AN INHALER'S PAEAN TO THE PATCH
Because of my own experience with the Habitrol transdermal nicotine patch, I read Joan Warner's story with great interest and a modicum of dismay ("Confessions of a nicotine-patch wearer," Personal Business, Nov. 9).
Poor Joan. She didn't make it. And she had smoked only for 23 years. But then, I avoid rock concerts.
To be fair to the patch, I think your readers deserve at least one success story. I am 61 years old. I began smoking when I was 19, way back in 1950. That's 42 years. I had my last cigarette (a Benson & Hedges Lights 100) on Sunday, Feb. 2, of this year. I began with the 14-milligram patch, stuck it on my upper body for 30 days, then weaned myself with the 7-milligram device for about six weeks. My last patch was on Thursday, May 7, 1992, on an Aer Lingus 747 bound for Ireland. I haven't smoked or worn a patch since. And I needed no support group or soothing audio tapes to get through it.
So it was nine months ago today that I last smoked. I consider it a minor miracle that I haven't had the urge even once to resume the habit. It doesn't even bother me when others around me smoke.
But I'll tell you what does bother me. I haven't felt good since I quit. For one thing, I've gained 22 pounds. Now if they only would invent a Ben & Jerry's Rocky Road transdermal patch!
James C. Duffy