|Welcome to the book Disquisition on the Evils of Using Tobacco, and the Necessity of Immediate and Entire Reformation (1833), by Rev. Orin S. Fowler.
Tobacco pushers and their accessories conceal the breadth of tobacco effects, the enormity of the tobacco holocaust, and the long record of documentation.
The concealment process is called the "tobacco taboo." Other pertinent words are "censorship" and "disinformation."
Here is the text by Rev. Orin S. Fowler (1791-1852) of an early exposé (1833) of tobacco dangers. He delivered this in speech / sermon form, in May and October 1833.
He cites facts you don't normally ever see, due to the "tobacco taboo." The phrase "tobacco taboo" is the term for the pro-tobacco censorship policy—to not report most facts about tobacco.
As you will see, information about the tobacco danger was already being circulated in 1833, 104 years before the famous 1964 Surgeon General Report. Be prepared.
Necessity of Immediate and Entire Reformation
by Rev. Orin S. Fowler
(Providence: S. R. Weeden, 1833
later, 2d ed, W. Peirce, 1835;
and 3rd ed., G. Gregory, 1842)
IN this age of humane and benevolent action, when much is being done to drive away the darkness, and delusions, and errors of many [prior] generations; and to diffuse light and truth through the earth; it excites the liveliest joy in every philanthropic bosom to witness the triumphant results already achieved.
Recent labors and examples to banish the use of intoxicating drinks, have brought well nigh half the civilized world to a solemn pause; and the work of reformation in this matter of spirit-drinking has gone so far, and is yet making such sure progress, that many a one is rejoicing in the lively hope that the day is nigh, even at the doors, when drunkenness, with all her burning legion of evils, will cease from the earth; and the Gospel of the grace of God have free course and be glorified; and the whole family of man become sober, temperate, holy and happy. The God of our salvation, hasten that day apace; that our eyes may see it, and rejoice and be glad in it before we go to the grave.
But ere that day shall fully come, there is yet much land to be possessed. Many a battle must yet be fought,—many a victory must yet be won. Much light must yet be poured forth,—much darkness must yet be driven away. The world is not yet half reformed. The majority in the best nations of the earth—in this country even—are on the side of free indulgence in every thing that pleases the appetite, the eye, and the heart.
Intemperance in the use of intoxicating drinks,—and intemperance m the use of tobacco, in the several forms of smoking, snuffing, and chewing; together with several other evils, which I need not here specify, are even now predominant.
By intemperance in the use of tobacco, I mean all use of this drug except that which is medicinal, and under the direction of enlightened, judicious medical advice. With this exception, entire absti-
nence in the use of narcotic substances, constitutes the only safe and genuine temperance. And entire abstinence must become universal, before the world will be universally reformed.
This principle has been accepted extensively, in its application to intoxicating drinks, but before it shall be universally adopted in this application [Ed. Note: due to the already known tobacco-alcohol link], it must be applied, and applied universally, to the quid, and the pipe, and the snuffbox. Rum drinking will not cease, till tobacco chewing, and tobacco smoking, and snuff-taking, shall cease. Though all who are attached to the quid, the pipe, or the snuffbox, are not attached to the bottle; yet a vast multitude become attached to the bottle, and this attachment is continual and increased, through the poisonous, bewitching, and debasing influence of tobacco.
Moreover, the use of tobacco involves a train of evils, superadded to its influence in perpetuating drunkenness, which cries aloud for immediate and universal reformation. It is my present purpose to consider these evils.
And I wish to premise that, in this consideration, I shall urge; that it is the duty and privilege of every friend of humanity—of every lover of his country—of every Christian—and of every minister of Christ,
I am fully aware that the topic which I have selected, and the position which I lay down, and the purpose at which I aim, are not popular. But what then?
And has it ever been seemly for one of his true and faithful disciples to abandon the cause of human happiness, and the
soul's everlasting salvation, because the work of saving mercy is unpopular among the great majority?
The theme of our present consideration, is doubtless unpopular. But we must not, we will not, therefore abandon the purpose of exposing the evils of smoking, and chewing, and snuffing, that dirty weed, which is so hostile to animal life, and so offensive to every creature on earth, that no living being but man—and a loathsome worm, called the tobacco-worm—will taste, or touch, or handle it.
Though it be unpopular to expose the evils, and animadvert upon the practice of using tobacco; these evils are so appalling, it will not do to slumber over them longer. We must look at them; we must lay them open—we must raise our voice against them; (we would gladly raise it so high that it should reach every family in the nation.) Yes, we must 'cry aloud and spare not' [Isaiah 58:1], or give up our claim to patriotism and benevolence, and that charity which 'seeketh not her own' [I Cor. 13:5].
