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Nat Rev Immunol. 2002 May;2(5):372-7.

Effects of cigarette smoke on the immune system.

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  • 1Immunology Program, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87108, USA.


Although the health risks of tobacco smoking are well documented, there is increasing evidence that smokers have a lower incidence of some inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. Many of the adverse and beneficial effects of smoking might result from the ability of cigarette smoke to suppress the immune system. Nicotine, which is one of the main constituents of cigarette smoke, suppresses the immune system but might have therapeutic potential as a neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory agent.

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