Frequently Asked Questions

What’s Really In NRT?

Nicorette Gum PackageNRT (nicotine replacement therapy) is a common topic of discussion on the forums.  These products are marketed toward (primarily) people trying to quit smoking and naturally people who are attempting to quit chewing are drawn toward these products as well.  I get asked often about what’s really IN these products so I’m relaying this information which is directly from the Nicorette Gum product insert.  I personally was a cold turkey quitter and believe it to be the best method of cessation but that is a different discussion for a different post.  Here are the facts directly from the manufacturer (with some comments of my own thrown in for good measure 😉 )

Nicorette Gum is intended to ease such withdrawal symptoms by providing your body with nicotine. This leaves your mind free to concentrate on overcoming your psychological desire to smoke.

Note the bolded line there.  These products contain nicotine… pure and simple.  I’m of the firm opinion that until you remove ALL nicotine from your system you won’t truly be free.  PLEASE note that I’m not suggesting that you cannot successfully quit using these products.  I’m merely saying that you will not be truly “quit” until you no longer have the drug running through your veins.  Again this is one man’s opinion.

If you have had any of the following, you should ask for your doctor or pharmacist’s advice before using Nicorette Gum.

These medical conditions may need consideration by or discussion with your doctor or pharmacist. You and your doctor or pharmacist can then weigh up the risk of using Nicorette Gum against the benefits you will get if you stop smoking.

The medical conditions include:

  • Angina (chest pain) or any other problem with your heart or blood vessels such as pain in one or more legs when you walk
  • High blood pressure
  • Previous stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Stomach ulcer or pain
  • Hyperthyroidism (a disorder of the thyroid gland)
  • Phaeochromocytoma (a tumor of the adrenal gland)
  • Diabetes.

This is pretty standard stuff in my estimation.  Just about any medication you run across will have similar warnings.

Nicorette Gum releases nicotine into your saliva. This nicotine is absorbed through the lining of your mouth and enters your bloodstream. Any nicotine that is swallowed in saliva is broken down in your stomach. It is therefore wasted.

Just pointing out once again that these products contain nicotine.  I honestly don’t think that people understand that when they are using these products.  That’s the reason that withdrawal symptoms are lessened when using them – you’re not actually withdrawing… you’re getting your fix.

And finally, here is an ingredients listing:

Nicorette Gum: nicotine-resin complex, chewing gum base, sorbitol powder, sorbitol 70%, flavour for smoker, haverstroo flavour, sodium carbonate anhydrous, and glycerol 85%, sodium hydrogen carbonate (2 MG only), quinoline yellow Al-lake E 104 (4 MG only)

Nicorette Mint Gum: nicotine-resin complex, chewing gum base, xylitol, peppermint oil, menthol, sodium carbonate anhydrous, and magnesium oxide light, sodium hydrogen carbonate (2 MG only), quinoline yellow Al-lake E 104 (4 MG only)

Nicotine-resin complex – A 2 MG piece of Nicorette contains as much nicotine as about 2 cigarettes.  A 4 MG piece of Nicorette contains as much nicotine as about 4 cigarettes.  By comparison, chewing tobacco, dip and snuff have a significantly higher nicotine content than cigarettes.

Sorbitol powder is a sweetener –

Sodium Carbonate Anhydrous is a sodium salt of carbonic acid –

Glycerol is an organic compound that is sweet-tasting and of low toxicity –

Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate is essentially baking soda –

Quinoline yellow Al-lake E 104 is a food coloring.

Xylitol is a sugar substitute –

There you go.  A hopefully unbiased description of what’s in Nicorette gum.  I haven’t done this amount of research on other NRTs (the patch, inhalers or other brands of gum) but I’m assuming that the ingredients list is going to be similar.  Again, the intent of this post is NOT to say that you can’t be successful using these products.  Just trying to provide information.

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9 years ago

If you check the FAQ’s for nicorette, you’ll also find that studies have shown that it is not a quitting aid to anything but cigarettes.

Dr. Bruce Banner
Dr. Bruce Banner
12 years ago

that was very informational, I can attest to trying to quit with the stupid gum….It don’t work, by the end of the day I was chewing N-gum and chewing skoal at the same time. There is something to be said for someone who can bear out the 3 to 4 days to get the nicotine completely out of your body… once that’s done you only have mind games..and this site of brothers to help you. Plus it’s cheaper than buying the gum… I think the tobacco companies patiented it anyway, I’m not about to give them one more dime

12 years ago

Thanks for putting this information together Chewie. Very interesting and informative.

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