An investigation into the effects of nicotine gum on short-term memory

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1998 Dec;140(4):429-33. doi: 10.1007/s002130050786.


Using a between-subjects 2x2x2 factorial design, 60 smokers and 60 non-smokers (equal number of males and females) performed a short-term memory task requiring delayed free recall of a visually presented supraspan word list. Using a double-blind procedure, half the subjects chewed nicotine gum and the other half chewed placebo gum prior to performing the memory task. Results support previous research findings which show that nicotine significantly improves short-term memory. Sex differences were also investigated, but findings showed no significant differences between male and female subjects. Methodological considerations are discussed and directions for future research are suggested.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chewing Gum*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term / drug effects*
  • Mental Recall / drug effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage
  • Nicotine / pharmacology*
  • Nicotinic Agonists / administration & dosage
  • Nicotinic Agonists / pharmacology*


  • Chewing Gum
  • Nicotinic Agonists
  • Nicotine