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September 16, 1988

Heavy Smokers, Smoking Cessation, and Clonidine

Author Affiliations

University of Arizona Health Sciences Center Tucson

University of Arizona Health Sciences Center Tucson

JAMA. 1988;260(11):1552-1553. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410110060016

To the Editor.—  The article by Glassman and colleagues1 entitled "Heavy Smokers, Smoking Cessation, and Clonidine" was timely indeed, as the Surgeon General had, in the same week, declared cigarette smoking to be an addiction to nicotine.At the University of Arizona, we have used clonidine since the inception of our University Smoking Cessation Clinic, and it appears to be quite efficacious in the first few weeks of nicotine withdrawal. Instead of oral clonidine, however, we have used the new clonidine transdermal patch. The 0.1-mg patch can be left on the skin for a week at a time. We taper patients off cigarettes over a three-day period and maintain the clonidine therapy for two to three weeks.'The simplicity of the transdermal delivery system will certainly diminish problems of compliance and its presence may also provide some small degree of motivation for the patient in a smoking cessation program.