Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/180

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undue acceleration of the laboring forces of the heart. Under the stimulus of tobacco the heart beats more quickly, as is evidenced by the rising pulse. We have not the mass of detailed evidence as to this fact which exists in relation to alcohol, but the experiments made by Dr. Edward Smith, and related to the British Association in 1864, are full of interest. "The experiments were made at 10 p. m., when the rate of pulsation naturally declines (as he had proved by hourly experiments published in his work on the 'Cyclical Changes of the Human System'), and at least four hours after any fluid or solid food had been taken. They were made in the sitting posture, after it had been maintained fifteen minutes, and with the most absolute quietude of body and mind; and thus all influences were eliminated but those due to the tobacco. The rate of the pulsation was taken every minute for a period beginning two or three minutes before the smoking began, and continuing during twenty minutes, or until the pipe was exhausted.

The following are the chief results obtained:

Experiment 1.

Pulsation before smoking was 74½ per minute.

Smoking 6 minutes—79, 77, 80, 78, 78, 77 per minute78.1 average.

Smoking 7 minutes—83, 87, 88, 94, 98, 102, 102 per minute93.4 average.

Smoking 8 minutes—105, 105, 104, 105, 105, 107, 107, 110 per minute106 average.

After smoking 11 minutes—112, 103, 107, 101, 101, 100, 100, 100, 100, 98, and 91.

There was thus a maximum increase of 37½ pulsations per minute.

Experiment 2.

(Smoking through camphor julep in a hookah.)

Pulsation before smoking, 79½ per minute.

Smoking 6 minutes—81, 81, 81, 83, 82, 82 per minute81.6 average.

Smoking 17 minutes—85, 89, 89, 93, 96, 90, 94, 94, 93, 92, 95, 95, 95 96, 94, 97, 9393.

The maximum increase was 17½ pulsations per minute.

Experiment 3.

(Smoking an empty pipe.)

Pulsation before smoking, 78 pulsations per minute.

Smoking 11 minutes—76, 78, 77, 76, 79, 79, 80, 80, 79, 78, and 79.

There was no increase in the rate of pulsations from the effort of smoking, or from its interference with the respiration.

Experiment 4.

(To ascertain if, after smoking 6 minutes, during which the effect is very small, and then ceasing smoking, any increase in the effect would follow.)