Nicotine gum is a type of chewing gum that delivers nicotine to the body. It is used as an aid in nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), a process for smoking cessation and quitting smokeless tobacco. The nicotine is delivered to the bloodstream via absorption by the tissues of the mouth.
It is currently available over-the-counter in Europe, the US and elsewhere. The pieces are usually available in individual foil packages and come in various flavors. Nicotine content is usually either 2 or 4 mg of nicotine, roughly the nicotine content of 1 or 2 cigarettes, with the appropriate content and dosage depending on the smoking habits of the user. Popular brands include Nicoderm/Nicorette, Nicogum and Nicotinell.
Nicotine Anonymous (NicA) is a twelve-step program for people desiring to quit smoking and live nicotine free. As of May 2008, there are 600 meetings in thirty-eight countries worldwide with the overwhelming majority of these meetings occurring in the United States, followed by Canada, Brazil, Australia and the UK, respectively. NicA maintains that total abstinence from nicotine is necessary for recovery. NicA defines abstinence as "a state that begins when all use of nicotine ceases."
The first meetings began in February 1982 in Southern California by several Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) members to focus specifically on smoking cessation. These AA members began meeting under the name Smokers Anonymous in Los Angeles, shortly thereafter another group independently started in San Francisco. In 1986 the group members met for their first conference in Bakersfield, California to form a fellowship, originally known as Smokers Anonymous, later changing the name to Nicotine Anonymous as the Smokers Anonymous trademark was not available. In 2000, "NicA" was selected to abbreviate Nicotine Anonymous at the annual World Service Conference.