In approaching this subject, I am not unmindful of the pertinacity with which men adhere to old habits. Dr. [Benjamin] Rush speaks of a venerable clergyman who closed a long sermon, in which he had controverted what he supposed an heretical opinion, with rhese words:
There are few who will assent to this proposition in plain terms; but there are thousands upon thousands, who act up to the very letter of it, constantly.—The history of man is extensively a history of folly, delusion, and sin. No error has been so absurd as not to find advocates—no habit has been so foolish, or so shocking, as not to find martyrs.
But of all the delusions which have prevailed among civilized men, there have been few—perhaps none, but that of intoxication—so disgusting, so inexcusable, so destructive to health, and wealth, and life, as the habit which we now ask you to consider.
It will be borne in mind that my position is this: it is the bounden duty and pnvilege of every man and every woman to abstain, immediately, and entirely, and forever, from all use of tobacco, whether by chewing, smoking, or snuffing, except it be as a medicine.
I —From a consideration of the history of this loathsome weed.
The tobacco plant is a native of America. It was unknown in Europe until some time after the discovery of America, by Colum-
bus. It was first carried to Europe by Sir Francis Drake [1540-1596], about the year 1560, less than three hundred years ago The natives of this continent called it petun; the natives of the islands called it yoli. The Spaniards gave it the name of tobacco, from Tabaco, a province of Yucatan in Mexico, where they first found it, and first learned its use. Its botanic name is Nicotiana, which it received from John Nicot, then Ambassador from Francis II to Portugal, who brought it from Lisbon, and presented some of it to the Queen Catharine de Medicis [1519-1589], and to the Grand Prior of the house of Lorraine; whence it was sometimes called the Queen's herb, and the Grand Prior's herb.
The practice of smoking it in Engkind, was introduced by Sir Walter Raleigh [1552-1618], about the year 1584.
The cultivation of it is not uncommon in various parts of the globe; but the seat of its most extensive culture is Virginia and Maryland, in this country. In England, its cultivation was forbidden—and we believe is still forbidden—on penalty of forfeiting forty shillings for every rod of ground planted with it.
[British King] James I [1603-1625] wrote a treatise against the use of it, which he called his "Counterblast to Tobacco" (London: R. Barker, 1604). Pope Urban VIII [1623-1644] issued a Bull, to excommunicate all who used tobacco in the churches. The civil power [government] in Russia, Turkey, and Persia, was early arrayed against it. The King of Denmark [Frederick III], who wrote [by his physician, Prof. Simon Paulii, M.D., equivalent to Surgeon General] a treatise [Commentarius De Abusu Tabaci Americanorum Veteri, Et Herbæ Thee Asiaticorum in Europe Novo (1661)] against tobacco, observes that
And it is a notorious fact, that, in manufacturing tobacco, it is frequently sprinkled and moistened with stale urine.
The use of tobacco never was universal nor general in Europe; and within the last fifty or one hundred years, it has been banished from all the polite circles of that part of the world. John Adams, the former President of the United States, speaking of his own use of tobacco, and referring to his residence in Europe, says:
But though the cultivation of tobacco has been forbidden in many countries of Europe; and though the manufacture of it is frequently attended with circumstances so disgusting and offensive, that the
modesty of this paper will not permit me to detail them,—and though the use of it is abandoned by all the respectable and polished circles of Europe, yet in this nation, and among the lower orders abroad, tobacco has triumphed; and the only hope of expelling it from our land, lies in enlisting against it the power of enlightened public opinion—a mightier power than any Eastern despot wields.
Now from this brief sketch of the history of tobacoo, it appears that it was unknown to all the civiilized world, till within [the last] three hundred years; and that even now, all the polished and enlightened portions of community abroad—and we add, a very respectable portion at home—have no fellowship with the filthy weed.
And can any man justify himself in the daily use of a disgusting plant, against the practice, and opinion, and remonstrances, of so large a portion of the civilized world? Can he be discharging the obligations of his duty, and enjoying the full amount of his privilege, while he suffers himself to be a bond-slave to his quid, or his pipe, or his snuff-box?
Either an important article of the vegetable kingdom lay hid from the civilized world nearly six thousand years; or since its discovery, the lovers of tobacco have formed an entirely erroneous opinion of its properties.
In the sequel, I trust, it will appear, that, so far from possessing valuable properties, it is one of the most noxious weeds that grows; and that, as an article of medicine, it possesses scarcely a redeeming quality, and that, though it was not made in vain, if the world had remained ignorant of it six thousand years longer, no cause of regret would have been occasioned.
