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July 11, 1980

Snuffing out the cigarette habit: how about another source of nicotine?

JAMA. 1980;244(2):112-114. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310020004002

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Nicotine is well known for its addictive properties. The exhilarating or calmative C10H14N2 "high" that many cigarette users crave may help to explain why some of them will do anything to get out of a respiratory intensive care unit so as to resume puffing. People who have no comprehension of such suicidal behavior probably have never been smokers. But more and more investigators are recognizing the grip of the habit and are helping incorrigible tobacco junkies to maintain their blood nicotine levels while salvaging their lungs. The use of nicotinecontaining chewing gum, for instance, has a respectable history. Now a report in The Lancet (1:474-475, 1980) suggests that taking snuff (pulverized chewing tobacco) through the nose may provide a reasonable alternative to smoking.

The authors, M. A. H. Russell, M. J. Jarvis, and C. Feyerabend of the Addiction Research Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, and the