CNS Drugs

, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp 456–468 | Cite as

Abuse Potential of Nicotine Replacement Therapies

  • Harriet de Wit
  • James Zacny
Adverse Effects Abuse Potential of Nicotine Replacement Therapies



The abuse liability of nicotine replacement therapies is an important clinical consideration in the pharmacological treatment of nicotine dependence associated with cigarette smoking.

Abuse liability is defined as: (i) the likelihood oftaking a substance repeatedly, taking into account both factors that are likely to increase use (e.g. faster onset of pharmacodynamic effect) and factors that are likely to decrease use (e.g. adverse effects); and (ii) the likelihood of adverse consequences (both long and short term).

It can be concluded that most of the nicotine replacement therapies have lower abuse liability than tobacco cigarettes. Among the alternative therapies available, it would appear that those with a slower onset (e.g. chewing gum and transdermal systems) are less likely to be abused than those with a faster onset.

Experience with existing nicotine replacement therapies may be useful for future research into the development of new therapies.


Nicotine Adis International Limited Smoking Cessation Nicotine Replacement Therapy Subjective Effect 
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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harriet de Wit
    • 1
  • James Zacny
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Psychiatry and Anesthesia and Critical CareThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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