I maintain the position I have laid down.,
II —From a consideration of the ruinous effects of tobacco upon the health and constitution of men.
In considering this point, let us examine the properties of this weed,—the prominent diseases which the use of it induces,—and the experience of unprejudiced observers.
The properties of tobacco are decidedly poisonous, and exceedingly hostile to life. In proof of this assertion, I appeal to ample and unquestionable authority.
Professor [Edward] Hitchcock says,
Dr. Rees, in his Cyclopedia, says,
Dr. Hosack classes tobacco with opium, ether, mercury, and other articles of the matena medica. He calls tobacco a
Dr. Waterhouse says that [botanist Carl von] Linnæus [1707-1778], in his natural arrangement, has placed tobacco in the class Luridæ—which signifies pale, ghastly, livid, dismal, and fatal.
The oil of this plant, he adds, is one of the strongest vegetable poisons, insomuch that we know of no animal, that can resist its mortal effects. Moreover, says Dr. Waterhouse, after a long and honorable course of practice,
Professor Graham says,
The Editors of the Journal of Health  say,
Dr. Warren says,
Says another physician,
As a diuretic, Dr. Fowler, and others, have found it in some cases to be valuable. Its narcotic properties have sometimes assuaged the tooth-ache; but it always hastens the destruction of the teeth. But of all substances in pharmacy, there seems to be a general agreement among medical writers, that tobacco, though occasionally beneficial, is the most unmanageable, and used with the least confidence.
A multitude of cases, confirming these views, have actually ocured; two or three of which I will cite. A clergyman, who commenced the use of tobacco in youth, says,
At length, he abandoned the quid, and the pipe. His voice, appetite, and strength were soon restored; all aches subsided, and in a little time general health was enjoyed.
Another clergyman writes,
But it is unnecessary to cite further cases of reform and cure. They are occurring by thousands, ever year, all over the land. Let every lover of tobacco, who is afflicted with dyspepsia, and nervous maladies, reform, immediately and entirely; and let him adopt a simple and rational system of diet, regimen, and employment, and, m nine cases out of ten, he may hope to enjoy good health, and live long to bless the world.
The conclusion from all this evidence is established,
This loathsome weed, then, should not be used, even medicinally, except in extreme cases, and then in the hands of a skillful physician. For every man—and especially for every boy, who has hardly entered his teens—to take this poison into his own hands, and determine for himself how much he will use, is as preposterous, as if he were to take upon himself to deal out arsenic, corrosive sublimate, or calomel.
No man can devote himself to the pipe, the quid, or the snuff box, without certain injury to his health and constitution. He may not perceive the injury at once, on account of immediate exhiharation; but complicated chronic complaints will creep upon him apace, making life a burden, and issuing in premature dissolution. And just so certain as it is our duty to do no murder,—to use all lawful means to preserve our lives, and the lives of others; so certain is it our duty, and our privilege, to practice entire abstinence in the use of tobacco.
I maintain the position I have laid down,
III—From the consideration of the ruinous effects of tobacco upon the intellect.
Here, again, let Professor Hitchcock speak:—Says he,
The late Governor Sullivan, speaking of the use of tobacco, says,
The deterioration and actual loss of intellectual power, which tobacco has hitherto occasioned, and is still causing, in this Christian nation, are immense. How immense, it is impossible accurately to calculate. Many a man who might have been a giant, has not risen above mediocrity; and many a man who might have been respectable and useful, has sunk into obscurity, and buried his talents in the earth.
This is a consideration of deepest interest to every philanthropist, and patriot, and Christian in the land, and especially to all our youth W« live at a time, and under circumstances, which call for the exertion of all our intellectual strength, cultivated, and improved, and sanctified, to the highest measure of possibility. Error, ignorance, and sin, must be met and vanquished; and they must be met and vanquished with light and love.
The eye of angels is upon us,—the eye of God is upon us,—and shall we fetter, and palsy, and ruin, our intellectual capabilities, for the paltry pleasure of using one of the most poisonous, loathsome, and destructive weeds found in the whole vegetable kingdom?
Let us rather shake off this abominable practice, and rise, as individuals, and as a nation, in all our intellectual potency,—and let us go forth, from day to day, to the noble purposes of our destiny, untrammelled
by the quid, or the pipe, or the snuff-box; and before another generation shall lie down in the grave, our efforts and our example may cause the light of human science, and the light of civil and rehgious liberty, and the light of Bible truth, to blaze through all our valleys, and over all our hills, from Greenland to Cape Horn,—and with a lustre that shall illumine the world.
I maintain my position,
IV —From a consideration of the ruinous effects of tobacco upon public and private morals.
