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We very much appreciate the interest of Drs Cates and Hutchinson1 in our study and absolutely agree that analysing the role of cadmium sulfate in our system is of high interest.
In addition to cadmium, we think that we also have to consider nicotine and the activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor by several different smoke constituents as inducers of heat shock proteins. Since this is beyond the scope of this paper and requires extensive new studies, we couldn't do any experiments in this direction yet, but certainly planned further experiments to elucidate which of the many components of cigarette smoke are responsible.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.