Nicorette is the brand name of a number of products for nicotine
replacement therapy (NRT) that contain nicotine. Developed in the late
Sweden by AB Leo (sv) in the form of a chewing gum,
Nicorette was the first nicotine replacement product on the market.
The product range encompasses chewing gum, lozenges,
patches of two kinds (transparent and non-transparent), oral
Nicorette QuickMist), inhalator, sublingual tablets
Nicorette Microtab) and nasal spray.
The products are manufactured by
McNeil Consumer Healthcare company, a
subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
GlaxoSmithKline is the licence
Nicorette gum in the
United States while Johnson &
Nicotine replacement products including gum and transdermal patches
are on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines.
The brand name "Nicorette" comes from "nicotine" and Swedish: rette,
1 Medical uses
4.2 Further product
5 Brand communication
5.1 Yacht race sponsorship
5.2 Car race sponsorship
7 External links
Nicorette products are indicated for the relief of withdrawal symptoms
associated with nicotine withdrawal and to aid in smoking
cessation. It is suggested that
Nicorette products should be used
in "conjunction with a behavioural support programme".
Prior to 2005 nicotine products in Britain were only licensed to
"assist smokers who were making an immediate and complete quit
attempt". Following advice from a working group set up by the
Committee on Safety of Medicines (since 2005 the Commission on Human
Medicines) the MHRA concluded that NRT products should be used also by
those who are unable to stop abruptly.
Nicorette products in the UK are indicated to:
relieve craving (the urge to smoke),
relieve withdrawal symptoms (irritability, impatience; difficulty in
improve the likelihood of a successful abrupt quit attempt,
reduce the amount smoked in those not immediately motivated to
The products are intended for adults and children over 12 years of age
as well as pregnant and lactating women (it has been concluded
that "the use of NRT in pregnancy does not give undue concern and any
harm caused by nicotine replacement must be compared with that caused
by continued smoking – which is extremely harmful to both the woman
and her child".)
Nicorette, like all other NRT products, are most beneficial for heavy
smokers (more than 15 cigarettes per day). There are not enough
studies to show that NRT helps those who smoke fewer than 10
cigarettes per day.
The typical contraindication (reason to not use) for Nicorette
products is hypersensitivity to nicotine.
Up until recently cardiovascular disease was considered to be a
contraindication to nicotine replacement therapy products. However, in
2003 the French Agency for the Safety of Health Products (AFSSAPS)
removed all cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease
contraindications. In 2005 the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products
Regulatory Agency followed suit. The rationale is that the benefit of
nicotine replacement therapy outweighs the risks of nicotine
medication, even in smokers with cardiovascular disease.
In 2013 the US FDA stated that the contraindication concerning usage
of NRT products while smoking is no longer valid.
The FDA approved labeling for
Nicorette products with a warning
concerning pregnancy and breastfeeding: "This medicine is believed to
be safer than smoking. However, the risks to your child from this
medicine are not fully known". The FDA suggests not using
Nicorette products if the patient continues to smoke, or use chewing
tobacco, snuff or other nicotine-containing products.
The FDA advises consulting a doctor before using the product if the
patient previously had:
heart disease, recent heart attack, or irregular heartbeat,
high blood pressure,
taken a prescription medicine for depression or asthma.
Specific contraindications listed by the FDA for various formats
include sodium-restricted diet, stomach ulcer of diabetes (for
gums and lozenges), or an allergy to adhesive tape or skin
problems (for patches).
The FDA suggests stopping use of
Nicorette products in cases of
irregular heartbeat or palpitations, symptoms of nicotine overdose
(nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, and rapid heartbeat) or
skin redness caused by the patch.
Nicorette chewing gum releases nicotine while chewing.
is absorbed across the oral mucosa into the systemic circulation.