The ruinous effects of tobacco upon public and private morals, are seen in the idle, sauntering habits, which the use of it engenders,—in the benumbing, grovelling, stupid, sensations which it induces,—but especially in perpetuating and extending the practice of using intoxicating drinks.
Governor Sullivan has truly said,
And Dr. Agnew has truly said, that "the use of the pipe leads to the immoderate use of ardent spirits."
And a writer in the [newspaper entitled] Genius of Temperance, says that his practice of smoking and chewing the filthy weed,
Now the fact that some chew, and smoke, and snuff, without becoming sots, proves nothing against the general principle, that it is the natural tendency of using tobacco to promote intoxication. Probably one tenth, at least, of all the drunkards annually made in the nation, and throughout the world, are made drunkards through
the use of tobacco. If thirty thousand drunkards are made annually, in the United States, three thousand must be charged to the use of tobacco. If thirty thousand drunkards die annually, in the United States, three thousand of these deaths must be charged to the use of tobacco.
If twenty thousand criminals are sentenced to our penitentiaries in twenty years, through the influence of strong drink, two thousand must be charged to the use of tobacco. If fifty-six millions of gallons of ardent spirits, have been annually consumed in thte country, five and a half millions must be charged to the use of tobacco.
And of all the Sabbath-breaking, profanity, quarrelling, and crime of every description, caused by the use of intoxicating drink; a tithe must be charged to the use of tobacco.
And what friend of good morals,—what friend of man,—what friend of his country,—what friend of Christ and true religion,—and especially, what friend of the temperance cause—can look at these results, with the eye of candor and compassion for his fellow-men, and then deliberately resolve, that he will ever chew another quid, or smoke another whiff, or snuff another pinch, of the dirty weed?
I maintain my position,
V.—From a consideration of the amazing waste of property which the use of tobacco involves. On this point I have been unable to obtain the means for making out a perfectly accurate statistical result. I can only approximate a definite calculation. This approximation, however, will serve all the purposes of this argument.
From a statement lately furnished me, from the Treasury Department of our National Government, exhibiting the quantity and value of tobacco, cigars, and snuff, exported from and imported into the United States, annually, from 1st October, 1820, to 30th September, 1832, it appears that the value of cigars imported into the United States, in 1821, was $113,601. In 1827, it was $174,931. In 1832, it was $473,134; while from the same document it appears, that the value of cigars exported, in each of those years, was about one quarter of the value of imports
Hence it appears that, in 1832, about half a million of dollars was paid for imported cigars, while, in 1821, only $113,601 were paid; being more than a fourfold increase in eleven years. Whether there
has been a corresponding increase in the value of domestic cigars consumed, I have no means of determining. From the fact of so prodigious an increase of imported cigars, I am led to fear that the evil of cigar smoking has increased in this country, within ten years, far more rapidly than the increase of population.
From this Treasury document, it appears, also, that in 1824, the
In 1832, the
Whether the quantity consumed in this country equals the quantity exported, or exceeds that quantity, I have no data enabling me to give a definite answer. But from the fact that very large quantities of tobacco are raised in various other parts of the world, for foreign consumption; and from the fact that the people of this country are, above all other people under the sun, a chewing, smoking, snuffing people; I have very little doubt that the amount used in this country is double the amount exported. If so, the sum total paid annually, for this vile weed, in this Christian country, is $19,503,222.
But as I wish, in this examination, to put the estimate below rather than above the truth, I will set down the value of the tobacco, cigars, and snuff, consumed annually in this nation, as equal to the amount exported, that is, in round numbers, 10,000,000 of dollars.
That this is a very low estimate, will appear by another exclusive calculation.
According to the census of 1830, the population of the United States, over twenty years of age, is about six millions. Suppose one in four of our adult population, use tobacco in some form; (and this is a very moderate supposition,) it gives one million, five hundred thousand: and suppose one in twelve of those who have not
reached the age of twenty, use it; it gives five hundred thousand more: making a total of two millions—or one sixth of our population—who use tobacco in some form.
Now suppose the expense to the consumers of this noxious drug, varies according to the quantity, and mode of using it. The expense to some is two dollars a year, to some it is five, and to others ten, twenty, and even fifty dollars a year. A laboring man, of my acquaintance, who did not use tobacco extravagantly, and only by chewing, told me that it cost him five dollars a year. A young lady of my acquaintance, says her snuff-taking costs eight dollars a year. If a man pay three cents a day, for cigars, it amounts to ten dollars, ninety five cents a year. If he pay six cents, it amounts to twenty-one dollars, ninety cents a year. If he pay twelve and a half cents, it amounts to forty-four dollars, sixty-two cents a year.
