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Nicotine Patches Need Change in Status

April 04, 1993

Shari Roan's "Pall on the Patch" (Feb. 23), while generally informative, does not explore the reality of addiction for some. I speak from personal experience.

The issue is not whether nicotine gums or patches work. Of course they do. However, as it is now, a doctor may prescribe only a limited number of refills. Once the prescription runs out, the cycle of smoking starts all over again.

Fo the deeply addicted, a humane and practical approach would be to change these products to over-the-counter status. Failing that, at least permit physicians to issue open-ended prescriptions.

In this way, those of us who cannot seem to sever our bondage would be empowered to halt further damage to our cardiopulmonary health.

CARYL McCOLLY

Los Angeles

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