Dr. R. D. MusseyWelcome to the book Health: Its Friends and Its Foes (1862), by Reuben D. Mussey, M.D., LL.D. To go to the "Table of Contents" immediately, click here.
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 Reuben D. Mussey, M.D., LL.D. (1780-1866) of an early exposé (1862) of tobacco dangers, the tobacco chapter only (pp 93-131). It cites facts you don't normally ever see, due to the "tobacco taboo."
Dr. Mussey, a "physician who gained an international reputation," was Professor of Surgery, Medical College of Ohio, 1837 to 1851, and the fourth President of the American Medical Association (1850).
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 1862, 102 years before the famous 1964 Surgeon General Report. Be prepared.

Health: Its Friends and Its Foes
by Reuben D. Mussey, M.D., LL.D.
(Boston: Gould & Lincoln;
New York: Sheldon & Co;
Cincinnati: George S. Blanchard,
1862, reprinted 1863 and 1866)

Table of Contents
Tobacco—Influence Upon Life and Health93
I. Use of Tobacco Unnatural93
II. Effects of Tobacco on Animal Life94
III. Harmful Effects on Humans98
Common Tobacco Effects
The 'Immediate Effects' Myth
Tobacco-Alcoholism Connection
The 'Digestion Aid' Myth
The 'Exception' Myth
The 'Anti-Infection' Myth
The 'Dental Aid' Myth
Lip Cancer
Use for Murder
Heart Disease
Deception of Smokers
Impairs Students
Violates the Right to Pure Air
Bad Example in Higher Education
Immediate Quitting
IV. Case Examples116
1. The N. H. Lawyer Case
2. J. H.'s Case
3. L. B.'s Case
4. The Former Student's Case
5. Dr. E. G. Moore's Case
6. Jonathan Cummins' Case
7. Judge Richardson's Case
8. D. C.'s Case
9. Dr. Shaler's Case
10. Constipation Cases
11. Dyspepsia Cases
12. Delirium Tremens Case
13. Smoker Myth Cases




IN the great kingdom of living nature man is the only animal that seeks to poison or destroy his own instincts, to turn topsy-turvy the laws of his being, and to make himself as unlike as possible that which he was obviously designed to be.

No satisfactory solution of this extraordinary propensity has been given, short of a reference to that

First disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world and all our woe,
With loss of Eden."

While the myriads of sentient beings spread over the earth adhere with unyieldiug fidelity to the laws of their several existences, man exerts his superior intellect in attempting to outwit Nature, and to show that she has made an important mistake in his own case. Not satisfied with the symmetry and elegance of form given him by his Creator, he transforms himself into a hideous monster, or copies upon his own person the proportions of some disgusting creature far down in the scale of animal being. Not content with loving one thing and loathing another, he perseveres in his attempts to make bitter sweet and


sweet bitter, till nothing but the shadow is left of his primitive relishes and aversions. This is strikingly exemplified in the habitual use of the narcotic or poisonous vegetables.


Dr. [Benjamin] Franklin [1706-1790] ascertained that the oily material which floats upon the surface of water, upon a stream of tobacco-smoke being passed into it, is capable, when applied to the tongue of a cat, of destroying life in a few minutes.

Mr. [Benjamin C.] Brodie applied one drop of the empyreumatic oil of tobacco to the tongue of a cat: it occasioned immediate convulsion and an accelerated breathing. Five minutes after, the animal lay down on the side, and presented, from time to time, slight convulsive movements. A quarter of an hour after, it appeared recovered. The same quantity of the oil was applied again, and the animal died in two minutes.

In December, 1833, aided by several gentlemen of the medical class, and occasionally in the presence of other individuals, I made a number of experiments upon cats and other animals with the empyreumatic oil of tobacco.

First Experiment. A small drop of the oil was rubbed on the tongue of a large cat.
  • Immediately the animal uttered piteous cries and began to froth at the mouth.

  • In one minute the pupils of the eyes were dilated and the respiration was laborious;

  • in two and a half minutes, vomiting and staggering;

  • in four minutes, evacuations, the cries continued, the voice hoarse and unnatural;

  • in five minutes, repeated attempts at vomiting;

  • in seven minutes, respiration somewhat improved.
  • At this time a large drop was rubbed upon the tongue. In an instant


    the eyes were closed, the cries were stopped, and the breathing was suffocative and convulsed.
  • In one minute the ears were in rapid convulsive motion, and presently tremors and violent convulsions extended over the body and limbs.

  • In three and a half minutes the animal fell upon the side senseless and breathless, and the heart had ceased to beat.
  • Slight tremors of the voluntary muscles, particularly of the limbs, continued, more or less, for nineteen minutes after the animal was dead. The right side was observed to be more and longer affected than the left.

    Half an hour after death the body was opened, and the stomach and intestines were found to be contracted and firm, as from a violent and permanent spasm of the muscular coat. The lungs were empty and collapsed. The left side «f the heart, the aorta and its great branches, were loaded with black blood. The right side of the heart and the two cavæ contained some blood, but were not distended. The pulmonary artery contained only a small quantity of blood. The blood was everywhere fluid.

    Second Experiment. A cat was the subject of this experiment. The general effects were very much like those in the last, excepting, perhaps, that the oil operated with a little less energy. This cat was said to have lived for several years in a room almost perpetually fumigated with tobacco-smoke. The history of the animal employed in the first experiment was unknown.

    Third Experiment. Three drops of the oil of tobacco were rubbed upon the tongue of a full-sized but young cat. In an instant the pupils were dilated and the breathing convulsed; the animal leaped about as if distracted, and presently took two or three rapid turns in a small circle, then dropped upon the floor in frightful convul-


    sions, and was dead in two minutes and fotry-five seconds from the moment that the oil was put upon the tongue.

    Fourth Experiment. To the tongue of a young and rather less than half-grown cat, a drop of the oil of tobacco was applied.
  • In fifteen seconds, the ears were thrown into rapid and convulsive motions;

  • in thirty seconds, fruitless attempty to vomit; in one minute, convulsive respiration, the animal falling upon the side;

  • in four minutes and twenty seconds, violent convulsions;

  • in five minutes the breathing and the heart's motion had ceased.
  • Fifth Experiment. In the tip of the nose of a mouse a small puncture was made with a surgeon's needle, bedewed with the oil of tobacco. The little animal, from the insertion of this small quantity of the poison, fell into a violent agitation, and was dead in six minutes.

    Sixth Experiment. Two drops of the oil were rubbed upon the tongue of a red squirrel. This animal, so athletic as to render it difficult to secure him sufficiently long for the application, was in a moment seized with a violent agitation of the whole body and limbs, and was perfectly dead and motionless iu one minute.

    From the foregoing, and from additional experiments which it is not necessary to give in detail, it appeared that when applied to a wound made in the most sensitive parts of the integuments, the oil of tobacco, though it caused a good deal of pain, had a far less general effect than when applied to the tongue. Rats were less affected than cats. Two and sometimes three drops rubbed upon the tongue of a rat did not kill it in half an hour.

    Three large drops rubbed upon the tongue of a full-sized cat usually caused death in from three to ten minutes, and in one instance, already stated, in two minutes and forty-five seconds. One drop passed into the large


    jugular vein of a large dog occasioned an immediate cry, followed in a few moments by staggering, convulsive twitchings of the voluntary muscles, and vomiting.

    In those cases in which full vomiting occurred, evident relief followed. Young animals suffered much more than those which had come to their full growth and vigor. In those animals whose lives were suddenly destroyed by the tobacco, no coagulation of the blood took place. The bodies of several cats were examined the next day after death, and only in a single instance was a slight coagulation observed; and this was in a cat whose constitution possessed strong powers of resistance, and whose death was comparatively lingering.

    It is not improbable that the charge of inhumanity may be made against experiments prosecuted upon defenceless animals, with a poison so painful and destructive in its operation as tobacco. The justice of this charge is freely admitted, if such experiments be made merely for the gratification of curiosity and not with the object and reasonable hope of making them useful to mankind and of influencing at least some few individuals to abandon the practice—humane can it be called?—of administering this poison to themselves and their children, till it occasions disease and death. Indeed, there are but few who would willingly witness more than a single experiment of this kind, with no prospect of benefit to result from it.

