In Mexico, youths are reported to be using chewing-gum as a tool to help them rob cars. They work in teams at successive sets of traffic lights in the town of Nezahualcoyotl. At the first set, one youth peruses the contents of the car and sticks gum on its window if he thinks it worth robbing. His companion then does the job further down the road.

In Dublin, Richard Tyler has invented the GumBuster to rid city streets of the menace of chewing-gum. "It disintegrates the fabric of the gum, rather than blasting or chipping away at it," he explained.

In Bradford, Elizabeth Aveling, a university researcher, has concluded from tooth marks in prehistoric tar that children have been chewing gum in northern Europe since about 7000BC.