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Carton of Nic-o-cin pastilles, London, England, 1934-1940

Nicocin Limited manufactured this small carton of pastilles. They protected smokers from the ill effects of nicotine. The company claimed the pastilles were made from a ‘beneficial plant that neutralises the nicotine and keeps smokers fit.’ One tablet was dissolved on the tongue at night, although heavy smokers were advised to take them throughout the day. Inside the metal tin is a leaflet that contains testimonials from happy customers. One individual claimed to feel no ill effects from their 50-60-a-day cigarette habit since discovering Nic-o-cin pastilles. He or she also suggested it protected against hangovers. ‘Cure all’ medications were common in the early 1900s. However, we now know the best ways to maintain health and fitness are regular exercise, a healthy balanced diet and no smoking.

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Glossary: smoking

A practice where a substance, most commonly tobacco is burned and the smoke inhaled. It is currently practiced by over one billion people worldwide (2008)

Glossary: pastille

A small medicated or flavoured tablet.

Glossary: tin - can

Can made of tin plated metal, usual iron or steel.