Nicotine Gum Side Effects (+ Precautions, Safer Alternatives)

Wondering if nicotine gum has any side effects?

Well, research says it does!

From irregular appetite to serious conditions like oral cancer and diabetes, nicotine gums come with a fair share of health risks.

This article will explore the common side effects of nicotine gums and some safety precautions you should take when using them. We’ll also answer a few burning questions about nicotine gum use and introduce safer smoking cessation options — like nicotine-free vaping using Cyclone Pods.

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Nicotine Gum Side Effects to Watch Out For

As more people look for ways to quit smoking, nicotine replacement products like nicotine gum (Nicorette gum, for instance) are becoming increasingly popular.

While nicotine chewing gum can help you overcome your smoking addiction, it has its downfalls.

Nicotine gum comes with some serious health risks and adverse effects — especially if you don’t know which precautions to take!

Here are some common side effects of using nicotine gum:

1. Loss of Appetite
2. Stomach Problems
3. Premature Hair Loss
4. Increased Oral Cancer Risk
5. Risk of Hypertension
6. Sleep Deprivation and Recurrent Nightmares
7. Nicotine Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms
8. Obesity
9. Diabetes
10. Other Side-effects

1. Loss of Appetite

Both nicotine and regular chewing gum are known to suppress appetite.

Now, when you combine the two and take nicotine in the form of chewing gum, it may worsen appetite loss.

So what exactly happens behind the scenes?

Nicotine curbs the appetite by lowering insulin levels in the bloodstream. It also affects adrenaline release in the stomach, which can decrease your hunger temporarily.

Moreover, when you chew gum, your brain thinks you’re eating something (orosensory stimulation,) further suppressing your appetite.

2. Stomach Problems

Chewing nicotine gum could cause distress in the abdominal muscles.

When you chew nicotine gum for longer durations, it may lead to stomach pain and nausea. You may even experience indigestion and bloating, but these effects are uncommon.

3. Premature Hair Loss

Yes, you heard that right!

Nicotine gum can cause premature hair loss for several reasons:

  • Excessive oil secretion: Chewing nicotine gum or tobacco may cause excess oil secretion in the scalp. It can lead to dandruff, scalp infection, and hair loss.

  • Poor blood circulation: Using nicotine gum or nicotine lozenge can hinder blood circulation in the scalp and lead to premature balding. According to experts, premature balding is irreversible without surgical intervention.

  • Unbalanced pH levels: Nicotine can unbalance the pH levels of the hair, causing “acidic scalp.” It’s as unpleasant as it sounds and is a major cause of hair loss.

4. Increased Oral Cancer Risk

When it comes to risks that should be avoided at all costs, they don't get more serious than oral cancer.

Scientists at the University of London found that long-term use of nicotine gum could develop mutations in the FOXM1 gene.

And when this gene mutates, it facilitates the growth of cancer cells, increasing the risk of oral cancer.

Note: Scientific studies on the link between nicotine gum use and oral cancer are still underway.

5. Risk of Hypertension

There’s a reason why healthcare practitioners advise against nicotine gum or tobacco use if you’ve recently experienced a heart attack, hypertension, or heart pain!

Chewing nicotine gum will increase your heart rate by 10-15 beats per minute and your blood pressure by 5-10mm HG.

Over time this can lead to hypertension and other serious cardiovascular problems.

For related information, read our detailed post on how vaping nicotine affects blood pressure.

6. Sleep Deprivation and Recurrent Nightmares

If you’ve been using Nicorette gum for longer than six months, chances are you’ve had some nightmares and a poor sleep schedule.

Simply put, nicotine is a stimulant.

If you ingest a stimulant for long periods, it’s bound to affect your sleep.

How?

Nicotine hampers your deep sleep cycle. It means you’ll spend most of your night in a “light sleep,” leaving you feeling sluggish in the morning. Staying in a light sleep pattern will also cause you to have nightmares.

7. Nicotine Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms

It’s common knowledge that nicotine is highly addictive.

Many people use nicotine gum as a nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to get off cigarettes.

But what’s the catch?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t get you off your nicotine dependence.

While nicotine gum has lower nicotine levels than cigarettes, it’s still enough to keep you hooked.

So, even if you eventually stop using nicotine gum or other NRT product, you could experience strong craving and withdrawal symptoms - just like quitting cigarettes. This applies to other NRT products as well, such as nicotine lozenge and nicotine nasal spray.

Doesn’t sound ideal, does it?

Nicotine gum withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Nicotine craving
  • Mood swings
  • Restlessness
  • Concentration issues
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Increased hunger

8. Obesity

Since nicotine chewing gum suppresses your appetite, stopping its use could increase your appetite.


In extreme cases, this can lead to obesity.

But that’s not all.

After quitting nicotine gum or tobacco use, your metabolism slows down, which makes you gain fat at a faster rate.

Besides, when experiencing intense nicotine withdrawal cravings, you’ll look for other ways to mimic the sensation of nicotine release. Many people turn to food to cope with intense nicotine craving, further contributing to weight gain.

Obesity can have devastating effects on your mental health and could lead to further health complications — like heart disease.

9. Diabetes

Here’s the deal:

Nicotine causes your blood sugar level to drop and increase at random intervals. It also changes the way your body processes and uses glucose.

While it is uncommon, nicotine can increase the odds of developing type 2 diabetes.

If you already have diabetes, nicotine can make the condition more severe. For instance, diabetic patients who take insulin medication run the risk of severely low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia.)

10. Other Side-effects

There are a few more side effects you must be aware of:

  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Coughing
  • Indigestion
  • Increased salivation
  • Heartburn
  • Gas
  • Hiccups
  • Sore throat

 

If you are still planning on using nicotine gum, there are a few precautions you need to take to minimize the health risks.

