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July 12, 1965


JAMA. 1965;193(2):151. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090020065017

To investigate further the association of smoking habits and cancer of the esophagus as previously indicated by epidemiological studies,1 Auerbach et al observed the relationship between smoking habits and histologic changes in the esophagus of persons who died of causes other than esophageal cancer. The investigation, reported in the July Archives of Environmental Health,2 demonstrates that as in the bronchi, the development of epithelial cells with atypical nuclei begins in the basal layer. Few such cells are observed in sections from nonsmokers, but are found with increasing frequency in former cigarette smokers and cigarette smokers. In bronchial epithelium, disintegrating cells are observed only in former cigarette smokers, whereas in 94 esophageal sections they were found in 79 former cigarette smokers, 6 former cigarette smokers who had changed to pipes or cigars, one former pipe smoker, and seven current cigarette smokers. One or more atypical cells were found in

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