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February 1940


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Michigan.

Arch Surg. 1940;40(2):277-285. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1940.04240010117008

Tobacco, regardless of its form or the manner in which it is used, produces peripheral vasospasm.

The earliest use of tobacco and toxicologically allied plants by man antedates written records. Its introduction to Europe was concomitant with Columbus' second voyage to America, and the ecclesiastic Fra Romano Pane is credited with the act. He was the first to describe the effects of smoking the plant. These, as he observed them, were a quieting influence, the production of pleasant dreams and the transport of the smoker to another world. He also recognized the variation in strength of different tobaccos.

Little was known concerning the principles responsible for the general effects of using tobacco until its chief alkaloid, nicotine, was isolated by Posselt and Reimann at Heidelberg, Germany, in 1828. This discovery may be considered the basis for most of the subsequent experimental work on tobacco, and the pharmacologic and toxicologic character

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