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March 5, 1892


JAMA. 1892;XVIII(10):305. doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02411140027008

So much has been written of the evil effects of opium smoking, that the paper of Surgeon-General Sir Wm. Moore1 comes somewhat in the nature of a surprise.

Opium smoking is not to be compared with opium eating. The opium is first prepared in such a manner as to deprive it of much of the narcotine. This prepared opium or "chaudul" is put into the pipe and brought into the flame of a small lamp, and the effect of the combustion is to destroy much of the active principle of the drug. Some of the morphia is sublimed and is deposited in the stem of the pipe. Sir George Birdwood concludes that nothing passes from deflagrating chaudul pill into the lungs but the volatile resinous constituents of the opium. Brereton says opium smoking is not only innocuous, but positively beneficial to the system. It is a complete preservative against drunkenness.