It is the opinion of good judges, that very many, who smoke freely and use Spanish cigars, pay more than fifty dollars a year for this foolish gratification.
King James, in his "Counterblast," says, "Some of the gentry of this land, bestow three, some four hundred pounds a year, upon this precious stink."
It will certainly be a moderate calculation to put down one quarter of the consumers at two dollars a year,—one quarter at five,—one quarter at eight,—and one quarter at ten dollars a year. Then the several items will stand thus:—
Again; the amount of tobacco annually consumed in France, as appears from authentic documents, is about seven millions of pounds; which is about one pound to every four persons. The amount annually consumed in England, as appears from authentic documents, is about seventeen millions; which is about one pound to every man, woman and child, in that nation. In the United States, probably there are eight times as much used as in France, and three times as much as in England, in proportion to our population. If so, the quantity used in ihis country cannot fall short of thirty-five
millions of pounds; which, at thirty cents a pound, amounts to ten and a half millions of dollars; not including cigars and snuff, which cost half as much more; making the total sum fifteen and three fourths millions of dollars. And this enormous sum is doubtless below what the article actually costs the consumers.
From these three results, we believe there cannot be a doubt that the actual expense of tobacco, in its various forms, to the consumers in this country, may safely be set down at ten millions of dollars a year.
Some spend two, three, and four hours a day, in this vile indulgence. To all who use the article, in any way, it occasions the loss of more or less time. If we put down the average amount at half an hour a day; and reckon the time thus lost at four cents an hour, it will amount—not reckoning Sabbaths—to six dollars, twenty-six cents a year, for each individual, which, for the whole company of consumers, is an amount of $12,520,000.
The pauperism which tobacco occasions, is another fearful item. Multitudes who are scarcely able to procure the necessaries of life, will shift, by sacrificing health and comfort, to procure the daily quantum sufficit of tobacco. Many very poor families use tobacco, in all possible ways. Now suppose a poor family use twenty-five cents' worth of tobacco a week; it will amount to twelve dollars, fifty cents a year—and in fifty years, reckoning principle and interest, it will amount to three thousand five hundred and fifty-two dollars.
Just look at this tax for snuff and tobacco, in a single aspect more. Many think it will make no man the poorer, to pay six cents a day for this indulgence. It will make every man the poorer. Let any young mechanic, or farmer, or merchant, consume six and a quarter cents' worth of this drug a day—beginning at twenty years of age, and continuing until he is sixty years old—and the sum total, reckoning principal and interest, will amount, in these forty years, to three thousand five hundred and twenty-nine dollars, thirty-six cents.
If the cost of tobacco,—the neglect of business which it occasions—the expense of the pipes, and the boxes, and the various apparatus
which the use of it involves,—and the intoxication to which it leads,—all be reckoned up; the amount of pauperism, which this weed brings upon the nation, cannot be less than one quarter of the sum total of all our pauperism. And the sum total of the pauperism in this nation, has been shown, again and again, to be not. less than twelve millions of dollars, annually. Hence the pauper tax, occasioned by the use of tobacco, may be set down at, three millions of dollars, annnally.
To this sum should be added one-tenth of the waste of property, which strong drink occasions; inasmuch as one-tenth of the rum-drinking must be charged to tobacco. Now, it has been estimated that the whole cost of strong drink used annually, in this country, amounts to one hundred and twenty-five millions of dollars; a tenth of which is twelve and a half millions of dollars. If this tithe be added to the above estimate, it will make the sum total thirty-eight and a half millions. But as I intend my estimates shall be moderate, I will say nothing of the waste of property which tobacco occasions in connection with strong drink. I will put down the sum total as above, twenty-five millions of dollars.
Twenty five millions of dollars, consumed by the use of tobacco, in this Christian nation, annually; and not a little of it by professors of religion, and ministers of the gospel, who are required by their Lord and Master to deny themselves,—to take up their cross [Matthew 16:24],—to let their light shine before men, that they may see their good works and glorify our Father in heaven [Matthew 5:16].
Nearly the whole of this twenty-five millions of dollars is a dead loss to the nation; yes, it is infinitely worse than a dead loss; it not only does no good, but actually goes to make fools and beggars, idlers and sots,—to purchase dyspepsia, and consumption, early graves and everlasting shame.
And what would this vast amount of property accomplish, if saved and devoted to useful purposes.
Twenty-five millions of dollars, annually, if applied to the improvement of agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, and to the advancement of the arts, sciences, and true religion, would accom-
plish every thing for this nation, that the enlightened patriot and true Christian can ask for.
