|Welcome to the book with three essays,
(Boston: Roberts Bros.,1883)
To go to the "Table of Contents" immediately, click here.
This is one in a series of websites reprinting for mass accessibility, the centuries of data on tobacco effects.
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 Ariel A. Livermore (1811-1892), Rev. Russell L. Carpenter, LL.D. (1816-1892), and G. F. Witter, M.D., of early exposés (1881-1882) of tobacco dangers. It 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 the 1881-1882 period, about 82 years before the famous 1964 Surgeon General Report. Be prepared.
|Carpenter's Lecture on Tobacco||37|
|Witter's Report to WI Bd of Health on the Use of Tobacco||73|
|Correspondence on Tobacco and Its Effects||98|
by Ariel Abbott Livermore
The Substance of An Address
Before the Meadville Temperance Union
January 29, 1882
"The species of tobacco are closely related to henbane (hyoscyamus), to atropa belladonna, and to stramonium—poisonous plants used in medicine. Tobacco alone, of all the four, is scarcely ever employed medicinally at the present day, except perhaps, occasionally, in combination with stramonium, in spasmodic asthma. Its use as an injection has been abandoned, as too dangerous to life. It is largely used by some farmers for destroying vermin infesting sheep, and commonly also by gardeners for killing the insects upon their plants. Indeed, tobacco is one of the most virulent of all vegetable poisons.''He further says:
"The constituent part of tobacco, which makes it at once so agreeable and so dangerous to health, is nicotine, C10H14N2, a liquid alkaloid discovered, so recently as 1809, by a French chemist. So deadly a poison is nicotine, that one tenth of a grain of it will kill a middle-sized dog in three minutes, and as the percentage of nicotine in dry tobacco varies, from two per cent in Havana to about seven per cent in Virginia tobacco, it has been calculated that in a single cigar there is enough nicotine, if given pure, to kill two men; and in about a quarter of an ounce of tobacco, there may be as much as two grains of this very dangerous poison. A smuggler, mentioned by Namias to the Académie des Sciences, was dangerously poisoned by covering his naked skin with tobacco leaves, in order to escape paying duty. The great danger of chewing tobacco is thus at once evident."Taylor ("On Poisons," p. 749) mentions that the volatile vapor of tobacco, given off in the process of manufacture, has been shown to have an injuri-
"All medical men agree that all smoking by the young is excess and is the sure forerunner of dyspeptic horrors. It is probably the greatest source of physical evil that the next generation will have to lament; for its witcheries are so seductive that the victim is willing to attribute to any cause, rather than the true one, the mischief which it is working on his constitution. The common sequelæ—the shaking hand and palpitating heart, the impaired digestion, the intermittent pulse—are complacently ascribed to overwork, to the railway speed at which we live, to the incessant demands made upon our powers by a world which is 'too much with us for resistance to importunities that never cease.' Like father like son. The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge. [Ezek. 18:2] The indulgence in tobacco by our youth and young men will affect not only themselves, but the future race of England. Fortunately for us, it is a vice almost entirely masculine. If the daughters of England were to commence weakening their vital forces by the use of nicotine, we should find the children of another generation with a hereditary taste for poison, and a diminished power of resisting its inroads; they would be unhealthy, dyspeptic, and nervous."
"I do not hesitate to say that if a community of both sexes, whose progenitors were finely formed and powerful, were to be trained to the early practice of smoking, and if marriage were confined to the smokers, an apparently new and a physically inferior race of men and women would be bred up."
|Ed. Note: See also his A Brief Sketch of the Life and Work of A.S. Livermore Against a Monster Evil (Saginaw, Mich.: Courier Printing and Binding Co, 1890).|
MR. MAYOR AND FRIENDS:
"the experiment of permitting the naval cadets to smoke at the Naval Educational Establishment of the United States, at Annapolis, having been fairly tried for three years, has been found injurious to their healthy discipline, and power of study. The medical officers of the Academy and the Academic Board therefore urge, in the strongest terms, that this permission be revoked."These are imported testimonies; but men who
"I have more than once seen a carpenter, under a London station, stop his work, light his pipe, and cast the half-burnt match among the shavings."In 1869 pipes and lucifers were taken from the pockets of 58 workmen in one day, as they were entering powder-works, at Hounslow. Many explosions of gunpowder have this cause. Last July the government powder-magazine at Mazatlan, Mexico, was blown up, with many houses round it, and over seventy lives were lost through the carelessness of a soldier who dropped his lighted cigar.1
|"Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs
Receive our air, that moment they are free."
