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March 3, 1923


JAMA. 1923;80(9):629-630. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640360037013

One of the substances abundantly present in tobacco smoke is carbon monoxid, well known as the lethal agent of illuminating gas and of the exhaust gas of motors, which has had so many victims in recent years. Carbon monoxid is not directly poisonous, but displaces oxygen from hemoglobin, for the red cells have 225 times as great an affinity for this gas as for oxygen. Baumberger6 has found that tobacco smoke may have from 7.2 to 25 parts of carbon monoxid in 10,000 parts of air, a concentration which Henderson found capable of causing serious symptoms if inhaled for more than an hour. But persons never take in undiluted smoke-the heartiest cigaret fiends and the most resolute pipe smokers always take many breaths of fresh air between puffs. It is estimated that if a person should smoke continuously for one hour, inhaling the smoke five times a minute, there

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