Twenty-five millions of dollars, annually, would soon furnish canals, and rail-roads, and all other desirable facilities for intercommunication throughout the nation. Twenty-five millions of dollars, annually, would sustain all our colleges, academies, and other schools, and all the religious and benevolent institutions of this whole country. It would rear seminaries of learning in every State where they are nesded; and it would plant a Sabbath school, with a sufficient library, in every school district.
Twenty-five millions of dollars, annually, if applied judiciously to the emancipation and improvement of the colored people, would free us fiom the curse of slavery in less than ten years.
Twenty-five millions of dollars, annually, would send forth to the nations now perishing in heathen darkness, twenty-thousand missionaries, and five millions of tracts, every year, provided the men could be found.
Twenty-five millions of dollars, annually, would in five years furnish all the money necessary to carry into complete execution, that noble purpose of the American Bible Society, of giving a copy of the Bible, within a specified period, to every accessible family on the earth.
And what friend of man is there among us,—what patriot is there,—what Christian is there,—who can look at these truths, and not make up his mind to abandon all use of tobacco, immediately, and entirely, and forever; and to exert the whole weight of his influence and example to persuade others to do the same?
I am aware, indeed, that it may be said, if the whole company of tobacco-chewers, smokers, and snuffers, should at once abandon all use of this weed, and thus withdraw their whole patronage; this twenty-five millions of dollars, which now gives wealth to many a man engaged in growing, and manufacturing, and vending the poison, would be so much capital unemployed; and the means of living would be cut off from many a family,—and bankruptcy, and wretchedness, would be the consequent portion of many an individual. This might be true. And it might be true, too, that the like consequences would follow the universal abandonment of intoxicating liquors.
But what then? Shall one sixth part of the nation continue to use this poison; because, forsooth, the producers and
venders of it will lose their profits, if it be abandoned?
Shall the intellect, and health, and comfort, and wealth, and lives, of hundreds and thousands of our fellow-citizens, be sacrificed, yearly; and widows and orphans be multiplied, by scores and fifties, in every section of this wide-spreading country; and one of the prominent auxiliaries of intemperance—and consequently of crime, and insanity, and eternal woe—be cherished, and twenty five millions of dollars be wasted, and worse than wasted; and all this, that the producers and venders may feed and fatten on the gains? This objection Iies equally against the temperance reform,—and every other reform, where cupidity and avarice are involved.
As to the producers, it is affirmed, on good authority, that hemp, and corn, and other useful articles, may be substituted without loss, and even with advantage. As to the venders, their capital may all be profitably employed upon valuable merchandise, without serious damage But if it were not so; where health, and life, and happiness, are involved, no good man can hesitate. The path of duty is plain. We are bound to walk in it, even though it run counter to the gains of those engaged in unlawful commerce.
Subsequent Cost Analyses
I maintain my position,
VI. From a consideration of the mortality which tobacco occasions.
Some of my readers may be startled at this consideration They may not have dreamed, even, that tobacco kills any body. So insidious are the effects of this poison, and so insensible have the whole community been to its abominations, that very few have regarded the use of tobacco as the cause of swelling our bills of mortality. But though appalling, it is nevertheless true, that tobacco carries vast multitudes to the grave, all over our country, every year. Says Dr. Salmon,
The late Rev. Dr. Samuel Cooper, of Boston, by constant, use of snuff, brought on a disorder of the head, which was thought to have ended his days. A very large quantity of hardened Scotch snuff, was found, by a post mortem examination, between the external nose and the brain. The late Governor Sullivan, speaking of Governor [John] Hancock [1737-1793], the early President of Con-
Again, says, Governor Sullivan,
Professor Silhman mentions two affecting cases of young men, in the Institution with which he is connected, who were carried to an early grave, by tobacco. One of them, he says, entered college with an athletic frame; but he acquired the habit of using tobacco, and would sit and smoke, by the hour together. His friends tried to persuade him to quit the practice, but he loved his lust, and would have it, live or die; the consequence was, he went down to the grave, a suicide.
One of the German periodicals says, the chief German physiologists compute, that of twenty deaths of men between eighteen and thirty-five, ten, that is, one half, originate in the waste of the constitution by smoking. They declare, also, with much truth, that tobacco burns out the blood, the teeth, the eyes, and the brain.
To this unequivocal [50% death ratio] testimony, which is confirmed by the observation of every intelligent person who has turned his attention to this matter, much more might be added, hut it is unnecessary.
How large a proportion of the twenty thousand deaths—reckoning one death to a hundred souls—which occur annually, among the two millions of tobacco-consumers in this country, are to be charged to the use of this deadly narcotic, I am unable definitely to determine.
