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Nicotine patches

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 27 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1409
  1. Neal L Benowitz*
  1. Chief Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

    EDITOR,—May R Arnaot suggests that nicotine patches may not be safe.*RF1* I agree that nicotine could aggravate cardiovascular disease through the haemodynamic consequences of sympathetic neural stimulation or systemic release of catecholamines, or both.2 I believe, however, that the risk of treatment with nicotine patches is negligible compared with that of cigarette smoking.

    Cigarette smoking delivers many poentially toxic chemicals, including carbon monoxide. It produces a hypercoagulable state, which is thought to be a primary mechanism for acute …

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