Viewpoint: This drug should be OTC

July 10, 2006

There has been extensive publicity about the possibility of an influenza pandemic, and this is a valid concern that requires high-priority attention. However, there is an existing pandemic that is apparently sufficiently acceptable that the attention to addressing it pales in comparison to the magnitude of the problem. This pandemic is, of course, smoking and the deaths of more than 440,000 Americans each year as a result of smoking-related illnesses.