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Addict Behav. 2009 Mar;34(3):246-51. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2008.10.018. Epub 2008 Nov 1.

Dependence on the nicotine gum in former smokers.

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Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Switzerland.


We conducted an Internet survey in 2004-2007 in 526 daily users of the nicotine gum, to assess use of, and dependence on the nicotine gum in former smokers. We used modified versions of the Nicotine Dependence Syndrome Scale (NDSS-G), the Cigarette Dependence Scale (CDS-G) and the Fagerström Test (FTND-G). After 30 days, 155 participants (29%) indicated their gum use. Higher dependence on the gum predicted a lower chance of stopping using it at follow-up (odds ratio=0.36 for each standard deviation unit on CDS-G, p=0.001). More long-term (>3 months) than short-term (< or =3 months) users of the gum agreed with: "I use the nicotine gum because I am addicted to it" (83% vs. 7%, p<.001), and fewer long-term users reported that they used the gum to avoid relapsing to smoking (42% vs. 92%, p<.001). Long-term users had higher ratings of dependence on the gum than short-term users, as assessed with NDSS-Gum, CDS-Gum and FTND-Gum (all p<.001). Most long-term users reported symptoms of dependence on the nicotine gum. Lower levels of dependence on the gum predicted cessation of gum use. However, long term use of the nicotine gum has no known serious adverse consequence, and may be beneficial if it prevents late relapse.

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