The effect of chewing gum on tobacco withdrawal

Addict Behav. 1997 Nov-Dec;22(6):769-73. doi: 10.1016/s0306-4603(96)00072-x.


When smokers are in situations where smoking is prohibited, chewing gum is believed to reduce cravings to smoke. However, there is little scientific evidence to support this widely held assumption. The present study assessed craving for a cigarette and nicotine withdrawal in 20 dependent cigarette smokers under one of two conditions. All subjects smoked an initial cigarette upon arrival to the experimental session and were informed that they would not be allowed to smoke for the remainder of the session. The session consisted of each subject watching a movie, then waiting an additional 30 minutes. Half of the subjects were assigned to a Gum Condition where they were given free access to chewing gum throughout the experimental session; half were assigned to a No-Gum Control. Nicotine withdrawal was assessed immediately following the movie (Time 1) and again 30 minutes later (Time 2). Results from this study indicate that chewing gum reduces craving and helps with withdrawal when a nicotine-dependent person cannot smoke.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chewing Gum*
  • Humans
  • Nicotine / adverse effects*
  • Nicotinic Agonists / adverse effects*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / therapy*


  • Chewing Gum
  • Nicotinic Agonists
  • Nicotine