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September 30, 1974

The Chicle Crisis

Author Affiliations

Normal, III

JAMA. 1974;229(14):1865. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230520013011

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To the Editor.—  We would like to commend Dr. G. G. Liddle for his courage in reporting a case of chewing gum withdrawal in "The Unlockjaw Syndrome" (229:268, 1974). This problem has long been taboo in our society. Only now, through the efforts of medical pioneers like Dr. Liddle, can physicians break down their own resistance to working with these pitiful cases.As important as this work is, we would urge doctors now to push beyond the level of direct care to future programs of primary prevention of the "unlockjaw syndrome." We would want to begin with a massive public educational program using all available forms of media. Teams of paraprofessionals would be hastily trained and sent out as advocates and outreach workers to the grade schools to show children displays of gum wrappers and pictures of stickylipped derelicts lying forgotten in gutters.With the help of federal funding, comprehensive