Welcome to the book Is Smoking Harmful? (1950), by Jesse Mercer Gehman, N.D., M.N. To go to the "Table of Contents" immediately, click here.
Tobacco pushers and their accessories in politics 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 a small section of wthe text by Jesse Mercer Gehman, N.D., M.N. of an early exposé (1950) of tobacco dangers. It cites facts you don't normally ever find reported, due to the "tobacco taboo."
The phrase "tobacco taboo" is the term for the pro-tobacco media's censorship policy—to not report most facts about tobacco.
As you will see, information about the tobacco danger was already being circulated in 1950, 14 years before the famous 1964 Surgeon General Report. Be prepared.

Twelve Reliable Lessons on Cigarettes
by Jesse Mercer Gehman, N.D., M.N.
(New York: G. & R. Anthony, Inc., 1950)

1. Any Smoker Knows These Effects of Tobacco1
2. Science Knows These Effects of Tobacco
3. Science Says Tobacco Is Heart Poison
4. Effect of Smoking on Stomach, Liver,
Pancreas, Lungs, Intestinal Tract, and Eyes
5. Tobacco, Sex Fertility, Impotency, Beauty,
and Longevity
6. Smoking and Cancer
7. Effects of Smoking on the Unborn—
Nursing Infants and Children
8. Effects of Tobacco on the Brain and the Mind
9. Cigarette Smoking and Our
Low Physical Standard
10. Then Why Do People Smoke?
11. For Those Who Want to Stop Smoking
From the READER'S DIGEST Magazine
Two Lively personal Experience Articles
on Quitting Smoking

(pp iv-v)

living. Smoking is a baneful habit as any who have had it long enough can attest. It must be discouraged.

The rise of Japan's man-power until it became a threat against civilization as we knew it, might be found in the following utterance, which was made by one of Japan's men of vision many years ago:
"If we would make our nation superior to the nations of Europe and America, we must by all means forbid the smoking of cigarettes by our boys and girls who are to become the future fathers and mothers of our country."

In any event, we do know that our rejections for physical reasons, during the last war were alarmingly high. Yet we are the nation with the highest standard of living in the world!

We should keep ever before us Disraeli's admonition on health and happiness:
"Public health is the foundation on which reposes the happiness of the people and the power of a country. The care of the public health is the first duty of a statesman."

Can it be said that smoking and associated addictions contribute to either our health or happiness?

We are convinced they do not.

The pages which follow containing the outstanding findings from early days to the present, are intended to help the men and women, and the boys and girls who are confused and want to know how tobacco harms them.

Chapter One


The effect of the first smoke should prove to anyone that tobacco is a poison to the system!

LITTLE is heard of the actual physical and mental effects of tobacco. Perhaps vested interests take care of that but more likely it is simply the apathetic attitude of most educators, doctors, scientists and last but not least, the gentlemen of the press, possibly because so many of them are themselves addicted to the use of the weed and therefore can see no harm in its use, or seeing it, they ignore it.

Back of this curtain of silence, however, there has been tireless research, to determine the effects of tobacco, though perhaps not as concertedly as an other fields of scientific research because of the apparent lack of universal interest or more likely because of the general acceptance of the belief that tobacco is the harmless substance cigarette manufacturers would have us believe it is.

While this situation has to an extent prevailed in scientific circles each man or woman can for himself or herself measure in a general way, and to a reasonable degree, the effects of tobacco on his or her body. We refer to the most obvious effects. These are: less energy, tiring more quickly, a less keen appreciation of simple, wholesome food, gastric disturbance, disturbed sleep, susceptibility to colds, loginess and inclination to be less active, and mental too, dullness without the periodic use of tobacco.


(pp 2-31)

waiting their turn in their vain search for youthful appearance and beauty in America's thousands of beauty shops, the majority of our women imbibe heavy inhalations of cigarette smoke and thus destroy the very thing for which they are searching.

No beauty treatment can restore the flaccid tissues, the sallow color and the lusterless hair of the cigarette smoker. The dissipating influence of the tobacco habit is seen in the languor of the eyes, yellowish cast of the skin, lack of energy and general irritability. Beauty treatments cannot erase these effects. To have grown slightly obese, or to have sought more sensible means of attacking the excess weight, is better than to be face to face with a case of drooping cheeks, flabby wrinkles and lifeless lips, fallen breasts and that sickly, yellowish ashen cast, too often the result of tobacco usage on the glandular system of the body.

Next to the womanly beauty and vigorous stalwart manhood, we believe the general interest of people is how long they can live, so that anything that threatens life expectancy is to be regarded with suspicion and caution. Cigarettes and tobacco have come under observation for this reason.

