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.
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.
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,
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.
While not everyone will experience side effects, some people report:
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.
- lowering “good” (HDL) cholesterol
- an increased risk of metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes
- insulin resistance
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
- 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.
Despite this, a more recent
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
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.