    When applied to sensitive surfaces of considerable extent, even in a form somewhat dilute, tobacco often produces the most serious effects. The tea of tobacco has been known to destroy the life of a horse, when forced into his stomach to relieve indisposition. When used as a wash, to destroy vermin upon certain domestic animals, tobacco tea has been known to kill the animals them-


    selves. A farmer not long since [ago] assured me that he had destroyed a calf in this manner.

    Harmful Effects on Humans
    "A woman applied to the heads of three children, for a disease of the scalp, an ointment prepared with the powder of tobacco and butter. Soon after they experienced dizziness, violent vomitings and faintings, acompanied with profuse sweats."1

    The celebrated French poet [Santa] Santeuil came to his death through horrible pains and convulsions from having taken a glass of wino with which some snuff had been mixed.

    The tea of twenty or thirty grains of tobacco, introduced into the human body for the purpose of relieving spasms, has been known repeatedly to destroy life.

    The same tea, applied to parts affected with itch, has been followed by vomiting and convulsions. The same article, applied to the skin on the pit of the stomach, occasions faintness, vomiting, and cold sweats.

    I knew a young man who, only from inhaling the vapor arising from the leaves of tobacco immersed in boiling water, was made alarmingly sick.

    A medical friend assured me that he was once thrown into a state of great prostration and nausea from having a part of his hand moistened, for a few minutes, in a strong infusion of tobacco.

    Col. G—says, that during the war of 1812, under hard service on the Canadian frontier, the soldiers not unfrequently disabled themselves for duty by applying a moistened leaf of tobacco to the armpit. It caused great prostration and vomiting. Many were suddenly and violently seized soon after eating. On investigation a tobacco leaf was found in the armpit.

    Dr. M. Long, of Warner, N. H., writes me, under the
    1 [Matthieu J. B.] Orfila [1787-1853]


    date of April 26th, 1834,

    that on the 6th of May, 1825, he was consulted by Mrs. F. on account of her little daughter L. F., then five years old, who had a small ringworm, scarcely three fourths of an inch in diameter, situated upon the root of the nose.

    Her object was to ascertain the doctor's opinion as to the propriety of making a local application of tobacco in the case. He objected to it as an exceedingly hazardous measure; and to impress his opinion more fully, related a case, a record of which he had seen, in which, a father destroyed the life of his little son by the use of tobacco-spittle upon an eruption or humor of the head.

    Immediately after the doctor left the house, the mother besmeared the tip of her finger with a little of the "strong juice" from the grandmother's tobacco-pipe, and proceeded to apply it to the ringworm, remarking that "if it should strike to the stomach it must go through the nose."

    The instant the mother's finger touched the part affected, the eyes of the little patient were rolled up in their sockets, she sallied back, and in the act of falling was caught by the alarmed mother. The part was immediately washed with cold water with a view to dislodge the poison. But this was to no purpose, for the jaws were already firmly locked together, and the patient was in a senseless and apparently dying state.

    The doctor [M. Long], who had stopped three fourths of a mile distant, to see a patient, was presently recalled. The symptoms were "coldness of the extremities, no perceptible pulse at the wrists, the jaws set together, deep insensibility, the countenance deathly." He succeeded in opening the jaws, so as to admit of the administration of the spirits of ammonia and lavender; frictions were employed, and everything done which at the time was thought likely to pro-


    mote resuscitation, but "it was an hour or an hour and a half before the little patient was so far recovered as to be able to speak."

    "Till this time," says Dr. Long, "the child had been robust "and healthy, never having had but one illness that required medical advice; but since the tobacco experiment she has been continually feeble and sickly. The first four or five years after this terrible operation she was subject to fainting fits every three or four weeks, sometimes lasting from twelve to twenty-four hours; and many times, in those attacks, her life appeared to be in imminent danger. Within the last three or four years those turns have been less severe."

    The foregoing facts serve to show that tobacco is a most active and deadly poison. It acts directly upon the nervous power, enfeebling, deranging, or extinguishing the actions of life.

    Is it possible that the habitual use of an article of so actively poisonous properties can promote health, or indeed fail to exert an injurious influence upon health?

    It will be readily admitted that the daily use of any article which causes an exhaustion of the nervous power beyond what is necessarily occasioned by the ordinary physical agents, as heat, cold, light, together with mental and corporeal exertion, is not only useless, but hurtful, tending directly to produce disease and premature decay.

    Such is tobacco. Ample evidence of this is furnished by a departure, more or less obvious, from healthy action in the organic, vital movements of a large majority of tobacco-consumers.

    Common Tobacco Effects

    From the habitual use of tobacco, in either of its forms of snuff, cud, or cigar, the following symptoms may arise:

  • a sense of weakness, sinking, or pain at the pit of the stomach;

  • dizziness, or pain in the head;

  • occasional dim-
  • -100-

    ness or temporary loss of sight;

  • paleness and sallowness of the countenance, and sometimes swelling of the feet;

  • an enfeebled state of the voluntary muscles, manifesting itself sometimes by tremors of the hands, sometimes by weakness, tremulousness, squeaking or hoarseness of the voice, rarely a loss of the voice;

  • disturbed sleep, starting from the early slumbers with a sense of suffocation, or the feeling of alarm, incubus, or nightmare;

  • epileptic or convulsion fits;

  • confusion or weakness of the mental faculties;

  • peevishness and irritability of temper;

  • instability of purpose;

  • seasons of great depression of the spirits;

  • long fits of unbroken melancholy and despondency, and

  • in some cases, entire and permanent mental derangement.1
  • Ed. Note: The above section is quoted by Joel Shew, M.D., in Tobacco: Its History, Nature, and Effects on the Body and Mind (Stoke, England: G. Turner Pub Co, 1849), p 16. This connotes that this information in 1862 had appeared likewise in some prior writing of Dr. Mussey.

    The animal machine, by regular and persevering reiteration or habit, is capable of accommodating itself to impressions made by poisonous substances, so far as not to show signs of injury under a superficial observation, provided they are slight at first, and gradually increased; but it does not hence follow that such impressions are not hurtful.

    The 'Immediate Effects' Myth

    It is a great mistake, into which thousands are led, to suppose that every unfavorable effect or influence of an article of food or drink or luxury must be felt immediately after it is taken. Physicians often have the opportunity of witnessing this [mistaken belief] among their patients.

    The confirmed dyspeptic consults his physician for pain or wind in the stomach, accompanied with headache or dizziness, occasional pains of the limbs, or numbness or tremors in the hands and feet, and sometimes with difficult breathing, disturbed sleep, and a dry cough and huskiness of the voice in the morning. The physician suggests the propriety of a light diet for a time; but the patient ob-
    1I have seen two cases; one caused by the excessive use of snuff, the other by the chewing of tobacco and swallowing the saliva.


    jects, alleging that he never feels so well as when he has swallowed a good dinner. He is then advised to avoid spirit, wine, cider, beer, etc.

    The reply is, "It is impossible that the little I take can do me hurt; so far from that, it always does me good; I always feel the better for it. I do not need any one to tell me about that."

    He is asked if he uses tobacco. "Yes; I smoke a little, chew a little, and snuff a little."

    "You had better leave it off altogether, sir."

    "Leave it off? I assure you, doctor, you know but little about it. If I were to leave off smoking, I should throw up half my dinner."

    "That might do you no harm, sir."

    "I see you do not understand my case, doctor; I have taken all these good things for many years, and have enjoyed good health. They never injured me. How could they have done so without my perceiving it? Do you suppose I have lived so long in the world without knowing what does me good and what does not?"

    "It would appear so, sir; and you are in a fair way to die without acquiring this important knowledge."

    The poor man goes away, in a struggle between the convictions of truth and the overwhelming force of confirmed habit. Under the sustaining power of a good constitution, and in the activity of business, he never dreamed of injury from the moderate indulgence, as he regarded it, in the use of stimulants, as spirit, wine, tobacco, till the work was done. His is the case of hundreds of thousands.

    Ed. Note: For a number of additional examples of denial with respect to small quantites of poison, click here.

