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Ann Intern Med. 1956;45(6):1235-1241. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-45-6-1235
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For convenience in discussion we may distinguish between the immediate direct irritative action of tobacco smoke on the mucous membranes and its possible late carcinogenic effects. Because of the disturbing and ominous connotations of the word cancer, attention has been concentrated largely on this phase of the problem. There is increasing evidence, however, that the nonspecific irritative action may be even more important, particularly as a cause of obstructive emphysema.

Familiarity tends to breed indifference if not contempt, and the "cigarette cough" resounding loudly among us and omnipresent in heavy smokers (of a pack and more a day) has been


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