Medicine: Advice to Smokers

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Joseph Chamberlain Furnas, author of a popularly gruesome tract on reckless driving ("—And Sudden Death"), has collected tips for the benefit of heavy smokers who wish to reform. In step with a recent upsurge of articles on smoking, in the current issue of Scribner's, Mr. Furnas offers several anti-smoking aids for what they are worth. Samples: 1) wash out the mouth with a weak solution of silver nitrate which "makes a smoke taste as if it had been cured in sour milk"; 2) chew candied ginger, gentian, or camomile; 3) to occupy the hands smoke a prop cigaret.

For many a smoker, however, this facetious advice may be unnecessary, since many a doctor has come to the conclusion that, no matter what else it may do to you, smoking does not injure the heart of a healthy person. According to the New York State Journal of Medicine, laboratory rats injected with nicotine showed fewer heart lesions over a period of six months than did rats injected with plain saltwater.

"Nicotine in itself." said the Journal,"does not produce organic cardiovascular disease." However, because it constricts blood vessels, it may aggravate a previously existing circulatory disease. So saying, the Journal tersely announced it had nothing further to add on smoker's heart.