Effects of nicotine gum on prevalence and severity of withdrawal in female cigarette smokers

J Subst Abuse. 1991;3(4):427-40. doi: 10.1016/s0899-3289(10)80024-0.


This study examines the extent to which 2 mg nicotine gum reduces the prevalence and severity of cigarette withdrawal signs and symptoms. The sample was comprised of women who were randomly assigned to chew 2 mg nicotine gum (N = 206) or no nicotine gum (N = 211). Signs and symptoms of withdrawal were assessed at days 2, 7, 14, and 28 post-cessation. The results showed a significant effect of 2 mg nicotine compared to no gum at 2 days post-cessation on the prevalence of the following symptoms: anxious/tense, difficulty concentrating, restless, impatient, somatic symptoms, insomnia, increased eating, and drowsiness. There were additional differences between the two groups for the severity of craving for cigarettes, irritable/angry, excessive hunger, and total withdrawal score. Over the course of 28 days post-cessation, significant Group and/or Group x Time interaction effects were found with regard to the severity of signs and symptoms for the following variables: impatient, insomnia, increased eating, irritable, difficulty concentrating, restless, somatic complaints, and total withdrawal score. These results are similar to those obtained from placebo-controlled trials for nicotine gum.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Chewing Gum*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Energy Intake / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neurologic Examination / drug effects
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage*
  • Nicotine / adverse effects
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / prevention & control*


  • Chewing Gum
  • Nicotine