Dr. J. H. Tilden tells us,"All men know that tobacco is unwholesome, but rather than think of this phase of the subject, they seek to recall all the octogenarians possible who have used it for 70 or more years, then give a sardonic smile and refer to these apparent exceptions. When death comes, which it does in these cases prematurely, it is then that we hear friends say, 'poor fellow, he is out of luck.' Luck nothing! He just got what was coming to him. There is no favoritism in nicotine. Cause and effect are equal even if our sophistry, religion and self-deluding philosophy hypnotizes us into believing the contrary."

Again we hark back to yesteryear for the opinion of scientific men interested in speading the truth about


the evils of tobacco, this time for its effect on the life span of man.

"Could we draw back the covering of the tomb, and know what tobacco has done in shortening human life, it would surprise us that man, the image of his Maker, endowed with reason, should have consented thus to destroy himself both mentally and physically," is the way John C. Gunn, M.D., author of Gunn's Domestic Medicine, published in 1866, paints the picture for his readers.

Seventy years later we find other men of science confirming in their studies what has always been known but lacked proof in some instances because of lack of paraphernalia or protracted records. What science of old knew of the harm of tobacco by clinical observation, science today is proving by irrefutable demonstration

"Smoking is associated with a definite impairment of longevity. This impairment is proportional to the habitual amount of tobacco usage by smokers, being great for heavy smokers and less for moderate smokers," said the late Professor Raymond Pearl of Johns Hopkins in speaking before the New York Academy of Medicine on the search for longevity.

"Unfortunately, the tobacco habit has become so nearly universal in this as well as other civilized countries that even health officers, so-called 'Guardians of the public health,'' while fighting such comparatively minor enemies as flies, mosquitoes and malarial parasites, carry around in their mouths the biggest killer of all and if the whole truth were known, probably one of the most dangerous of all enemies to which civilized humanity is exposed," is the way Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, sage of Battle Creek, a physician who for seventy years, was actively endeavoring to educate the public to the truth of the harm of tobacco, described our apathy.

We believe tobacco stands convicted of greater ill,


(pp 34-68)

any complications that would demand the activity of our armed forces.

It is a situation that requires Congressional investigation if it is to be directed.
Ed. Note: See the 1889 Michigan House of Representatives' cigarette investigation.
Such [federal] investigation may become a reality thanks to the pioneering spirit of Walter K. Granger, Congressman from Utah, who presented the following resolution:

June 29, 1949

Mr. Granger submitted the following resolution which was referred to the Committee on Rules:

"Resolved, That there is hereby created a select committee to be composed of five Members of the House of Representatives to be appointed by the Speaker, not more than three from one political party, one of whom he shall designate as chairman. Any vacancy occurring in the membership of the committee shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made.

SEC. 2. The committee shall make a thorough study and investigation of the tobacco and cigarette problems as pertains to—

(a) effects on the soil due to the cultivation of tobacco resulting in the depletion of natural resources;

(b) occupational diseases connected with its manufacture; also the effects of the use of tobacco on the moral, mental and physical health of its users; also the effects on non-smokers who are directly or indirectly subjected to the atmosphere of tobacco users; also the prenatal and postnatal effects on the children of mothers who use tobacco;

(c) the advertising and selling methods and practices of the tobacco interests, with special reference to the files of the Federal Trade Commission; and inquiry regarding the possibility of any connection between receipts from cigarette advertising by certain newspapers and magazines and the suppression by them of unfavorable publicity regarding the effects of tobacco addiction:


(d) the use of cigarettes as a contributing cause of juvenile delinquency and other anti-social results;

(e) the economic waste of the tobacco habit; also its effect on the efficiency of tobacco users; and

(f) the deaths and property losses due to fires caused by smoking.

SEC. 3. The committee shall report to the House (or to the Clerk of the House if the House is not in session) as soon as practicable during the present Congress the results of its investigation and study, together with such recommendations as it deems advisable.

SEC. 4. For the purpose of carrying out this resolution the committee or sub-committee thereof is authorized to sit and act during the-present Congress at such times and places within the United States whether the House is in session, has recessed, or has adjourned, to hold such hearings, and to require, by subpoena or otherwise, the attendance and testimony of such witnesses and the production of such books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, and documents, as it deems necessary. Subpoenas may be issued under the signature of the chairman of the committee or any member of the committee designated by him, and may be served by any person designated by such chairman or member."

IF YOU BELIEVE IN THIS RESOLUTION write your Congressman and Senator requesting action thereon. Be sure to refer to: GRANGER RESOLUTION ON THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY—H. RES. 273 [1949] and ask their prompt action and support.

This bill and appeal may be reprinted for distributione by anyone. It should have the widest possible circulation.

We have had the privilege of conferring with Congressman Granger on several occasions. He is profoundly sincere, determined, and tireless in his efforts. As a challenge to the moral fiber of American fathers and mothers who value the sanctity of their homes and the welfare of their children, we reprint the Granger Resolution presented to the 81st House of Congress—1st Session."


(pp 66-89)