no taste after you chew. A piece of gum lasts around 30 minutes.

Use the gum as often as you need to, up to 15 pieces a day.

Stopping nicotine gum

After 3 months, gradually stop using nicotine gum.

You could:

  • reduce the length of time you chew each piece
  • reduce the number of times you chew each day
  • cut the gum into smaller pieces
  • swap the nicotine gum for ordinary sugar-free gum

If you’re finding it hard to stop using the gum, talk to your stop smoking advisor, pharmacist or GP.

Page last reviewed: 5 October 2022
Next review due: 5 October 2025