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Smoking Linked To Emphysema In Lab Rats

By James L. Tyson jr.

Researchers at the Medical School have moved closer to establishing a cause-effect correlation between cigarette smoking and emphysema by inducing through tobacco smoke an alteration in the lungs of experimental animals. The alteration meets the definition of emphysema in man.

Experiments produced a "21 per cent reduction or destruction" of the lung walls of laboratory rats exposed to tobacco smoke, Dr. Gary L. Huber, leader of the research team, said yesterday.


Emphysema results in slow smothering since it destroys the inner walls of lungs and hampers the exchange of carbon dioxide for oxygen in the blood.

The work of the Harvard laboratory shows for the first time the relationship of cigarette smoke to emphysema in conditions similar to human cigarette smoking.

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