Patients are advised to chew the gum slowly and intermittently to
avoid the risk of releasing too much nicotine. It is also suggested
not to eat or drink while chewing since foods and beverages can reduce
Nicorette chewing gum is available in two strengths: 2 mg/piece
and 4 mg/piece. Dosing would depend on the degree of nicotine
dependence: light smokers should use 2 mg gum, heavy smokers
(more than 25 cigarettes a day) should use 4 mg gum. Patients
should chew gum once they feel the craving. The average adult dosage
is 9 to 12 pieces per day. FDA limits maximum daily amount of
2 mg gums to 24 pieces.
It is suggested to use gum following a 12-week schedule, reducing the
amount of gums consumed by the end of the therapy.
The patches provide slow absorption of nicotine into blood within the
day and work for 16 hours. They are usually applied in the morning
and removed at bedtime.
The patch supports smoking cessation within 12 week programme:
25 mg patch (25 mg nicotine over 16 hours) for eight weeks
(Step 1), 15 mg patch for two weeks (Step 2), 10 mg patch
for the last two weeks (Step 3). Light smokers (less than 10
cigarettes per day) were recommended to start at Step 2 (15 mg)
for eight weeks and reduce the dose to 10 mg for the last four
Microtab supplies nicotine to the body by mouth. It is different from
the chewing gum because instead of chewing the patient should allow
the tablet to dissolve slowly under the tongue (the tablet dissolves
in about 20-30 minutes). The action is similar to 2 mg
Microtabs are used either for smoking cessation or smoking reduction.
For smoking cessation the standard dose is one tablet (2 mg) per
hour for patients who smoke less than 20 cigarettes per day. When the
craving is strong two tablets can be taken instead of one. Most
patients require between 8 and 24 tablets per day. British
Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency
Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency recommends not to
exceed 40 tablets per day limit. Treatment should be stopped when
daily consumption is around 1-2 tablets per day.
Nicorette spray at the pharmacy (France)
A spray of nicotine is available. Tentative evidence supports that
it is better than a placebo. MHRA suggests not to use more than 2
sprays at a time, up to 4 sprays per hour and no more than 64 sprays
per 24 hours period.
Nicorette brand started with a nicotine chewing gum developed in
Helsingborg (Sweden) by the company Leo AB, later part of Pharmacia
& Upjohn. It was the first product for nicotine replacement
therapy and gained its inventor, Ove Fernö, titles like "the
founding father of modern pharmacotherapy for smoking".
On December 12, 1967,:1216 Fernö, Vice President of Research
and Development at AB Leo,:1215 received a mail from his friend
Dr. Claes Lundgren at the Department of Aviation Medicine at the
Physiological Institute of Lund University, suggesting he develop an
orally consumed substitute for tobacco. He and his colleague Stefan
Lichtneckert noted how submariners and aviation crews switched from
cigarettes to chewing tobacco and snus when smoking was not possible.
They also suggested the product name "Nicorette".:145 Fernö began
experimenting with nicotine gum in 1969 and quit smoking himself after
one year of use.:1218
The first nicotine chewing gum was produced at AB Leo in 1971. The
innovation was in the use of ion-exchange resin (polacrilex) in order
to control the rate of release of nicotine during chewing. Fernö
explained, "Putting nicotine into chewing gum is not an invention.
Fixing the nicotine to an ion exchange resin and putting that in a
chewing gum to enable the chewer to control the rate of release—that
is an invention".:1220 The same year Håkan Westling, Professor of
Clinical Physiology at Lund University, started the first clinical
trials of the gum as an aid to smoking cessation at the university
hospital. His findings were presented at the Second World Conference
on Smoking and Health in London:146 and were published in 1973 in
the journal Psychopharmacologia together with an article by
Nicotine chewing gum was presented at the Third World Conference on
Smoking and Health in New York in 1975 by Fernö in partnership with
the British researcher Michael Russell from the Institute of
Psychiatry, who pioneered the measurement of blood nicotine levels.