But this free air is something different from smoke. For
There is a reason against public smoking — perhaps, in effect, against all smoking—which has scarcely received sufficient recognition. It is the absolute indifference to
the comfort and convenience of society at large that it is certain to produce. In this country there is still a majority who do not like smoking or its atmospheric products. They do not like the smell of tobacco, especially if it be bad, which it generally is. They do not like having to breathe the smoke ejected from the mouth of the smoker who has walked past them, or perhaps is standing by. They do not like to enter a room and find that habitual smokers have been there. . . .
Smokers monopolize far more than their share of our railway accommodation. Their exigency knows no limits. A smoker must have a compartment in which he enjoys the free exercise of his privilege, even if he have it all to himself and a dozen people are rushing about the platform looking in vain for room, the guard's whistle already sounding. What is worse, he often ignores the carriage provided for his accommodation, and looks aggrieved if, after asking whether you obiect to smoking, you answer—however mildly—that you do.
Tobacco is a powerful drug, administered through the respiratory organs—that is, through the atmosphere; and as we breathe one another's atmosphere, as it were, in common stock, the smoker administers his drug to all about him, whether they wish it or not.
Indifference or apathy with regard to the comfort of others is one of the most remarkable effects of tobacco. No other drug will produce anything like it. Neither opium nor intoxicating drink produces such an insensibility. They make a man insensible to his own true interest and his own dignity; they make him foolish or violent; but they do not put him into such actual antagonism to the human race generally as to make him do constantly, openly, and with
pleasure, what they very much dislike and believe to be hurtful. The opium-eater does not compel you to eat opium with him; the drunkard does not compel you to drink. The smoker compels you to smoke—nay, more—to breathe the smoke he has just discharged from his own mouth. It is true there is no malice in it. [Ed. Note: Not so, see pertinent legal terminology.] The tobacco-smoker does not wish you harm when he blows a cloud of nicotine into your face. . . . He does not care whether you are happy or miserable."
"I do not say that every smoker or chewer is necessarily a blackguard, however steep the proclivity that way; but show me a genuine blackguard who is not a lover of tobacco in some way, and I will show you two white blackbirds."Ruffians, wife-beaters, and murderers have soothed themselves after their crimes, with the pipe, and when imprisoned have raved—not at the ignominy, but at being deprived of tobacco.2
"It is not easy to estimate the demoralizing effect on the youth of Europe of the cigar, in enabling them to pass their time happily in idleness. Tobacco is the worst natural curse of modern civilization."Englishmen are not naturally Lazzaroni; they like either to do something, or to seem to do something. When ladies spend their leisure hours together, they have their fancy-work—or what they fancy is work. Men have not this resource, and feel it awkward to sit and do nothing; unless they have some exciting theme they may not be ready to talk; when they smoke they feel at their ease, for they are doing that which gives them no trouble. But indolence, when it takes the guise of occupation, is doubly ensnaring.
selves in that which they condemn. May those who root out the weed enjoy the flowers and gather the fruit! They shall "have beauty for ashes," the sweet breath of day and the pure light, instead of poisonous vapor and clouds of smoke.
|Ed. Note: For current Wisconsin activism information, see the Wisconsin Initiative on Smoking and Health.|
Tobacco and Its Effects:
A Report to the Wisconsin
Board of Health
For the Year 1881
by G. F. Witter, M.D.
|1880 was||45,000,000 lbs|
|1880 was||81,000,000 lbs|
|1880 was||25,000,000 lbs|
|States and Territories||1880 Acreage||1880 Pounds||1870 Pounds|
|District of Columbia||2||1,400||-|
|States and Territories||1880 Acreage||1880 Pounds||1870 Pounds|
"A single firm in New York paid to the government in one month in 1880, a revenue tax of $120,000! The average monthly tax paid by this house for Internal Revenue is over $100,000. The shipment of snuff by this concern to one city in North Carolina amounts to one hundred pounds per month."We learn from the Internal Revenue Reports that more than ninety-five million pounds of manufactured tobacco, and one billion, three hundred millions of cigars are used in the United States every year, at an expense of two hundred and fifty millions of dollars, while the revenue tax amounts to one hundred and fifty millions of dollars. In the city of New York alone, about seventy-five millions of cigars are annually consumed at a cost of more than nine millions of dollars.
