I agree the psychological aspect is worse although the first week is physically a real animal.
My point is that gum serves as a crutch and it's a weak attempt at quitting for most, a procrastination with a feel good factor. You have to have your mind "in the game" and not halfway on the bench.
I'm sure gum has helped some people but until you wrap your mind around the fact your body is lying about needing nicotine and just starving it until it quits begging you will always have half your ass on the bench so to speak.
I suggest cold turkey because it worked for me. One day I went for a run and hacked a fucking lung and decided I would quit.
It was hard as shit the first month, phsyically and psychologically but I knew it would be and had prepared myself for the hurdles. I suggested discipline because in the end that's what it took, not gum.
Would it have been easy to fix a craving with gradually lower doses of nicotine gum? Probably. Would I have most likely been tempted to chew extra gum to finish my buzz tease and eventually say fuck it and light up like most do? Probably.
Instead I took the headaches, the desire and that weirdness we all know so well and let it pass. Quicker, more effective and no temptation to spike my gum buzz with a real smoke, only decisive denial until cravings just stopped.
Once the cravings were gone, that was it. Done. The habits were fully broken and no new ones took their place. There were no links back to my smoking habit, no triggers.
I tripped up once six months later and smoked half a cigarette while drunk. Couldn't even finish it and haven't had once since, 6 years later.
When reprogramming your mind, a substitute is only a temporary fix. A whole new pattern needs to be implemented and it is hard to break addiction, change negative thought patterns or bring about new paradigms in general but you can't do it halfway, it just doesn't work.
Anyways, cold turkey worked for me but then I'm always all in for better or worse. Just part of being involved in the awesome gene alumni group I suppose. Unless you make a bad decision of course and then you're up shit creek. Way up it.