ALBERT L. FREEDMAN, M.D.
The hazard of carbon monoxide (CO) inhalation has been recognized for many years, and controls have been applied to industrial and public levels. Levels of CO in city traffic and on freeways are high (20 to more than 200 ppm), and exposed nonsmokers develop carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) levels ranging from 1% up to 3.5% or 4%. Cigarette smoke contains CO at levels of about 500 ppm (1), and roughly 54% of the CO is absorbed in inhalers, producing COHb levels of 4% to 8% with a maximum of about 15% (2). Cigar and pipe smokers have "much lower levels of COHb"
FREEDMAN AL. Hypercarboxyhemoglobinemia from Inhalation of Cigar Smoke. Ann Intern Med. 1975;82:537. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-82-4-537_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1975;82(4):537.
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