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NICOTINE ANONYMOUS `LIT UP' LIFE OF NOW-FORMER SMOKER

Dear Abby: I never thought I'd be writing a letter to Dear Abby; however, about four years ago, a miracle occurred in my life.

For 18 years I was a smoker. I smoked two packs a day. I smoked through the lung cancer deaths of my father, my uncle and some of my friends. I smoked through respiratory illness - just about anytime, anywhere and anyplace - with the hopeless feeling that one day I, too, would end up as a statistic.Four years ago, I walked into my first Nicotine Anonymous meeting, and I have been smoke-free ever since. Abby, please let your readers know about this wonderful organization. It saved my life.

- Smoke-Free in Kearny, N.J.

Dear Smoke-Free: Congratulations on your recovery. Your letter was a genuine upper.

Those who don't already know about Nicotine Anonymous, a 12-step program based on the principles of AA, and who wish to locate a support group in their area, can write to: Nicotine Anonymous World Service, Dept. A, P.O. Box 591777, San Francisco, CA 94159-1777. Please include a business-sized, self-addressed, stamped envelope, and allow six to eight weeks for delivery.

Dear Abby: Your answer to the woman who refused to watch a porn movie with her husband in a motel was a bit flip. Speaking as a mere man, it occurs to me that the woman might have some problems.

Most so-called "porn" movies that you can rent in motels usually involve nothing more than sex between a man and a woman. Is sex between a man and a woman always porn? Since the wife considered it such, I suspect she's a little inhibited. (I noticed that she couldn't bring herself to say that her husband wanted sex. She had to use the euphemism "get affectionate.")

Maybe she's one of those women whose mother told her that sex is dirty. And maybe, out of desperation, her husband thought a sex movie might stimulate her. Instead, she was turned off by the "dirty" movie.

Since she considered the porn movie degrading to women, is it possible she considers sex between a man and his wife degrading to the wife? If so, she's got a problem.

Was he pouting, as you suggested? Or was he withholding conversation, which his wife enjoyed, as she was withholding sex - which he needed and enjoyed? And how come he's wrong to withhold what she wanted, but it's OK for her to withhold what he wanted?

I think your answer skipped quite a few possibilities.

- A Mere Male in Milwaukee

Dear Male: You raise some interesting questions. I have always said that what goes on between adults in private, providing it is mutually agreeable, is all right. And some couples find that adult entertainment enhances their marriage. But not everyone is turned on by the same thing.

Many women are threatened by porn films, believing they do not measure up to the good-looking bodies on the screen. It makes them more inhibited, not less.

Communication is essential for a successful marriage. How can there be closeness if husbands and wives cannot honestly discuss their feelings and their needs? Ideally, couples should be friends as well as lovers. However, if they cannot find a mutually agreeable solution to their problems, perhaps the impasse can be resolved through marriage counseling or some sessions with a sex therapist.

Dear Abby: I read and enjoy your column every day. The letter from the man in Korea, criticizing the great-grandmother of the illegitimate child, really hit home.

After having four children from her first marriage, my mother had three illegitimate children. That was 47 years ago, when it wasn't as common as it is today. She raised us without child support or welfare payments.

We had friends whose parents didn't consider us as good as their children because we were born out of wedlock.

So I really appreciated your answer, saying that "there are no illegitimate children - all children are legitimate in God's eyes."

Thanks a million.

- A Legitimate Child,

Fleetwood, Pa.

Abby shares more of her favorite, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, More Favorite Recipes, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)