BMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6966.1452 (Published 26 November 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1452

Smokers sometimes complain that doctors seem uninterested in offering any treatment other than urging them to give up. The lung health study (JAMA 1994;272:1497-505) is an exception: it looked at both smoking intervention and long term treatment with the bronchodilator ipratropium bromide. The decline in lung function related to age was slowed in those participants who managed to stop smoking, but the bronchodilator did not have any lasting effect.

Smallpox is extinct; no one is vaccinated against it nowadays. But cowpox remains a rare and often unpleasant illness. A review in the “British Journal of Dermatology” (1994;131:598-607) of 54 cases seen by one investigator since 1969 in five European countries is a reminder that most human infections are caught not from cows but from cats.

The generation of gay men who have grown up since the start of the AIDS epidemic seems prepared to take risks that older men would find unacceptable. A survey in Australia (AIDS Care 1994;6:371-7) found that half of those questioned in gay pubs and nightclubs had had unprotected anal intercourse in the previous three months, and 22% of those questioned in other …

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