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July 12, 1919


JAMA. 1919;73(2):108-109. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610280036012

Nicotin, which exhibits a toxicity of high degree, is volatile. Why the tobacco which contains it does not cause greater evidences of pronounced poisoning than are observed in the ordinary smoker has been a mystery. The traditional explanation has been that nicotin is destroyed in the process of smoking, and that the combustion products, real or conjectured, are far less toxic in their character than is the tobacco akaloid itself. There can no longer be any doubt, however, that the nicotin is by no means completely burned up in smoking, for there is valid evidence that more than one third of the volatile poison can be recovered in the smoke.1

Various schemes have been employed or recommended to eliminate the nicotin menace of tobacco without making it necessary to give up its use. Among these are the production of so-called nicotin-free cigars. They have never attained any recognition in

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