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January 5, 1889


JAMA. 1889;XII(1):29-31. doi:10.1001/jama.1889.02400780031009

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Disinfecting Power of Tobacco Smoke—Sir Morell Mackenzie—Increase of Cancerous Disease— Injurious Methods of Teaching—Cambridge Medical School—Hepatic Surgery—Saccharin—Dr. Gamaleia—Trial of a Medical Man for false Insurance Certificate.

Mr. V. Tarsinari has been making some experiments with regard to the alleged or rather the " superstition " of the disinfectant powers of tobacco smoke. Smoke from a cigar or cigarette was drawn over a piece of linen, which had been dipped into fluid containing microbes. When the cigar was finished the linen was at once placed in a tube containing a liquid in which such germs could breed and multiply. The experiment was repeated with a number of different microörganisms, including those of cholera, anthrax and pneumonia, and of course check experiments were also made in which smoking was omitted. In every case the effect of the smoke was greatly to delay the growth of the organisms, and in a

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