News Summary: FDA OKs longer use of nicotine gum

News Summary: FDA allows nicotine gum, patch makers to say smokers can safely use them longer

Associated Press

CHEW 'EM IF YOU GOT 'EM: The Food and Drug Administration says smokers who are trying to quit can safely use over-the counter nicotine gum, patches and lozenges for longer than previously recommended in a move to help millions of Americans kick the habit.

CHANGING LABELS: The federal agency said Monday that the makers of gum and other nicotine replacement products can change their labels to let consumers know that they can use the products for longer than the previously recommended 12 weeks as part of a plan to quit smoking, as long as they are talking to their doctor. The labels also may be changed to remove the suggestion that consumers stop smoking or using other products containing nicotine when they begin using the products to help them quit.

SMOKING RATES: More than 45 million Americans smoke cigarettes and about half try to quit every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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