If we suppose one quarter of these deaths to be caused by tobacco, it will give us the number of five thousand.
Is there a Christian, is there a patriot,—is there a friend of humanity,—is there an individual, that values his own probationary existence,—who can look at the sweeping mortality which tobacco brings upon the nation, and longer indulge his attachment to his quid, his pipe, or his snuff-box? Is there one who will pause and look at this matter, and not resolve that he will, forthwith, and entirely, and forever, abandon a practice which does so much to people the grave; and which, in return, has not a single compensating quality?
I maintain my position,
VII—From a consideration of the apologies of the 1overs of tobacco.
I call them apologies. They cannot be considered reasons. Almost every lover of the dirty weed, feels that he needs an apology, and his apology is at hand.
These are the usual apologies [excuses] of the devotees of [addicts to] tobacco. And what do they amount to? In truth, the common opinion that tobacco is good for the headache,—weak eyes,—cold and watery stomachs,—the preservation of the teeth,—and the like, is sheer delusion. Let every man and woman, who would live long, and usefully, and happily, awake from this delusion; and let no one, as he values health, and life, and salvation, taste, or touch, or handle, the filthy poison.
[VIII. Eternal Ruin]
I maintain my position,
VIII, AND LASTLY—From a consideration of the eternal ruin which tobacco occasions.
On this point, a word or two only, will suffice. That tobacco carries many a soul down to the pit of eternal woe, is manifest from its connection with drunkenness, and from its inducing disease and death. Every man who dies a drunkard, and every man who, knowingly and recklessly, brings upon himself disease and death, through the influence of tobacco, is a suicide. And drunkards and suicides cannot inherit the kingdom of God. How many will at last, ascribe their eternal ruin to alcohol and to-
bacco, cannot now be told. That it will be a great multitude (perhaps a great multitude which no man can number,) we have no reason to doubt
What then, I ask, ought to be done? What can be done? What must be done?
then something ought to be done, and it ought to be done immediately. And,
What can be done? What must be done? Only one thing need be done And that can be done, and it must be done. It is this—tobacco ought to be abandoned. And if moral influence enough can be enlisted, it can be abandoned, and will be abandoned.
Total abstinence is the only sure remedy. Total abstinence, immediately and forever, will deliver us from all the evils which this weed has brought down upon individuals and families, and the nation. And nothing else will do it.
And total abstinence can be adopted and practiced True, in some cases, it may cost an effort; but, in every instance, three weeks perseverance will overcome the habit. Three weeks' total abstinence will disenthrall every victim, and give him the prospect of freedom, and plenty, and health, and happiness.
And shall this effort be made? A mighty effort it must be, to liberate and save this whole nation—and especially our young men and maidens—from the curses of the quid, the pipe, and the snuff box.
I appeal to my fellow citizens. I appeal to the nation, and the whole nation. Shall the effort be made?
I appeal to patriots. Patriotism forbids the man who loves his country, to shrink from any personal sacrifice, if he can thereby arrest some great national evil. That the use of tobacco is a great national evil, appears from the considerations which have been laid before you. It has been shown that tobacco
I ask every patriot to look at this portentous evil. Every true patriot, who will
examine the length, and breadth, and depth, of this evil, cannot but feel that it claims his attention and his efforts. And he will inquire what efforts, what sacrifices, can deliver us from the curses of this narcotic?
The answer to this inquiry is an easy answer,—the effort is an easy effort,—the sacrifice is an easy sacrifice. Let every true patriot in our country abstain from the poison, immediately, entirely, and forever; and let him use the whole weight of his influence and example to persuade others—and especially the young men and maidens, of this republic—to practice entire abstinence; and the work will soon be done. We put the question to every true patriot: will you do it?
I appeal to Christians. Your religion requires you to abstain from the very appearance of evil. It requires you to deny yourselves, to take up your cross, and to follow Christ through evil, as well as through good report. Is there no appearance of evil, in the use of tobacco? Can the Christian deny himself, and follow Christ, with the quid or pipe in his mouth, or the contents of the snuff-box in his nose?
If Christ himself were here on earth, in this age of action—when six hundred millions of men, for whom he died, are perishing for lack of vision—think you he would waste a single cent of property, or a single moment of time, or a single ounce of health and mental energy, in the use of this almost absolutely useless narcotic? Would he handle, or touch, or taste, the poison? And will you, whose names are written in his book,—you, who have been bought with his blood, and sanctified through his grace, and made heirs of all the riches of his kingdom,—you, whom he requires to be examples in all things,—will you handle, or touch, or taste it?
