Doctors Warned of Smoking Dangers 400 Years Ago
October 17, 2009
A doctor's letter written more than 400 years ago has revealed medics were even then concerned about the dangers of young people smoking.
The letter, by Dr. Eleazar Duncon, concluded that tobacco "is so hurtful and dangerous to youth ... that it was as well known by the name of Youths-bane as by the name of tobacco.”
The letter was unearthed by library staff at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) as they prepared for an exhibition. Professor Sir Neil Douglas, the president of the RCPE, said that the letter "provides a fascinating insight into historical medical concerns about the addictive nature of smoking and young people, and shows that this issue has been of concern for over four centuries."