    The vital principle in the human body can so far resist the influences of a variety of poisons, slowly introduced into it, that their effects shall be unobserved till, under the operation of an exciting or disturbing cause, their accumulated force breaks out in the form of some fearful or incurable disease. The poison which comes from vege-


    table decompositions, on extensive marshes and the borders of lakes, after being received into the body remains apparently harmless, in some instances, a whole year, before it kindles up a wasting intermittent or a destructive bilious remittent fever.

    Facts of this nature show that pernicious influences may be exerted upon the secret springs of life while we are wholly unconscious of their operation. Such is the effect of the habitual use of tobacco and other narcotics, and of all stimulants which, like them, make an impression upon the whole nervous system, without affording the materials of supply or nutrition.

    It is an alleged fact that, previously to the age of forty years, a larger mortality exits in Spanish America than in Europe. The very general habit of smoking tobacco, existing among children and youth as well as adults, it has been supposed, and not without reason, might explain this great mortality.

    Like ardent spirits, tobacco must be peculiarly pernicious in childhood, when all the nervous energy is required to aid in accomplishing the full and perfect development of the different organs of the body, and in ushering in the period of manhood.

    I once knew a boy, eight years of age, whose father had taught him the free [repeated] use of the tobacco cud four years before. He was a pale, thin, sickly child, and often vomited up his dinner.

    To individuals of sedentary habits and literary pursuits, tobacco is peculiarly injurious, inasmuch as these classes of persons are in a measure deprived of the partially counteracting influence of air and exercise. I have prescribed for scores of young men, pursuing either college or professional studies, who had been more or less injured by the habitual use of this plant.

    Tobacco-Alcoholism Connection

    In the practice of smoking there is no small danger. It


    tends to produce a huskiness of the mouth, which calls for some liquid. Water is too insipid, as the nerves of taste are in a half-palsied state, from the influence of tobacco-smoke; hence, in order to be tasted, an article of a pungent or stimulating character is resorted to, and hence the kindred habits of smoking and drinking.

    A writer in one of the American periodicals, speaking of the effect of tobacco in his own case, says that smoking and chewing
    "produced a continual thirst for stimulating drinks; and this tormenting thirst led me into the habit of drinking ale, porter, brandy, and other kinds of spirit, even to the extent at times of partial intoxication." The same writer adds, that "after he had subdued his appetite for tobacco, he lost all desire for stimulating drinks."

    The taker of snuff necessarily swallows a part of it, especially when asleep; by which means its enfeebling effects must be increased.

    Ed. Note: See also p 128 and 129, infra.

    The 'Digestion Aid' Myth

    The opinion that tobacco is necessary to promote digestion is altogether erroneous. If it be capable of soothing the uneasiness of the nerves of the stomach occurring after a meal, that very uneasiness has been caused by some error of diet or regimen, and may be removed by other means. If tobacco facilitates digestion, how comes it that, after laying aside the habitual use of it, most individuals experience an increase of appetite and of digestive energy, and an accumulation of flesh [weight-gain]?

    The 'Exception' Myth

    It is sometimes urged, that men occasionally live to an advanced age who are habitual consumers of this article; true, and so do some men who habitually drink rum, and who occaaonally get drunk; and does it thence follow that rum is harmless, or promotes long life? All that either fact proves is, that the poisonous influence is longer or more effectually resisted by some constitutions than by


    others. The man who can live long under the use of tobacco and rum, can live longer without them.

    The 'Anti-Infection' Myth

    An opinion has prevailed in some communities that the use of tobacco operates as a preservative against infectious and epidemic diseases. This must be a mistake. Whatever tends to weaken or depress the powers of the nervous system, predisposes it to be operated upon by the causes of these diseases. If tobacco affords protection in such cases, why does it not secure those who use it against cholera?

    In no communities, perhaps, has that disease [cholera] committed more frightful ravages than where all classes of persons are addicted to the free [repeated] use of this article. In Havana, in 1833, containing a stationary population of about one hundred and twenty thousand, cholera carried off, in a few weeks, if we may credit the public journals, sixteen thousand; and in Matanzas, containing a population of about twelve thousand, it was announced that fifteen hundred perished. This makes one eighth of the population in both places; and if, as in most other cities, the number of deaths as published in the journals falls short of the truth, and a considerable deduction be made from the whole population on account of the great numbers who fled on the appearance of the disease, the mortality will be still greater.

    In Havana, after the announcement of the foregoing mortality, and after a subsidence of the epidemic for some weeks, it returned, and destroyed such numbers as to bring back the public alarm.

    The degree in which the practice of smoking prevails may be judged of by a fact stated by Dr. Abbot in his letters from Cuba, namely, that in 1828 it was the common estimate, that in Havana there was an average consumption of ten thousand dollars' worth of cigars in a day.

    Dr. Moore, who resides in the province of Yucatan in


    Mexico, assures me the city of Campeachy [Mexico], containing a population of tweny thousand, lost by cholera in about thirty days, commercing early in July, four thousand three hundred and a fraction of its inhabitants. This is a little short of one fourth of the population; although Dr. Moore says that the people of Campeachy made it as a common remark, "We have lost one in four of our number." With reference to the habits of the people in that part of Mexico, Dr. Moore says: "Everybody smokes cigars; I never saw an exception among the natives. It is a common thing to see a child of two years old learning to smoke."

    The 'Dental Aid' Myth

    The opinion that the use of tobacco preserves the teeth, is supported neither by physiology nor observation. Constantly applied to the interior of the mouth, whether in the form of cud or of smoke, this narcotic must tend to enfeeble the gums, and the membrane covering the necks and roots of the teeth, and in this way must rather accelerate tha» retard their decay. We accordingly find that tobacco-consumers are not favored with better teeth than others; and on the average, they exhibit these organs in a less perfect state of preservation. Sailors make a free [repeated] use of tobacco, and they have bad teeth.

    The grinding surfaces of the teeth are, on the average, more rapidly worn down or absorbed from the chewing or smoking of tobacco for a series of years, being observed in some instances to project bat a little way beyond the gums. This fact I have observed in the mouths of some scores of individuals in our own communities; and I have also observed the same thing in the teeth of several men belonging to the Seneca and St. Francois tribes of Indians, who, like most of the North American tribes, are much addicted to the use of this narcotic.

    In several instances,


    when the front teeth of the two jaws have been shut close, the surfaces of the grinders in the upper and lower jaw, especially where the cud had been kept, did not touch each other, but exhibited a space between them of one tenth to one sixth of an inch, showing distinctly the effects of the tobacco, more particularly striking upon those parts to which it had been applied in its most concentrated state.

    Dr. [Samuel O.] Habershon [1825-1889] remarks:

    "It is, I believe, universally acknowledged that the long-continued habit of taking snuff irritates the fauces and epiglottis, producing cough, etc. Nor is dyspepsia the extent of its ill effects; the irritating particles extend through the whole length of the alimentary canal. Several inveterate snuff-takers have intimated to me the irritible state of the bowels; in whom it appeared that the mucous membrane was unnaturally stimulated and irritable. The oft-repeated stimulus leads to an enfeebled condition of the mucous membrane, a loss of contractile power, of healthy secretion, and of nervous stimulus: as regards the stomach, dyspepsia is the result; in the intestine, diarrhoea or constipation; in some cases, the rectum is principally affected, and it either retains the fæces, so as to form an impacted mass, which it is unable to propel, or, if fluid, the same feebleness allows the contents to pass rapidly to the sphincter, itself sometimes so enfeebled as to be unable to restrain an involuntary discharge. Snuff may actually be seen among these discharges.1

    "It is more than twenty years (now 1859) since I was requested by a medical friend, Dr. S., to visit Mrs. O., a lady over sixty years of age, who for several months had
    1 Diseases of the Alimentary Canal [London: Churchill, 1857], pp 245, 246.


    been affected, during her waking hours, with an involuntary and incessant opening and shutting of the mouth. The lower jaw was drawn down to the full extent of the power of the appropriate muscles, then brought up till the lips touched, then the same motions were repeated; but she had not lost the use of the tongue. She could converse, did did so very intelligently; but her appearance in conversation, with the accompaniment of a regular rhythmic motion of the jaw, was quite unique.

