Nicotine vs placebo gum in general medical practice

JAMA. 1989 Mar 3;261(9):1300-5.


Three hundred fifteen smokers who attended a family practice clinic and wished to quit smoking were assigned in a random, double-blind manner to receive either nicotine (2 mg) or placebo gum. Smokers initially received brief advice from a physician and nurse, a slide presentation and written materials (29 to 35 minutes), and a single follow-up visit (12 to 20 minutes) one week after cessation. After corrections for marital status and income, 10% of those who received nicotine gum and 7% of those who received placebo gum reported continuous abstinence for 11 months and passed observer and biochemical verification (this difference was not statistically significant). We conclude that, when used in a nonselected group of smokers along with a brief intervention in a general medical practice, the pharmacologic effects of nicotine gum to increase cessation are either small or nonexistent.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chewing Gum
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Counseling / methods
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotine / adverse effects
  • Nicotine / therapeutic use*
  • Placebos
  • Random Allocation
  • Smoking / drug therapy*
  • Socioeconomic Factors


  • Chewing Gum
  • Placebos
  • Nicotine