Some research suggests using gum as nicotine replacement therapy can raise blood pressure. However, for some people, the benefits of replacing smoking with nicotine gum may outweigh the risks.

Chewing nicotine gum is one of many risk factors for hypertension. The nicotine replacement brand Nicorette and generic alternatives also highlight the possibility of risks in people with untreated high blood pressure.

However, quitting smoking and phasing out nicotine gum are modifiable risk factors that can help a person manage chronic high blood pressure.

This article examines how much blood pressure readings go up from nicotine gum, the long-term risks, and groups of people who should not chew nicotine gum.

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It is well-established that the nicotine in cigarettes increases blood pressure.

Smokeless forms of nicotine, such as gum, also appear to put added strain on blood vessels. This can cause high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.

However, according to a 2023 systematic review and meta-analysis, nicotine alone may not be responsible for the link between cigarette smoke and increased cardiovascular risk. Other toxins in cigarettes and the mode of administration itself may also be influencing factors.

For this reason, researchers suggest that nicotine gum may increase blood pressure less than cigarettes.

However, this may not be true for all cigarette alternatives. Nicotine gum statistically has about the same effect on blood pressure compared to nonmenthol and menthol e-cigarettes.

Despite its inherent risks, some experts consider nicotine gum a safer option than smoking. People with hypertension and contributing risk factors may be able to use nicotine gum in the short term, alongside counseling and behavioral therapy, to quit smoking.

A person should consult a doctor and agree on a hypertension management plan while using nicotine gum products, especially for people who have difficulty managing high blood pressure.

The benefits of swapping cigarettes or vapes for nicotine gum tend to outweigh the side effects of nicotine replacement therapy.

While not everyone will experience side effects, some people report:

  • nausea
  • headaches
  • sweating
  • overexcitability

Additionally, Nicorette and generic alternatives warn of oral and cardiac side effects. These include:

People taking prescribed antihypertensives should review possible interactions with a doctor before starting nicotine gum.

Nicotine replacement therapy is intended for temporary use only.

Studies continue to identify the benefits of nicotine gum over cigarettes, but when used long-term, the risks lean toward those of long-term cigarette smoking. These include:

However, as previously noted, the benefits of replacing smoking with gum may outweigh the risks.

A 2020 cohort study reviewed survey reports from 10,338 former and new smokers over 15 years and found a positive correlation between long-term cigarette smoking and higher blood pressure. However, the researchers highlight some limitations to the study, such as:

  • weight gain
  • sugar, caffeine, and alcohol intake
  • comorbidities, especially diabetes and heart disease
  • stress
  • inadequate diet and limited physical activity
  • individual inflammatory responses

Many resources are available for those who wish to stop smoking and better manage their blood pressure.

Find more ways to help quit smoking.

Pregnant individuals may want to avoid nicotine gum. However, research has shown inconsistent findings on the risks of nicotine replacement therapy in pregnancy.

A 2021 literature review of five studies found an increased risk of infantile colic and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children born to people who used nicotine replacement therapy during pregnancy.

Despite this, a more recent 2023 literature review notes the need for smoking cessation aids in pregnant populations. This contradicts the Food and Drug Administration’s take on the adverse effects of nicotine gum on the fetus and birthing parent.

The researchers argue for the need to assess the benefits and risks during pregnancy on an individual basis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also urges people with the following conditions and situations to consult a doctor before starting nicotine gum:

While nicotine gum does raise blood pressure, some experts find that the temporary benefits and potential for smoking cessation outweigh the risks and side effects.

People with hypertension and contributing risk factors may be able to use nicotine gum in the short-term, alongside counseling and behavioral therapy, to quit nicotine.

It is advisable for a person to work with a doctor on a hypertension management plan while using nicotine gum products. This is especially important for people with untreated high blood pressure or those who find their hypertension difficult to manage.