    "On inquiry, I learned that she was in the habit of taking Scotch snuff freely and drinking largely of green tea. I was of opinion that the combined influence of these articles had caused her singular complaint, and advised her to quit them. Being a conscientious, good woman, she promised to try to leave them off.

    "Six months afterward I requested Dr. S., by letter, to inform me of the state of Mrs. O's health. He replied that she was 'trying to leave off her snuff and tea,—that is, taking a little less one day, and a little more the next,—and her jaw was still going.'

    "After the lapse of twenty years I learned from a member of her family that she ultimately succeeded in very greatly dimmishing the narcotics, and that she survived a number of years, with the muscles of the jaw so far paralyzed as nearly to destroy the power of mastication."


    The tobacco appetite, though often difficult to acquire, is still harder to subdue. A distinguished officer in one of the colleges of our country informed me that when a student he was six months in teaching himself to smoke, and that after he became a college officer he was two years in teaching himself not to smoke.

    Lip Cancer

    The late Dr. John C. Warren, Professor of Surgery in the Boston Medical School, used to remark to his classes, that he had but very rarely met with a case of cancer of


    the lip in a person who did not use tobacco. The tobacco poison, mixed with the saliva, when applied to a naked or raw surface, is liable to kindle a diseased condition which is named epithelial cancer. The under lip is exposed to abrasion and poisoning, where the stem of the pipe in smoking is in contact with it; and cancer inside the cheek, or on the tongue, may come from abrasion of the living membrane.

    As I have not kept a record of my operations on the lip, nor the number I have seen, my own observation may be regarded as not sufficiently definite; but in thirty-five years of surgical practice I have seen many cases, and as I have seldom if ever failed to ascertain the patient's habit in regard to tobacco, I have met with but two men with decided lip cancer who assured me that they had never used tobacco in any form.

    In the present year, 1859, M. Bouisson, a surgeon of Montpelier, gained high praise from the Academy at Paris by his statistics and remarks upon the influence of tobacco-smoking in the production of lip cancer. He says that it is now one of the most dreaded diseases in their hospitals. In the short period of time from 1845 to 1859 he has himself performed sixty-eight operations for cancer of the lips, in the Hospital of St. Eloi. He says that the disease rarely appears before the age of forty. [Details].


    According to Mr. [John] Lizars, impotence is sometimes caused by excessive smoking. [Details].

    Use for Murder

    The intensity of the poison of the chemical extract of tobacco induced the Count de Bocarmé in Belgium, in 1851, to select it for the poisoning [murder] of his brother-in-law.1

    Heart Disease

    In Rankin's Half-yearly Abstract of the Medical Sciences for 1854, an interesting case is quoted from Dr. Corson of New York.

    "The subject was a highly intelligent
    1 An account of his trial and execution is contained in Wharton and Stiles's Medical Jurisprudence.

    [Ed. Note: And in Dr. Hippolyte Depierris' Le Tabac, Le Plus Violent des Poisons].


    "man, aged sixty-five, stout, ruddy, early married, temperate, managing a large business." After premising that he commenced chewing tobacco at seventeen, swallowing the juice, as is sometimes customary, to prevent injuring his lungs from constant spitting, and that years after he suffered from a gnawing, capricious appetite, nausea, vomiting of meals, emaciation, nervousness, and palpitation of the heart, he dictated to Dr. Corson, recently, the following story:—

    "Seven years thus miserably passed, when, one day after dinner, I was suddenly seized with intense pain in the chest, gasping for breath, and a sensation as if a crowbar were pressed tightly from the right breast to the left, till it came and twisted in a knot round the heart, which now stopped deathly still for a minute, and then leaped like a dozen frogs. After two hours of deathly suffering, the attack ceased; and I found that ever after my heart missed every fourth beat. My physician said that I had organic disease of the heart, must die suddenly, and need only take a little brandy for the painful paroxysms; and I soon found it the only thing that gave them any relief.

    "For the next twenty-seven years I continued to suffer milder attacks like the above, lasting from one to several minutes, sometimes as often as two or three times a day or night; and to be sickly looking, thin, and pale as a ghost.

    "Simply from revolting at the idea of being a slave to one vile habit alone, and without dreaming of the suffering it had cost me, after thirty-three years' use, I one day threw away tobacco forever.

    "Words cannot describe my suffering and desire for a time. I was reminded of the Indian, who, next to all the rum in the world, wanted all the tobacco. But my firm will conquered. In a month my paroxysms nearly ceased,


    and soon after left entirely. I was directly a new man, and grew stout and hale as you see. With the exception of a little asthmatic breathing, in close rooms and the like, for nearly twenty years since I have enjoyed excellent health."

    Dr. C found the pulse still intermitting at every fourth beat.

    Deception of Smokers

    The consumers of tobacco are always benefited by quitting it altogether. I have conversed with a great many who have laid it aside, and have never met with one who had left it off for a year who did not admit that he was better since the omission of it. Occasionally we meet with a man who, not disposed to pitch battle with his inveterate relish for the poison, attempts to deceive himself or others with the notion that a little of it is necessary for him, to make food sit easy on his stomach; that while it is a good general rule to quit tobacco, there is something very peculiar in his individual case that calls for a little. Such is the reasoning of vitiated appetite:

    "A little poison is necessary to my health."

    These men remind us of that Syrian officer, who, when he was cleansed of his leprosy, acknowledged the truth, declaring to the prophet [Elisha], "Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel;" but at the same time there was one particular occasion when he thought he must be allowed to practise idolatry. [2 Kings 5:15, 17-18].

    Sir Isaac Newton [1642-1727], when solicited to use snuff or tobacco, declined, replying that "he would make no necessities for himself."1

    Impairs Students

    Emperor Louis Napoleon"Very recently the French Emperor [Louis Napoleon (1852-1870)] made an estimate of the effects of smoking in their schools and academies and colleges. They took the young men attending, classi-

    1 Life of Sir Isaac Newton, by Sir David Brewster, Vol. ii. p. 410, Edinb. and Lond. 1855.


    fied them into those who smoked habitually and those who did not, and estimated their physical and intellectual standing, perhaps their moral standing, too; but that he could not say. The result was, that they found that those who did not smoke were the stronger lads and better scholars, were altogether more respectable, and more useful members of society, than those who habitually used the drug.

    "Louis Napoleon [1808-1873] instantly issued an edict that no smoking should be permitted in any college, school, or academy. In one day he put out about thirty thousand pipes in Paris alone."1 [Details].


    The expensiveness of the habit of using tobacco is no small objection to it. Let the smoker estimate the expense of thirty years' use of cigars, on the principle of annual interest, which is the proper method, and he might be startled at the amount. Six cents a day, according to the Rev. Mr. Fowler's calculation, would amount to $3,529.30; a sum which would be very useful to the family of many a tobacco-consumer when his faculties of providing for them have failed.

    The statement of Rev. Dr. Abbot, in his letters from Cuba, in 1828, already alluded to, is, that the consumption of tobacco in that island is immense. The Rev. Mr. Ingersoll, who passed the winter of 1832-3 in Havana, expresses his belief that this is not an overstatement. He says:

    "Call the population one hundred and twenty thousand, say half are smokers; this, at a bit a day," that is, twelve and a half cents, "would make between seven and eight thousand dollars. But this is too low an estimate, since not men only, but women and children, smoke, and many at a large expense." He says that "the free negro of Cuba appropriates a bit from his daily wages to increase
    11 March, 1861.

    the cloud of smoke that rises from the city and country."

    This, in thirty years, would amount to $7,058.72,—a respectable estate for a negro, or even for a white man.

    The "Scientific American" states that there are (1859) in the city of New York about 200,000 smokers, each using two cigars daily, making 400,000 cigars every day. These, at an average of four cents each, make the enormous sum of $16,000 daily consumed in smoke in New York alone. There are some 900,000,000 cigars manuIbctured in that city annually, which, at the, same price amount to $36,000,000.

    Dr. Trall remarks:

    "As long ago as 1839, Great Britain derived a revenue of $18,000,000 from the duty on tobacco. The actual loss to the nation was, of course, treble or quadruple that enormous sum,—an amount sufficient to have fed, clothed, and educated every one of the starving children under the government of Queen Victoria; and even sufficient to have extinguished, at no distant day, the immense national debt of the country."

