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FDA approves longer use of nicotine gum

RICHMOND, Va. -- 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.

Current labels suggest consumers stop smoking or using other products containing nicotine when they begin using the products to help them quit and that they should stop using nicotine replacement products after 12 weeks at most.

The federal agency said yesterday that the makers of gum and other nicotine replacement products can change the labels that say not to smoke when using the products. The FDA also said the companies can let consumers know that they can use the products for longer periods as part of a plan to quit smoking, as long as they are talking to their doctor. -- AP

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