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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1993;111(4):449-56.

Physical dependence on nicotine gum: effect of duration of use.

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University of Minnesota, Department of Psychiatry, Minneapolis 55455.


This study examined whether longer duration on nicotine gum promoted dependence on nicotine gum. Subjects (N = 128) answering an advertisement for smoking cessation research and wanting to quit smoking cigarettes were randomly assigned to 1- or 3-month duration of nicotine gum use. Assessments were made weekly for smoking status (with biochemical verification) and withdrawal symptoms during and at the end of treatment. Follow-up was conducted at 1, 6 and 12 months to provide exploratory data on treatment outcome. The results showed minimal nicotine gum withdrawal symptoms after gum cessation with virtually no difference in gum withdrawal between the 1- and 3-month groups. Withdrawal symptoms from the nicotine gum included difficulty with concentration, increased variability on a reaction time task, and decreased vigor. The results also showed that continuous use of the gum at 1 year was observed in 1.5% of subjects and estimated to be as high as 14%. Finally, the 3-month group experienced a 2-fold increase in abstinence compared to the 1-month group, although this difference was not statistically significant. We conclude that there is minimal physical dependence on nicotine gum.

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