    A late writer in Blackwood's Magazine says:

    "Leaving the question of its origin, the reader will not be surprised, when he considers how widely the practice of smoking prevails, that the total product of tobacco grown on the face of the globe has been calculated by Mr. Crawford to amount to the enormous quantity of two millions of tons. The comparative magnitude of this quantity will strike the reader more forcibly, when we state that the whole of the wheat consumed by the inhabitants of Great Britain—estimating it at a quarter a head, or, in round numbers, at twenty millions of quarters—weighs only four and one third millions of tons; so that the tobacco raised yearly for the gratification of this one form of the narcotic appetite weighs as much as the wheat con-


    sumed by ten millions of Englishmen. And reckoning it at only double the market value of wheat, or two pence and a fraction per pound, it is worth in money as much as all the wheat eaten in Great Britain."

    The following estimate of the annual produce and value of tobacco is from "Chemistry of Common Life" [Edinburgh: Blackwood, 1855], by Prof. J. F. W. Johnston, F. R. S., etc.

    "Produce per acre, 800 lbs.; acres employed, 5,600,000; total produce in pounds, 4,480,000,000; value per pound, 2d.; total value in pounds sterling, £37,000,000, or about $185,000,000. And it may be estimated," says Prof. [James] Jobnston, "that tobacco is used among 800,000,000 of men."

    Must it then be said of so many of our race, "They are all gone out of the way?" [Psalm 14:3, 53:3; Romans 3:12].

    Violates the Right to Pure Air

    The habit of using tobacco is uncleanly and impolite. It is uncleanly from the foul odor, the muddy nostril and darkly smeared lip it confers, and from the encouragement it gives to the habit of spitting, which, in our country, would be sufficiently common and sufficiently loathsome without it.

    "True politeness," said a distinguished English scholar, "is kindness kindly expressed." The using of tobacco, especially by smoking, is anything but kindness or the kindly expression of it, when it creates an atmosphere which, whether it comes directly from the pipe, the cigar, the deeply imbued clothing, or the worse than alligator breath, is absolutely insupportable to many who do not use it, causing depression of strength, dizziness, headache, sickness at the stomach, and sometimes vomiting.

    By what rule of politeness, nay, on what principle of common justice, may I poison the atmosphere my neighbor is compelled to breathe, or so load it with an unhealthy and loathsome material as to make him uncomfortable or


    wretched so long as I am in his company? What would be said of the physician who, having acquired a strong liking for assafœtida, should allow himself in the constant habit of chewing it, to the great annoyance, from his foul breath, of many of his patients, as well as more or less of the healthy individuals of the families who employ him?

    Or how would a gentleman traveller be regarded who should not only keep his breath constantly imbued with this assafœtida, but also insist upon spurting successive mouthfuls of the tincture of it upon the floor of a stage-coach, or of a railroad car, or of the cabin of a steam-boat? Would he be commended cither for his cleanliness, politeness, or kindness? Nay, would he be tolerated in such a violation of the principles of good breeding?

    I have seen numbers who have been made sick, dizzy, and pale by the breath of a smoker; and I have seen a person vomit out of a stage-coach, from the influence of that indescribable breath which results from alcoholic liquor and tobacco-smoke.

    Bad Example in Higher Education

    How painful to see young men in our scientific and literary institutions—men who are soon to lead in our national councils, to shape the morals and the manners of the circles of society in which they will move—making themselves downright sick, day after day and week after week, in order to form a habit of taking a disgusting poison, steeping their nerves and their intellects in its narcotic influence, the direct tendencies of which are to impair their health, to enfeeble their minds, and to disqualify them for a place in cleanly and polite society.

    Immediate Quitting

    The use of tobacco, like that of alcoholic liquor, should be abandoned totally and forever. The plan of taking less and less daily is seldom successful [due to withdrawal symptoms]. This is what is called "trying to leave off" If a little less be taken


    one day, generally a little more is taken the next. It does not answer to treat with the least deference an appetite so unnatural and imperative as that created by a powerful narcotic; it must be denied abruptly, totally, and perseveringly.

    In several of our penitentiaries tobaccco is not allowed to the inmates, almost all of whom were consumers of it.

    Ed. Note: Other
    Smoking-Crime-Link References: The
    Real 'Profile': White Male Smokers
    1836 1854 1857 1876
    1878 1882 1901 1904
    1912 1915 1916 1924
    1925 1948 1989 1991

    The testimony of the agents [officials] of these institutions is, that none [of the tobacco-users] are injured by quitting this narcotic, but that in a few days, seldom over twenty, their uneasiness and agitation subside, their appetite is increased, and their appearance is manifestly improved.

    A distinguished physician has assured me, that he never knew a person sustain the least permanent injury from the disuse of tobacco, but, on the contrary, every one had received decided benefit. My own observation is in perfect accordance with this remark. I have known a large number of this description, and can say that I have never conversed with an individual who, after having been freed from the habit a year, did not confess that an advantage, greater or less, had resulted from his self-denial.

    Case Studies - Examples

    1. The N. H. Lawyer Case

    Case illustrative of its Effects.—A gentleman of distinction in the profession of law, in New Hampshire, wrote me under date of Dec. 10, 1833, as follows:—

    "At the age of twelve years, misled by some boyish fancy, I commenced the use of tobacco, and continued it with little restraint for about nineteen years. Generally I was in the habit of chewing tobacco, but sometimes for two, three, or four months together, I exchanged chewing for smoking. I have always led a sedentary life. After attaining to manhood, my ordinary weight was about one hundred and thirty pounds; once or twice only rising to one hundred and thirty-five, and falling not


    unfrequently to one hundred and twenty-five, and sometimes to one hundred and seventeen. My appetite was poor and unsteady, the nervous system much disordered, and my life was greatly embittered by excessive and inordinate fear of death. My spirits were much depressed. I became exceedingly irresolute, so that it required a great effort to accomplish what I now do even without thinking of it. My sleep was disturbed; faintings and lassitude were my constant attendants.

    "I had made two or three attempts to redeem myself from a habit which I knew was at best useless and foolish, if not prejudicial. But they were feeble and inefficient. Once, indeed, I thought I was sure that the giving up the use of tobacco injured my health, and I finally gave up all hopes of ever ridding myself of this habit.

    "In the summer of 1830, my attention was called to the subject by some friends whom I visited, and, by the advice and example of a friend who had renounced the practice with the most decided advantage, I thought seriously upon the subject, and felt, what had scarce occurred to me before, how degrading it was to be enslaved by a habit so ignoble. I threw away my tobacco at once and entirely, and have not since used the article in any form. Yet this was not done without a great effort, and it was some months before I ceased to hanker for the pernicious weed.

    "Since then my health has decidedly improved. I now usually weigh one hundred and forty-five pounds, and have risen to one hundred and fifty-two; rarely below one hundred and forty-five. My spirits are better. There is nothing of the faintness, lassitude, and fearful apprehensions before described. My appetite is good and my sleep sound. I have no resolution [will-power] to boast of, yet considerably more than I formerly had [Ed. Note: due to abulia].


    "In fine, I cannot tell what frenzy may seize me; yet, with my present feelings, I know not the wealth that would induce me to resume the unrestrained use of tobacco, and continue it through life."

    2. J. H.'s Case

    To Dr. A. Hobbs I am indebted for the following case, which occurred in his own family connection:—

    "Mr. J. H—— began to chew tobacco at an early age, and used it finely. When about fifty-five years old he lost his voice, and was unable to speak above the whisper for three years. During the four or five years which preceded the loss of his voice he used a quarter of a pound of tobacco in a week. He was subject to fits of extreme melancholy; for whole days he would not speak to any one, was exceedingly dyspeptic, and was subject to nightmare.