Russell and his colleagues at the Addiction Research Unit at the
Institute of Psychiatry
Institute of Psychiatry became involved in further research into
nicotine gum through randomised controlled trials funded by the
British Medical Research Council and the UK Department of Health and
Nicorette was registered as a drug in Switzerland in 1978, in Canada
in 1979, and in the UK in 1980.:147 It was registered in
1981. Initially the Swedish Medical Products Agency declined to
Nicorette as a medicine because it considered smoking not an
addiction, but a lifestyle choice; and the Swedish National Board of
Health and Welfare regarded orally consumed nicotine products not as
medicine but as foodstuffs.
On January 13, 1984
Nicorette chewing gum was approved by the US Food
and Drug Administration after a 34-month review. It was brought to the
US market by
Marion Merrell Dow
Marion Merrell Dow under licence from AB Leo.
In 2016 it was the third biggest selling branded over-the-counter
medication sold in Great Britain, with sales of £66.0 million.
Nicorette Nasal spray
Nicorette Patch was introduced to the market in 1991 and the
nasal spray in 1994.
In 1996 the FDA approved the switch of
Nicorette gum and the NicoDerm
CQ transdermal nicotine patch to over-the-counter status in the
Nicorette inhaler was launched in 1996 and
(sublingual tablets) in 1999.
In 2002 the FDA changed the status of Commit lozenges to over the
counter in the US.
Nicorette launched Peppermint, the first coated nicotine
gum. A shell coating containing a sugar substitute (xylitol) and
flavouring masks the nicotine taste. In 2005 Nicorette
introduced Fresh Mint chewing gum.
In December 2008
Nicorette introduced a new semi-transparent nicotine
patch under the trade name "Invisipatch". As stated by the UK
Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, in addition to
this more discreet patch to encourage better customer compliance, new
Nicorette transdermal patches have been developed to: reduce patch
size; add a higher dosage strength of 25 mg of nicotine to the
previously available 5, 10 and 15 mg; and increase the proportion
of bioavailable nicotine).
Nicorette introduced "Icy White" chewing gum with teeth
Nicorette Mentolmint, a chewing gum with softer
At the end of November 2010
Nicorette introduced QuickMist 1 mg
mouthspray, which provides more rapid absorption of nicotine than
lozenges or gum.
In January 2011
Nicorette UK launched the ActiveStop mobile app for
iOS featuring target setting, a wish list, distractions, achievement
sharing, information and games.
Yacht race sponsorship
Nicorette has been sponsoring yacht racing since 1993 when it
partnered with Ludde Ingvall, a Finnish-born Swede who started a
non-smoking team in 1991.
The tobacco companies were ousted from land-based sports due to
legislation that stopped them from promoting themselves in other
sports… They all realized that yachting is in international waters,
under a totally different legal framework, and they all started to
sponsor yachts… I was absolutely furious when yachts (with names of
tobacco companies) started arriving on the scene… I thought it was
unfair that they were using my sport. It's a green sport, it's a
healthy sport ... it is not a sport to be hijacked.
— Ludde Ingvall, in an article
In 1995 the
Nicorette team was banned from the Cape to Rio Race,
sponsored by the tobacco company Rothmans. The captain of
“Nicorette” protested against the decision, saying that
“Rothmans is scared of the boat and the healthy lifestyle it seeks
to promote”. A spokesperson for the organizing committee of the
race later admitted that the yacht was barred because they considered
the product to be in competition with the sponsor's product. In
the same year the yacht won the Fastnet Race.
In 1997 the yacht broke the Transatlantic mono-hull record, covering
the route from
New York City
New York City to Lizard Point (Great Britain) in 11
days 13:22.58. Second and third generations of the yacht won the
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in 2000 and 2004.
Car race sponsorship
Nicorette DuPont race car
During the 90s
Nicorette (GlaxoSmithKline) has been sponsoring Dennis
Vitolo (ex-smoker) in Payton Coyne Racing and The Grand Prix of
Miami. In 2005 the brand entered
NASCAR race sponsorship with
Casey Mears. Since 2006
Nicorette is sponsoring Hendrick
Motorsports with Jeff Gordon's car. The brand also runs the
Nicorette's Quit Crew program to help racers quit smoking.
It has been reported that apparently the brand is supporting car races
NASCAR fans are heavy smokers.
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