Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Cough response to citric acid aerosol in occasional smokers.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 293 doi: (Published 13 December 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;293:1528
  1. J C Pounsford,
  2. K B Saunders


    Twenty two normal women volunteers underwent a standard cough provocation test by inhaling solutions of citric acid of progressively increasing concentration. Eight were non-smokers, eight moderate smokers, and six occasional smokers. All the non-smokers and moderate smokers coughed. Moderate smokers tended to cough more than non-smokers, but not significantly so. None of the occasional smokers coughed at all (p less than 0.001). Possibly the ability to smoke occasionally with enjoyment is a marker for a diminished cough reflex.