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Br Med J. 1976 August 14; 2(6032): 391–393.
PMCID: PMC1687540

Effect of nicotine chewing gum on smoking behaviour and as an aid to cigarette withdrawal.


In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial the effect of 2-mg nicotine chewing gum was studied in 43 smokers when they were smoking as inclined and when they were trying to stop smoking. Although 70% of the smokers stopped smoking during treatment, only 23% were still abstinent after one year. The effect of the nicotine, though significant, was small compared with the overall reduction in smoking. When the subjects were smoking as inclined cigarette consumption was reduced by an average of 37% on the nicotine gum compared with 31% on placebo gum, while avergage carboxyhaemoglobin (COHb) levels were reduced by 26% and 15% on the active and placebo gums respectively. When subjects tried to stop smoking there was a further considerable reduction in cigarette consumption, but no longer any difference between the two gums. Nevertheless, average COHb was still lower on the active gum. Plasma nicotine levels on the nicotine gum averaged only 10-7 ng/ml compared with 27-4 ng/ml after smoking. Better results could be expected with 4-mg nicotine gums.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Fernö O. A substitute for tobacco smoking. Psychopharmacologia. 1973 Jul 19;31(3):201–204. [PubMed]
  • Kozlowski LT, Jarvik ME, Gritz ER. Nicotine regulation and cigarette smoking. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1975 Jan;17(1):93–97. [PubMed]
  • Brantmark B, Ohlin P, Westling H. Nicotine-containing chewing gum as an anti-smoking aid. Psychopharmacologia. 1973 Jul 19;31(3):191–200. [PubMed]
  • Russell MA, Cole PV, Brown E. Absorption by non-smokers of carbon monoxide from room air polluted by tobacco smoke. Lancet. 1973 Mar 17;1(7803):576–579. [PubMed]
  • Russell MA, Wilson C, Patel UA, Cole PV, Feyerabend C. Comparison of effect on tobacco consumption and carbon monoxide absorption of changing to high and low nicotine cigarettes. Br Med J. 1973 Dec 1;4(5891):512–516. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Russell MA, Armstrong E, Patel UA. Temporal contiguity in electric aversion therapy for cigarette smoking. Behav Res Ther. 1976;14(2):103–123. [PubMed]
  • Hunt WA, Bespalec DA. An evaluation of current methods of modifying smoking behavior. J Clin Psychol. 1974 Oct;30(4):431–438. [PubMed]
  • Russell MA, Feyerabend C, Cole PV. Plasma nicotine levels after cigarette smoking and chewing nicotine gum. Br Med J. 1976 May 1;1(6017):1043–1046. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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