Is Chewing Nicotine Gum Bad For You?

People often use nicotine gum as a way to quit smoking, and the good news is that it can help many people succeed. Nicotine gum is a fast-acting form of nicotine replacement therapy that is available over the counter. Popping a piece in your mouth every couple of hours can help you manage cravings, and it also lessens the severity of withdrawal from smoking cigarettes, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Nicotine gum is meant to help you deal with the physical aspects of nicotine addiction. It is available in different dosages, and it seems to be most beneficial for people who smoke 10 or more cigarettes per day, according to the American Cancer Society. The organization does not recommend using nicotine gum if you are still smoking. In addition, you should never chew more than 24 pieces a day, and you should never use it for more than 12 weeks at a time. That being said, what are the long-term effects of using nicotine gum?

Follow instructions to avoid unwanted side effects

Chewing nicotine gum is not necessarily bad for you, but chewing it properly is key to avoiding undesirable side effects. Once you chew a piece a couple of times and feel a tingling sensation, you should place it between your cheek and gum to allow the nicotine to enter your bloodstream. Repeat this for about 30 minutes. If you chew the gum without letting it sit in your cheek, you risk swallowing the nicotine, which can cause nausea, heartburn, or stomach problems (per the National Library of Medicine). Even when following the directions, some people might experience dizziness, a rapid heart rate, mouth blisters, and difficulty breathing when chewing it. Other side effects include dry mouth, hiccups, moodiness, anxiety, and trouble sleeping, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

You should let your doctor know if you have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, lung disease, asthma, or seizures before trying nicotine gum. It can interact with certain medications for these and other conditions (via the Cleveland Clinic).