Here is an article on Ove Fernö (a PDF link) - a Swiss inventor of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). From treatobacco.net:
"Ove Fernö (1916-2007), the inventor of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), died at the age of 91 years in October 2007 in Helsingborg, Sweden. He was born in Gothenburg in 1916 and was trained as an organic chemist at the University of Lund, Sweden. During the late 1960s and 70s he was responsible for the development of the first NRT product – a chewing gum."
There is a lot of insightful information in the linked PDF. Among others a brief discussion of a plan to "investigate the absorption of nicotine through the nasal mucosa in 1979..."
There is a trove of articles by Fernö here including research on a Nasal Nicotine Solution (text available) and a discussion of a nasal nicotine spray (no text available). This seems to mostly date from the late 1980's and early 1990's.
This all links back to the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco where there are a lot of public abstracts on research related to electronic cigarettes, general tobacco addiction, discussions of racial profiles for addiction, etc. (look in the "Abstract Book" links).
Lots of links to associated grants as well...