    "When about fifty-eight years old, that is, about thirteen years ago, he abandoned his tobacco. His voice gradually returned, and in one year was pretty good; his flesh and strength were greatly increased, and he now has a younger look than when he laid aside his narcotic."1

    3. L. B.'s Case

    The case of Mr. L. B——, a shoemaker, now about fifty-two years of age, exhibits strikingly the injurious effects of tobacco. About fourteen years ago he consulted me on account of dyspepsia, obstinate costiveness, and palpitation of the heart, which symptoms had existed for several years. The palpitation he had observed about seven years before. In a small degree it occurred almost daily. For years a slight fluttering was generally felt in the morning, for a short time after breakfast, which compelled him to sit still, avoiding mental as well as muscular exertion. After an hour or more he was better. He was, besides, subject to severe paroxysms of palpitation,
    1 April, 1834.


    occurring at irregular periods. Six or seven of these took place in a year. These turns were excited under stomach irritations or oppression from indigestible food. They came on instantaneously, and often left in a moment; "the pulse was nothing but a flutter." So great was the prostration, that during the paroxysm he was obliged to lie still upon the bed. The length of the paroxysm was various; sometimes an hour, sometimes several hours.

    He was in the habit of using tobacco in all its forms of cud, cigar, and snuff; he drank tea and coffee freely, and spirit and cider moderately. I advised the entire disuse of tobacco, tea, coffee, and all other drinks, save water, and to live on plain and unstimulating food. He followed the advice in regard to drinks in so far as to confine himself to water, and threw away the cud and cigar, but continued to take snuff.

    Under this change his health was improved, and the turns of palpitation were less frequent, and generally less severe. In this way he continued for about eight years, his general health being considerably improved; he was subject, however, to an occasional attack of palpitation. At length he had a paroxysm which was so terribly severe and protracted as to keep him nine hours and a half motionless upon his back, under the incessant apprehension of immediate dissolution. In the course of this nine and a half hours he made up his mind to take no more snuff.

    He has kept his resolution, and has not had an attack since, now about six years. He says he has sometimes felt a slight agitation or tremor, but this has been rare. Once his fingers were tremulous, now they are perfectly steady; and his memory, which was alarmingly impaired, is much improved.

    4. The Former Student's Case

    A physician, with whom I was intimately acquainted during the greater part of his medical pupilage, which


    included the latter part of his tobacco experience, has given the following account of his own case. He has a preference for withholding his name from the public, and has described himself as "the patient." The circumstances of the case as related may be relied on. I was present each time when he threw away his tobacco.

    "The patient," says he, "at the early age of fourteen, under the impression that it was a manly habit, commenced chewing tobacco; and a long and painful course of training was required, before the stomach could be brought to retain it. At length the natural aversion of this organ to the poison was so overcome, that an exceedingly large quantity might be taken without producing nausea.

    Ed. Note, More
    First-Timer Examples:
    Dr. Jackson (1826)
    Dr. Thorn (1845)
    Dr. Titus Coan (1850)
    Dr. Schroff (1882)
    Higley & Frech (1916)

    "For several years the patient continued its uninterrupted use, swallowing all the secretions of the mouth saturated with this baneful narcotic, without experiencing much disturbance of health. At length he began to be harassed with heartburn, attended with copious eructations of an intensely acid fluid, together with other indications of dyspepsia. A watery stomach was suspected, and smoking was at once recommended in addition to chewing, to alleviate the accumulation of water in the stomach and to assist digestion. Smoking was accordingly practised after every meal, with little alleviation of the difficulty.

    "The patient, however, being determined to be benefited by its use, resorted to it more frequently, smoking not only after eating, but several times between meals. Yet, to his great surprise, his troublesome symptoms were gradually augmented, notwithstanding his strenuous adherence to the practice.

    "To the heartburn and acid eructations soon succeeded nausea, loss of appetite, a gnawing sensation in the stomach when empty, a sense of constriction in the throat,


    dryness in the mouth and fauces, thickening or huskiness of the voice, costiveness, paleness of the countenance, languor, emaciation, aversion to exercise, lowness of spirits, palpitations, disturbed sleep; in short, all the symptoms which characterize dyspepsia of the worst stamp.

    "He was well-nigh unfitted for any kind of business, and his very existence began to be miserably burdensome.

    "At last, being advised to abandon the use of tobacco in all its forms, and being fully persuaded that he either must relinquish it voluntarily, or that death would soon compel him to do it, he summoned all his resolution for the fearful agency, and, after a long and desperate struggle, obtained the victory. All the inconvenience he experienced was a few sleepless nights, and an incessant hankering after the accustomed fascinating influence of the cigar and cud.

    "In a few days a manifest improvement in health was apparent, his appetite and strength returned, his sleep became more sound and refreshing, and he directly found himself in the enjoyment of better health than he had possessed at any time during ten years of vile submission to a depraved and unnatural appetite.

    "After abstaining from it about two months, he again, by way of experiment, returned to the cud, cigar, and pipe; and but a few days were requisite to recall all his former dyspeptic symptoms. He again relinquished the habit, under the full conviction that tobacco was the sole cause of his illness, and he firmly resolved never to make further use of it."

    After recovering a second time from the effects of his poison, this gentleman assured me that at times his feelings had bordered on those of mental derangement, he thought everybody hated him [paranoia], and he in turn hated every-


    body. He had often, after lying awake for several hours in the night under the most distressing forebodings, arisen, and smoked his pipe to procure a temporary alleviation of his sufferings in fitful and half-delirious slumbers. He even thought of suicide, but was deterred by the dread of a hereafter.

    In a few weeks after relinquishing the indulgence, all these feelings were gone; and. when I last saw him, about two years, I believe, after quitting his tobacco, he was in fine health and spirits.

    5. Dr. E. G. Moore's Case

    The following letter from Dr. Moore describes his own case:—

    Wells, Maine, April 10, 1833.

    Dear Sir—It was not until this late hour that I received your letter of the 4th inst. With pleasure I hasten to answer your inquiries with regard to my experience in the use of tobacco.

    In the autumn of 1817, I commenced, I know not why, the use of tobacco. It was not until the spring of 1825, that I experienced any ill effects from it, except now and then heartburn, acid eructations, and occasional fits of melancholy.

    At that time [1825] I became dyspeptic. My food gave me much uneasiness; I had a sinking sensation at the pit of the stomach, wandering pains about the limbs, especially by night, disturbed sleep, loss of appetite, great difficulty of breathing from slight exercise, debility, emaciation, depression of sprits. Such have been my symptoms and feelings the last seven years; and in that time I have had two attacks of haemoptysis (spitting of blood), which I attribute solely to the relaxing effects of this narcotic.

    The various remedies for dyspepsia were all tried in my case without the least benefit. About the first of December last [1832], I gave up the use of tobacco, and, to my astonishment, within the first twenty-four hours my appetite returned; food gave no uneasiness, and strength returned. I have been generally gaining flesh [weight], so that now my weight is greater than it ever was, except once.

    I never was in the habit of using more than half an ounce of tobacco a day. This would be but a moderate allowance for most persons who use the cud. I never was a smoker; my use of it was wholly confined to chewing.

    A gentleman called a few weeks ago to consult me. His countenance was pallid and ghastly. He said that he had no appetite, was extremely debilitated, had palpitation of the heart and copious perspiration on slight


    exercise, wakefulness by night, and was gloomy.

    " Sir," said I, "do you use tobacco?"

    "I do."

    "How much on an average daily?"

    "One fig."

    I told him he must renounce its use, which he promised to do. He took no medicine. I saw him again in ten days. He said he was well, and was fully satisfied that his complaints were owing to the use of tobacco.

    A friend of mine in this town, who has made a constant use of tobacco by chewing for more than thirty years of his life, was prevailed upon a few months ago to lay it aside, in consequence of having constant vertigo (dizziness); he is now well, and all who knew him are astonished to witness the increase of his flesh [weight gain] since he desisted from its use.

    I can now count ten persons who were in a feeble state of health, and who have renounced tobacco by my advice, most of whom were troubled with nervous diseases and dyspepsia. They have all acquired better health.

    You are at liberty to make what use of these remarks you please, and I will vouch for the truth of them.

    Your obedient servant,

    E. G. MOORE.

    Prof. Mussey.

    Dr. Moore's case is peculiarly interesting, inasmuch as for some years he was regarded by many of his friends as near a fatal consumption.

    In the February preceding tbe date of his letter, I met him in a stage-coach, and was struck with his healthful appearance, and interested with the account of his restoration. The following letter from the same gentleman confirms the views contained in his first communication:—

    Wells, May 7, 1836.

