Combined use of alcohol and nicotine gum

Jim Mintz, Catherine C. Phipps, Mary Jane Arruda, Shirley M. Glynn, Nina G. Schneider, Murray E. Jarvik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study evaluated the effects of chewing nicotine gum immediately before and just after drinking a moderate amount of alcohol. Four research questions were addressed. First, does chewing nicotine gum prior to drinking alcohol attenuate the increased craving to smoke that is typically associated with alcohol use? Second, does drinking prior to chewing reduce the gum's effectiveness? Third, are significant side effects observed with nicotine gum, and is their severity affected by alcohol use? Finally, can we identify subjects who are more likely to respond well to the gum on the basis of smoking history or pattern or other descriptive-demographic, psychologic, or historical variables? Smokers who had abstained for at least 12 h were studied in a fully crossrandomized experimental design that contrasted nicotine gum (before or after drinking) versus sugarless gum, and alcohol versus a no-alcohol comparison condition. Nicotine gum use was associated with significantly greater immediate reduction in craving to smoke, regardless of whether it preceded or followed alcohol, but the effects were weak and short-lived in either case. Moderate use of alcohol after chewing the gum eliminated virtually all of its beneficial effects. Mild side effects were common with nicotine gum, but equally so regardless of alcohol use. A small battery of demographic and historical variables failed to identify those subjects who responded well to nicotine gum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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