Cessation of long-term nicotine gum use--a prospective, randomized trial

Addiction. 1995 Mar;90(3):407-13. doi: 10.1046/j.1360-0443.1995.9034079.x.


Nicotine gum is an important adjunct for smoking cessation for many smokers, and long-term use of nicotine gum will occur in a small percentage of patients. To date, no method of cessation in long-term users has been studied in a randomized trial. We enrolled 26 subjects at the Mayo Clinic site of the Lung Health Study who had used nicotine gum for more than 6 months to participate in a trial where subjects were randomly assigned to: (1) abrupt cessation, (2) taper with placebo gum, or (3) taper with active gum. At the end of the 6-week trial, the percentage of subjects abstinent from gum use and not smoking was not different among the three groups: 66.7% for the abrupt cessation group, 71.4% for the taper with placebo gum group and 60% for the taper with active gum group. One subject in the taper with placebo gum group relapsed to smoking during the trial but was abstinent from smoking again at long-term follow-up. Long-term follow-up (median 284 days) showed 65% of subjects were abstinent from all nicotine products. Motivated subjects can stop long-term nicotine gum use without relapse to gum use or smoking by either abrupt cessation or brief tapering.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chewing Gum
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage*
  • Nicotine / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking Cessation* / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology


  • Chewing Gum
  • Nicotine