    Dear Sir—Yours of the 3d inst. has just been received, and in answer to your inquiry I have to say, that my health is better than when I last saw you in 1833, although, since that time, I have been afflicted with all my former unpleasant symptoms, namely, loss of appetite, debility, tremors, dizziness, palpitations of the heart, anxiety of mind, melancholy, etc.

    You may ask what could be the cause of all these unpleasant sensatlous. I will tell you.

    It was returning to the gratification of a depraved appetite in the use of tobacco; and I have no hesitancy in declaring it as my opinion, that could the causes of the many acts of suicide committed in the United States be investigated, it would be found that many instances were owing to the effects of tobacco upon the nervous system."


    It is now nearly two years since I have had anything to do with this enemy of the human race, and my health has never been better. I have a good appetite for food. My dyspeptic affection troubles me so little, that I hardly think of it. I never weighed so much before by several pounds.

    One of the persons of whom I wrote before is still in this vicinity, and uses no tobacco; he enjoys uninterrupted health. The others do not now reside in this place.


    E. G. MOORE.

    It is presumed that henceforward Dr. Moore will retain so little doubt as to the effects of tobacco, as to avoid making further experiments with it upon his own constitution.

    6. Jonathan Cummins' Case

    Jonathan Cummins, Esq., an intelligent farmer of Plymouth, N. H., in a letter to Dr. Chadbourne, about three years ago (1833), says that he was accustomed to manual labor from childhood, and enjoyed almost uninterrupted health till he was twenty-five years old, about which time he commenced chewing and smoking tobacco, having for some time taken snuff for weakness of his eyes. His stomach soon became affected, he had faintings and tremblings, and was unable to perform the labor he was accustomed to do.

    "I went on in this way," says he, "for thirty years; tobacco seemed to be my only comfort; I thought I could not live without it.

    "Two years ago, finding my strength still more rapidly declining, I determined to be a slave to my appetites no longer, arid I discontinued the use of tobacco in every form. The [withdrawal symptoms] trial was a severe one, but the immediate improvement in my general health richly paid me for all I suffered.

    "My appetite has returned, my food nourishes me, and after thirty successive years of debility, I have become strong.

    "My weight, during the time I used tobacco, varied from one hundred and thirty to one hundred and forty


    pounds, but never exceeded one hundred and fifty; 1 now weigh over one hundred and eighty, and am a vigorous old man. I am in a great measure free from those stomach and liver complaints which followed me for thirty years. I do more work than I did fifteen years ago, and use none of what you doctors call artificial stimulants; for I have more recently reformed as to tea, which I had drank at least twice a day for forty-five years. It is useless, therefore, for folks to tell me that it won't do to break off old habits; I know, for I have tried it."

    In an estimate of the expenses incurred by what he calls his bad habits, he puts his tobacco only at two dollars a year (which he says is much below its actual cost), his snuff at one dollar, and his tea at four dollars. At annual interest he computes that the amount would be $615;

    "not reckoning loss of time, and now and then a doctor's bill, anything." "A pretty little sum," says he, "for one in my circumstances, having always been pressed for money."

    In a letter I received from him about a year ago, he remarks, that among the symptoms of ill-health, while he used tobacco, were

    "a hollow, faint feeling at the stomach, want of appetite, ana sometimes severe spasms at the stomach. All the time I used tobacco my complaint was supposed to be liver complaint, and I took medicine for it. I was troubled with my food lying in my stomach for hours after eating; frequently I took rhubarb and saleratus, to help digestion; when the weight passed off, it left my stomach debilitated and full of pain, and I then took my pipe to relieve it."

    There were frequent seasons when. he was obliged to quit labor, although this was his whole dependence for a living.

    Some additional particulars I obtained in April, 1836, in a personal conversation with Mr. Cummings. He


    remarked that he continued to take a little snuff for about four months after discontinuing smoking and chewing.

    "While in the habit of smoking," said he, "there was a hollow place in my stomach large enough to hold my two fists, which nothing could fill: food would not do it; drink would not do it; nothing but tobacco-smoke." After quitting the tobacco, "the hollow place was gradually filled up; the appetite increased, food digested better, and all the unpleasant symptoms were removed in about a month after the entire disuse of the snuff."

    He observed to me that he never in his life used tobacco to excess, but always "temperately; " although he admitted the employing it in three forms might have been equivalent to a rather free [excess] use of it in one mode.

    Ed. Note: See the 1857 Lancet editor's definition of "excess."

    The effects of tobacco on the senses of seeing and hearing, in his case, were very striking.
  • He used spectacles for several years during his indulgence in tobacco, and he assured me that at the age of fifty-five years, he could not read a word in any common book, even in the strongest sunshine, without spectacles.

  • He had also a ringing and deafness in both ears for ten years, and at times the right ear was entirely deaf. During the last year of his tobacco life this difficulty very perceptibly increased.
  • "In about a month," said he, "after quitting tobacco in its last form, that is, snuff, my head cleared out, and I have never had a particle of the complaint since; not the least ringing, nor the least deafness."

    It was not many months before he could dispense with his spectacles, and

    "from that time to the present," says he, "I have been able, without spectacles, to read very conveniently, and to keep my minutes, having been a good deal engaged in surveying lands."

    He remarked, however, that when compelled to employ his eyes upon a book for some hours in succession, especially in the


    evenings, he found his spectacles convenient. He certainly hears quick, and his eye is altogether keener and stronger than usual with men of bis age. He is now in his sixty-third year.

    That the defective vision and hearing were owing, in a great degree, to the tobacco, must be inferred from the fact of his food and drinks having been nearly the same both before and since quitting that article. Said he,

    "I never lived high; my food was always plain, and I eat now the same things I did formerly."

    For organs so enfeebled as his [were], and for.so long a time, to regain their powers to so great an extent, denotes a native energy of constitution far above mediocrity.

    Ed. Note: See James Parton, Smoking and Drinking (1868), p 99, on generational deterioration data.

    7. Judge Richardson's Case

    An illustration of one frequent influence of the use of tobacco in causing neuralgic affections, is furnished by the following case of the late Chief Justice Richardson, of New Hampshire, as reported by himself in a letter dated July 31, 1837:—

    "I have never been much of a smoker or snuff-taker. I began to chew tobacco in 1807. I never was able at any time to hold in my mouth a piece larger than half a common pea, without making me sick. The practice of using it was continued till 1822, when I began to think my nerves affected by the use of it, and I abandoned it.

    "In 1825 I resumed the use of it, taking every precaution to use it moderately. I did not carry it about me, but kept it where I could have access to it when I wanted it. I used only the mildest I could procure. But notwithstanding all my precaution, the spasms and disagreeable sensation I had formerly felt at my stomach returned.

    "I could not persuade myself that the very moderate use I made of tobacco could be the cause, and I continued the use until within six or seven years last past. "I had several most severe attacks of neuralgia, which confined me for weeks,


    with the most excruciating pains in my right side and breast. It did not occur to me or to my physicians that the disorder had any connection with the use of tobacco, till in the last attack I had it occurred to me that it might be worth the trial to see what effect the abandonment of tobacco might have. This was in July, 1830.

    "Since that time, I have had nothing to do with tobacco in any shape, I have not even taken a pinch of snuff, and during all the time I have thus abstained I have not felt the slightest symptom of my old complaints, but have enjoyed better health than I have had before for many years. I am satisfied that the use of tobacco, combined with my sedentary habits and great mental exertion, was the source of all my suffering; and my firm resolve is, never to have anything to do with it in any shape hereafter."

    8. D. C.'s Case

    The influence of tobacco upon the nerves of volition is very distinct in some constitutions. D. C., Esq., of New Hampshire, at the age of seventy-nine, gave up tobacco, which he had chewed for many years. The muscles of his arms and hands had become habitually tremulous. When he was eighty-four years old, he assured me that his nerves were steady, and that he could now shoot a squirrel from the highest tree as unerringly as he could at fifty. He made this remark, that it did not satisfy him to be told that old folks could not give up bad habits; "I know," said he, "for I have tried it."