"It is seen that the system must be in a more or less vigorous condition to allow of the use of tobacco, plainly proving that it is a depressor of the nervous system; it as plainly follows that it is while the depression process is going on, that the pleasurable feeling is experienced."It does not soothe the nerves, until by its primary effects it has first irritated them; it would of course be absurd to say that it soothes un-irritated nerves. It cannot clear and sharpen the exhausted intellect until it has first beclouded and dulled the intellect. It cannot fill an indefinable vacancy, until it has caused this vacancy. It cannot induce a calm and satisfied condition of the mind. except it has first induced a restless and unsatisfied condition, nor can it induce repose until it has caused sleeplessness.
|"I have urged upon the superintendent, as my last official utterance before leaving this institution, the fact—of the truth of which five years' experience as health-officer of this station has satisfied me—that, beyond all other things, the future health and usefulness of the lads educated at this school require the actual interdiction of tobacco. In this opinion I have been sustained, not only by all my colleagues, but by all other sanitarians, in military and civil life, whose views I have been able to learn, while I know it to be the belief of the officer who is to succeed me in the charge of this department, and who was one of the board of medical officers which in 1875 reported 'that the regulations against the use of tobacco in any form cannot be made too stringent.' Since three successive annual boards of visitors have indorsed the prohibition of tobacco as 'wise sanitary provision,' and the last of these boards, on being informed that the regulation against its use was not then in operation (June 10, 1879), emphatically recommended that 'its strict|
enforcement be at once restored.' . . . An agent . . . that is actually capable of such potent evil, . . . which determines functional disease of the heart, which impairs vision, blunts the memory, and interferes with mental effort and application, ought, in my opinion as a sanitary officer, at whatever cost of vigilance, to be rigorously interdicted. . . . The difficulty of restraining smoking should be no more valid excuse for its tolerance, in the face of sanitary objections of such magnitude, than for the toleration of 'trenching or gouging or hazing.' The use of stimulating liquors is forbidden, but that the regulation prohibiting it is evaded is shown by the empty whiskey bottles which are picked up outside the cadets' quarters; but it is not proposed to allow drinking on this account, although, as a sanitary fact, a half-pint of table claret or of beer would be a wiser indulgence than a cigar, or the innumerable cigarettes,—which latter, there is good reason to believe, cause injury to the health from other agents than the mere tobacco which thev may contain.
"I have dwelt at such length on this topic, feeling assured that I shall have done no act of greater good to this school, in the success or which I have so profound an interest, than if I can succeed in saving its pupils from the impairment of health which is sure to result from the unrestrained premature use of tobacco."
[Ed. Note: See more by Dr. Gihon.]
"Order No. I.
"U. S. NAVAL ACADEMY, Annapolis, Md., June 14, l881.
"The experiment of permitting the Naval Cadets to smoke at the Naval Academy, having been fairly tried for nearly three years, has been found injurious to their health, discipline, and powers of study. "The Medical Officers of the Academy, and the Academic Board,
urge in the strongest terms that this permission to smoke be revoked.
"Therefore, with the consent of the Honorable, the Secretary of the Navy, I have to forbid the further use of tobacco by the Naval Cadets, and to declare that the prohibition in relation to tobacco, contained in paragraph 169 of the Naval Academy Regulations, will be strictly enforced.
(Signed) "C. R. P. RODGERS, Rear-Admiral, Sup't."
have only to keep our eyes open, as we walk the streets of any of our cities, to see that the tendency is toward that consummation; if further evidence than that thus obtainable is wanted, we have only to consult the records of the United States Navy, to learn that
"the most prominent cause of rejection of candidates for apprenticeship is irritable heart, caused in most cases primarily by tobacco." [Ed. Note: Note this concept cited in the Austin v Tennessee case.]Do such things look as though there were absolutely no danger? Do they not rather point to the conclusion that the tobacco-habit is making seriously rapid headway among us by means of heredity as at least one of, it may be, many causes.
"If we are willing to accept the opinions which sanitarians in other nations have formed, we have a very decided one ready to our hand in Switzerland. That intelligent republic enacted a law last year (1880) prohibiting the sale of tobacco to minors under fifteen years of age, and making it an offence against the law for such to smoke. Hence a boy of twelve or fourteen, who parades the streets of Geneva or Berne with a cigar in his mouth, is liable to be arrested and committed to the police-station; and, as they have a disagreeable habit in that republic of enforcing the laws they enact, such would pretty certainly be the juvenile smoker's fate. We recommend to our fellow-countrymen their manner of dealing with the habit, which, whether harmless or not to most adults, is unquestionably of great injury to young boys."And another periodical of equal prominence in medical science, says:
"It is the duty of our public-school instructors to make the facts in regard to tobacco known and impressively felt by their scholars, and we hope that this field of sanitary mission-work will be actively occupied. Sewer-gas is bad enough, but a boy had better learn his Latin over a trap than get the habit of smoking cigarettes; for we may lay it down as certain that tobacco is a bane to youth, though it may be the proper indulgence of manhood and a solace to old age."To both of which we think it may be added, that if the habit be not acquired in youth, there is no very great probability that it will be taken up by many in later life. If no tobacco is used except such as may prove "a