UC San Diego
Nasal reflexes: Reduced sensitivity to CO2 irritation in cigarette smokers
- Author(s): Dunn, Jan D
- Cometto-Muniz, J. Enrique
- Cain, William S
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1002/jat.2550020312
Carbon dioxide inhaled through the nose in concentrations above 10% evokes nasal irritation. As concentration is increased, a non-systemic, reflexive interruption of inhalation eventually occurs in most persons. This study revealed that smokers have a considerably higher threshold for the reflex. The elevation of threshold occurred to a comparable degree in both male and female smokers, although females generally had a lower threshold than males. It therefore appears that smokers have less sensitivity to nasal irritants. This marks the first instance of a substantial chemosensory difference between smokers and nonsmokers.