    9. Dr. Shaler's Case

    My friend Dr. Shaler, of Kentucky, recently remarked to me, that he considered the use of tobacco a stepping-stone to drunkenness; that it produced a feeling of sinking and depression at the stomach, which was relieved by alcoholic liquors. For this purpose, he usually took his brandy at least four times a day. He has done without tobacco for the last four years, and. has no craving for brandy or other strong drink, and takes none.


    The following statement from the late Dr. Chapman, professor of theory and practice of physic in Philadelphia, shows the influence of this article upon the functions of the alimentive organs, as well as of the brain:—

    10. Constipation Cases

    "Numerous are the instances of constipation which I have met with from this article [tobacco]. The primary effect of it, in whatever mode consumed, is rather aperient; and the persistent or inordinate use, directly the contrary."

    11. Dyspepsia Cases

    Also in an article on dyspepsia, the same author [Dr. Chapman] uses the following emphatic language:

    "The most common of the causes of the disease, in certain parts of our country, is the enormous consumption of tobacco in the several forms. Certain I am, at least, that a large proportion of the cases of it which come to me are thus produced. It is usually very obstinate, and sometimes of a truly melancholy character."

    Then follows the description of several striking cases; one

    "a member of Congress from the West, in the meridian of life, and of a very stout frame, who told me that he labored under the greatest physical and moral infirmity, which he was utterly unable to explain; and that from having been one of the most healthy and fearless men, he had become, to use his own phrase, 'sick all over, and timid as a girl.' He could not present even a petition to Congress, much less say a word concerning it, though he had long been a practising lawyer, and served much in legislative bodies. On inquiry, I found that his consumption of tobacco was almost incredible, by chewing, snuffing, and smoking. Being satisfied that all his misery arose from this poisonous weed, its use was discontinued, and in a few weeks he entirely recovered."

    12. Delirium Tremens Case

    I was acquainted with a gentleman in Vermont who conscientiously abstained from all intoxicating drinks, yet died of delirium tremens from the excessive use of tobacco.


    13. Smoker Myth Cases

    A. The reasonings employed in defence of the use of tobacco are sometimes not a little entertaining.
  • A clergyman in Hamilton county, Ohio, chews tobacco, as he alleges, "to prevent his getting fat;"

  • another clergyman in the same county, very lean of flesh, smokes cigars "to make him fat."
  • B. Several years ago, a man applied to me for advice, and commenced a narrative of his symptoms, in which I soon interrupted him by saying,

    "Sir, you use tobacco."

    "Yes," he replied, "I chew a little."

    "Well, sir, do you think it does you any good?"

    "No," said he, "I think not. I believe, on the whole, it hurts me."

    "Very well, then, why don't you stop it?"

    "Because a man naturally wants a little something, you know, to sweeten his mouth after dinner."

    "Pray, sir, what do you eat for dinner, if that nauseous thing will sweeten your mouth?"

    C. A respectable lady consulted me for weakness in one eye (fistula lachrymalis), with which she had been afflicted for a number of years. I asked her if she had done anything for it. She said she had taken snuff for it.

    "How long have you taken snuff?"

    "Eleven years," "was the reply.

    "Indeed, madam, you must have great faith in medicine, to take it perseveringly for eleven years, without a cure, or any essential improvement."

    "Yes," she replied, "but I suppose I am a great deal better than I should have been if I had not taken it."

    A man consulted me for sore eyes and dimness of vision, which had lasted for a long time. I asked him whether he drank strong drink.

    "Yes," said he, "I drink a little every day."

    "Do you make use of tobacco?"

    "Yes, I'm very fond of it, and take it pretty freely."

    "Well, sir, before your eyes can be cured [as per tobacco's causative role], you must quit entirely the use of liquor and tobacco."

    "As for the liquor," said he,


    "I suppose I could stop that off, but the quitting of tobacco is out of the question."

    "What makes you think so, sir?"

    "Why," said he, "I don't believe I should have had a sign of an eye in my head by this time, if I hadn't used tobacco."

    D. There are those who are ready to admit the habit of using tobacco to be filthy, disgusting, and pernicious, generally, but their own cases are peculiar, and to be regarded as exceptions. One has a tickling in his nose, calling for snuff; another a rising in his stomach, if he don't smoke; another, a dryness in his throat, if he don't chew.

    Ed Note: This
    is self-deception;
    the source, fraud.


    How can a temperance [anti-alcoholism] man use tobacco? With what consistency can he ask his neighbor to abstain from alcohol, on the ground of its being injurious to body and mind, while he indulges himself in the habitual gratification of an appetite unnatural and pernicious, and holding in some respects a strong alliance with that produced by an alcoholic beverage? How long shall the widow's mite, consecrated, under many personal privations, to the great object of doing good to mankind, be perverted to sustain a disgustful and hurtful habit in the beneficiary of an education society?

    What Christian can indulge himself in the habit of using tobacco—a habit which benumbs the moral sense as well as pollutes the body, that temple which is designed for the indwelling of the "Spirit of truth?" How long are the sacred altars of God to be polluted with this unhallowed offering, and the garments of the priesthood to remain uncleansed from its defilements? How long shall transgressors be called upon to listen, with a spirit of conviction and repentance, to sermons on the great duties of Christian self-denial, prepared and pronounced under the inspiration of this poison?


    Other Books by Dr. Mussey
    1. The Physiological Influence of Alcohol: from the Temperance Prize Essays (Preston: J. Livesey; Washington, Green, 1835)
    2. "Tobacco." In: Vol. 1 The Boston Observer and Religious Intelligencer (#25) p 200 (Boston, 1835)
    3. Prize essay on ardent spirits, and its substitutes as a means of invigorating health (Washington, D.C.: D. Green, 1835 and 1837)
    4. An essay on the influence of tobacco upon life and health (Boston: Perkins & Marvin; New York: American Tract Society, 1836)
    5. The Preston temperance advocate, including index and supplements, for 1836 (Preston: J. Livesey, 1836)
    6. Anatomical Cabinet, belonging to R. D. Mussey, M. D., professor of surgery in the Medical College of Ohio [from 1837 to 1851] Printed for the use of pupils (Cincinnati: 1837)
    7. An essay on the influence of tobacco upon life and health (Boston: Perkins & Marvin; Cincinnati, Week, 1839)
    8. An essay on the influence of tobacco upon life and health (Cincinnati, G.L. Weed, 1839)
    9. Invitation to visit Cincinnati, 1847 February 20, to Daniel Webster, Washington. Corp Author: Cincinnati (Ohio). Citizens. (1847)
    10. Catalogue of articles in Medical Museum marked by Committee of Trustees and Dr. Mussey (1848)
    11. An introductory lecture delivered at the opening of the 32nd session of the Medical College of Ohio, October 15, 1851 (Cincinnati: Marshall & Langtry, 1852)
    12. The trials and rewards of the medical profession: an introductory lecture delivered at the opening of the first session of the Miami Medical College, at Cincinnati, October 3d, 1852 (Cincinnati: T. Wrightson, 1853)
    13. Aneurismal tumours upon the ear, successfully treated by the ligation of both carotids; Recto-vaginal fistula, cured by operation (Philadelphia: 1853)
    14. An essay on the influence of tobacco upon life and health (New York: American Tract Society, 1854)
    15. Alcohol in health and disease. A lecture, introductory to the forth annual course of the Miami Medical College, at Cincinnati, October 15, 1855 (Cincinnati, T. Wrightson & Co., 1856)
    16. Orders relating to colored men and colored troops, Corp Author: United States. Commission for United States Colored Troops. (Nashville, Tenn.: 1863)

    Other Books on Tobacco Effects
    Evils of Using Tobacco, and the Necessity
    of Immediate and Entire Reformation
    by Rev. Orin S. Fowler (1833)
    The Use of Tobacco: Its Physical,
    Intellectual, and Moral Effects
    on The Human System
    Dr. William A. Alcott, M.D. (1836)
    The Mysteries of Tobacco,
    by Rev. Benjamin Lane (1859)
    The Use and Abuse of Tobacco,
    by Dr. John Lizars, M.D. (1859)
    Le Tabac, Le Plus Violent des Poisons,
    by Dr. Hippolyte A. Depierris (1876)
    Click Here for Titles of Additional Books