Let every true Christian in our country, abstain from this poison, immediately, entirely, and forever; and let him use the whole weight of his influence and example, to persuade others to practice entire abstinence; and this work of reform will soon be done. We put the question to every true Christian: will you do it?
I appeal to the youth, of both sexes. You are the flower and the hope, not only of this nation, but of all nations struggling for freedom. The destinies of this republic are already being placed, under God. in your hands; and inasmuch as all the friends of freedom, every where, are looking up to our institutions for light and aid, the destinies of the world will soon rest with a mightier weight of responsibility upon your shoulders, than upon any other generation
that has come forth upon the stage of action, for twenty centuries.
The importance of sound and enlightened principles—of pure and elevated examples, and independent and decided action in you, is above and beyond all estimation. You are placed in the moral Thermopylae of the world. The evils arising from alcohol and tobacco, which you have it in your power to avert from your country, are more dreadful than the invasion of Xerxes with his millions. The cause of moral reform, in the use of the latter of these articles, which we urge upon you with deepest and sincerest solicitude, is far more urgent than that in which the Bruti and the Gracchi offered up their lives.
Some of you have not yet handled or tasted the fatal drug. Let all such stand firm henceforward, and never yield to the power of custom, temptation, and lust. Some of you, on the other hand, have permitted yourselves to become the victims of this drug. Let all such be urged by the voice of patriotism, religion, self-respect, reason, conscience, and duty, to abstain from this poison, immediately, and entirely, and forever. And then every young man, and every young woman, in the republic, shall be free from all the calamities attending the use of this narcotic; and love, and peace, and joy, will run through the land, and flow over the world. We put the question to every youth: will you do it?
I appeal to the friends of temperance. You have enlisted your energies to expel intoxicating drinks from common use throughout the world. Go on, and prosper. But, as you go, remember, that complete success will not crown your exertions unless you are consistent,—unless you abandon all use of tobacco, the companion and sister of alcohol.
As you go forth to the noble work you haye undertaken, you will be met at every corner, with the declaration of A. and B. and a large part of the alphabet, I am ready to abstain from alcohol, when you do from tobacco; and how effectually will this declaration shut your mouth, and destroy your influence. Be consistent. Carry your principles into all your evil habits, and a moral potency will be diffused through what you say and do, that nothing can resist. We put the question to every friend of temperance: will you do it?
I appeal to the medical profession. You are the guardians of the health of the republic. You are acquainted with the deadly properties of the drug in question. You can understand the neces-
sity and appreciate the importance of reform. You know that entire abstinence is urged by paramount considerations. In the work of reform from spirit-drinking, you have acted in a manner that reflects deserved honor upon your profession. In the work of reform now urged upon your notice, we calculate upon your decided, active, hearty co-operation. If you put your hand to this work, by precept and by example; if you abstain, immediately, and entirely, and forever, from all use of this plant, and inculcate abstinence, as you have opportunity; the work which now bespeaks your attention, will soon be done. We put the question to every medical man: will you do it?
Finally, I appeal to ministers of the Gospel. You are stationed on the watch-lowers of Zion, as guardians of the public morals. Against every abomination your great Master requires you to cry aloud and spare not; to lift up your voice like a trumpet; to show the people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins [Isaiah 58:1]. He requires you to be examples to the flock, in all things, that, while
you "may lead the way." I ask you to look at the influence of tobacco upon the health, and wealth, and morals, and lives, of this republic; and then to decide, as in the fear of God, whether the blood of souls may not be found on your garments, if you do not abstain yourselves from all common use of this drug, and warn every man around you to do likewise.
Suffer us to point you to Him who went about doing good, and pleased not himself, and set a pure and perfect example in every thing; and also to that early servant of his [Paul], who would abstain from things good and lawful, rather than prejudice the interests of Zion [I Cor. 10:23-24]. What reception would Jesus Christ and the Apostles have met, when they went about to enlighten and reform the world, if they had carried wifh them their snuff-boxes, and pipes, and cigars, and pig-tail tobacco? But a word to the wise is sufficient.
Let all who minister in holy things, abstain from this poison, immediately, and entirely, and forever; and let them use the whole weight of their influence, and example, to persuade others—and especially our youth—to practice entire abstinence; and this good work will soon be done. We put the question to every minister of Christ; will you do it?
|Rev. Fowler was also a Whig congressman, recorded as voting "No" on the 1850 "Fugitive Slave Bill."|
Other Books on Tobacco Effects
Intellectual, and Moral Effects
on The Human System,
by Dr. William A. Alcott (1836)
Cites Rev. Fowler, at pp 27 and 56-57
by Rev. Benjamin Lane (1859)
by Dr. John Lizars (1859)