Safety Precautions You Should Take When Using Nicotine Gum

Studies show that people with pre-existing medical conditions may be at a higher risk when using nicotine gum.

Nicotine gum may cause adverse effects if any of the following applies to you:

  • Suffered a heart attack in the last two weeks
  • Suffer from hypertension
  • Have a serious heart rhythm problem
  • Suffer from angina that’s serious or getting worse
  • Have Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction (pain in your jaw, especially when eating)
  • Currently on hormonal birth control
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Taking prescription medication


Note: Using nicotine gum may interact with some prescription medication and reduce their efficacy.

The bottom line:

If any of these apply to you, talk to healthcare practitioners for medical advice before using nicotine gum, or look for other safer alternatives.

While nicotine gum can help many people quit smoking, there are far safer and more pleasurable ways of getting off cigarettes.

Vaping is a More Effective Smoking Cessation Aid Than Nicotine Gum

Tobacco products cause over 8 million deaths per annum, usually from lung cancer.

Naturally, many smokers look for effective ways to kick the habit.

There are many forms of nicotine replacement therapy available today, like a nicotine inhaler, nicotine lozenge, nicotine patch, nicotine nasal spray, and of course, nicotine gum.

But it’s clear that even these products can cause serious side effects.

Besides, a nicotine replacement product might not be as effective as it's touted to be.

According to a recent study, smokers who switch to vapes are more likely to quit than people who use nicotine lozenge, gum, or other cessation aids.

Vaping is also safer than smoking a cigarette and most other cessation aids!

Although vapes and e-cigarettes are fairly new products, their ability to mimic cigarette smoking makes them one of the most effective methods for quitting tobacco cigarettes.

But even with these vaping products, you’ll still be ingesting nicotine.

While nicotine isn’t the direct cause of many lung cancer related deaths, it still has many ugly adverse effects worth avoiding.

Like what?

Hypertension, irregular heart rate, narrowing of the arteries, and even heart disease — to name a few.

So is there a way to make vaping even safer?

Sure, there is!

Nicotine-Free Vaping: A Safer Smoking Cessation Approach

If you’re a smoker looking for a way to ditch smoking and nicotine for good, look no further than high-quality nicotine-free vapes.

Not only are nicotine-free vapes more enjoyable than a nicotine patch and gum, but research also shows that they are more effective!

They help ease oral fixation and satisfy sugar cravings - two common nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

And if you’re a non-smoker, nicotine-free vapes let you enjoy the pleasures of vaping without the risks of nicotine addiction. And with no addiction risks, they won’t affect your mental health adversely too!

Looking for your first nicotine-free vape?



Kickstart your journey with a Thunder Device Starter Kit from Cyclone Pods! The Thunder Device is a rechargeable vape system built to last and comes with three flavor pods. It is completely nicotine, diacetyl, and vitamin-E acetate free.

Or, try the Gust Super disposable vape. The Gust Super comes in nine delicious flavors!

Now that we’ve covered the ins and outs of nicotine gum, let's go over some questions you may still have about it.

Other Nicotine Gum FAQs

Here are the answers to other questions you may have on nicotine gums:

1. What Are Some Common Nicotine Gum Strengths?

Nicotine gum commonly comes in two strengths – 2 mg and 4 mg.

Your correct strength depends on how early you would have your first cigarette each morning and how many you would then smoke throughout the day.

If you’re a smoker who enjoys a cigarette within 30 minutes of starting your day, then the 4mg strength would be ideal. If you smoke less, you might prefer a 2 mg gum.

We recommend you speak to your health care provider to figure out which nicotine strength would be best for you.

2. How Many Cigarettes is 4mg of Nicotine Gum?

Cigarettes can contain between 8-20mg of nicotine each, with 12mg being the average. That means a piece of 4 mg gum is equal to a third of a cigarette — at most.

The 4mg nicotine gum strength is typically aimed at those who smoke more than 25 cigarettes daily.

3. How Often Should I Use Nicotine Gum?

According to the Centre for Disease Control, you should use nicotine gum every 1-2 hours during the first six weeks of use.

Take the gum when you have a cigarette craving or feel like a nicotine withdrawal symptom is starting to set in.

To minimize nicotine withdrawal symptoms, it’s encouraged to use around nine pieces of nicotine gum throughout the day — but it’s best to confirm this with your health care provider.

Depending on how many cigarettes you smoke a day, you’ll need to adjust the amount of nicotine gum you use. The number of gums you need each day may vary if you’re using other forms of nicotine replacement therapy as well (like a nicotine patch or nicotine inhaler.)

4. How Long Can Nicotine Gum be Used?

The recommended usage period for nicotine gum is between 6-12 weeks.

The idea is that over 6-12 weeks, you’ll lower your dose from 4 mg gum to 2 mg gum and reduce the frequency with which you use the nicotine gum.

In extreme cases, you can use nicotine gum for up to six months with medical advice from a healthcare professional. Continuing usage after this period is not advised to prevent further health risks.

Try Nicotine-Free Vapes for Safer Smoking Cessation

The bottom line is — while nicotine gum might get you off cigarette smoking or tobacco product use, you’ll still be hooked on nicotine and exposed to many health risks.

If your goal is to quit smoking and improve your overall health, consider using nicotine-free vapes over an NRT product!

Cyclone Pods is an all-in-one nicotine-free vape shop dedicated to helping people overcome nicotine addiction while still allowing them the pleasures of vaping.

All Cyclone Pods vapes are nicotine, diacetyl, and vitamin e acetate free and come in a wide range of delicious flavors.

So what are you waiting for?

Visit Cyclone Pods to see how you can improve your quality of life.

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