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A Nicorette-sponsored car driven by NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon

Nicorette is the brand name of a pharmaceutical preparation that contains nicotine for the treatment of nicotine dependence. Nicorette was the first medicinal preparation to facilitate smoking cessation.

Nicorette chewing gum was developed by Ove Fernö at the pharmaceutical company Leo in Helsingborg, Sweden, following an idea from two physicians, Stefan Lichtneckert and Claes Lundgren, at the Institute of Physiology, University of Lund in Sweden. They suggested the development of a pure nicotine product to be used when periods of forced abstinence from smoking cause nicotine withdrawal symptoms; for example, the crew in submarines experience difficulties concentrating and irritation when they are unable to smoke.[1]

The nicotine from Nicorette replaces some of the nicotine the smoker previously got from tobacco smoke; this relieves some of the craving and withdrawal symptoms, and allows the ex-smoker to concentrate on overcoming the habitual action of smoking. Nicotine is the addictive component in cigarette smoke and the reason for smoking, but the harm caused by smoking is mostly due to other components in the smoke such as tar, carbon monoxide and other gases.

The full dose of Nicorette should be used for about eight weeks, and then the dose can gradually be reduced before treatment stops.

The development of Nicorette started at the end of the 1960s. Initially the Swedish Medicinal Product Agency did not approve Nicorette as a medicine because at that time smoking was considered a lifestyle choice; tobacco dependence was not understood to be a disease. In addition, the agency was reluctant to make pure nicotine available, and a chewing gum was a new administration form of a medicinal product. Nicorette Gum was first approved in Switzerland in 1978, followed by the UK and Canada before it got its domestic approval in Sweden as a prescription medicine. Nicorette was switched to an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine in many countries during the 1990s, and is now available on general sale in several countries.

Nicorette Gum is available in two strengths, either nicotine 2 mg or 4 mg. The nicotine is bound to an ion-exchange resin (polacrilex) in the gum, in order to control the rate of release of nicotine during chewing. The resulting nicotine blood concentration when using Nicorette Gum is lower than during smoking.

Nicorette formed a new category of medicinal products, commonly referred to as Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Nicorette is now a global smoking cessation brand that is available in more than 80 countries. Nicorette Gum has been followed by other, different administration forms for smoking cessation with the same brand name: Nicorette Patch, Nicorette Inhaler, Nicorette Microtab, Nicorette Nasal Spray, and Nicorette Lozenge. Nicorette is still manufactured by the same company in Helsingborg, Sweden, but the company name is now McNeil AB and it is part of the Johnson & Johnson Group of Consumer Companies. GlaxoSmithKline is the licence holder of Nicorette Gum in the United States.

Gum flavors[edit]

  • Cinnamon Surge
  • Extreme Chill
  • Fruit Chill
  • Fresh Mint
  • Mint
  • Original
  • Carrot
  • White Ice Mint

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Addiction (1994) 89, Pages 1215-1226, Conversation with Ove Fernö

External links[edit]