FDA: Nicotine Replacement Products Can Be Used Longer

It's safe to use over the counter nicotine gums, patches and lozenges longer than previously recommended.

On Monday the Food and Drug Administration said the over-the-counter products can be used longer than the recommended 12 weeks with a doctors approval.

Nicotine replacement products are popular with smokers trying to kick the habit but many people relapsed when they were forced to stop using the products after just three months.

The FDA says it hopes the change will "allow more people to use these products effectively for smoking cessation and that tobacco dependence will decline."

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 45 million Americans smoke cigarettes and about half try to quit every year.