Nicotine gum is also available over the counter. The gum contains small amounts of nicotine, which are absorbed into the lining of the mouth. Though the product is called "gum," it is not chewed like regular chewing gum. After initial chewing to release the nicotine, the gum is then 'parked' between your cheek and gum so that the nicotine is absorbed in the mouth rather than swallowed from over-chewing. Some things to consider when using nicotine gum:
- Gum is convenient, flexible and delivers nicotine to the bloodstream faster than the patch.
- Users chew one to two pieces of gum per hour, never more than 20 per day.
- Coffee, tea, soft drinks and other acidic beverages interfere with nicotine absorption, so cannot be used within fifteen minutes of chewing nicotine gum.
- Side effects from nicotine gum include upset stomach, mouth ulcers, hiccups and throat irritation.