Iowa Cigarette Control Law—1897

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Section 5006 of the 1897 Laws of Iowa banned manufacture, sale, exchange, and disposition of cigarettes and cigarette paper. Yes, in 1897.

Why? Answer (in five parts):
  • 1. The cigarette hazard and many cigarette effects (though not all) were already then known.

  • 2. Even the problem of adulteration by coumarin was already known.

  • 3. The common law "right to fresh and pure air" already existed (since at least the year 1306).

  • 4. Iowans saw that due to rampant violations of that common law right by smokers, that right needed to be institutionalized / buttressed / reinforced via statutory law.

  • 5. That era still had the Blackstonian-common-law concept that government can neither violate rights, nor allow others to do so.

  • In that era, medical science, emphasizing prevention, was conquering smallpox, plague, yellow fever, etc. Confidence was high that life-style diseases (e.g., those from tobacco) could soon be the next eliminated.

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    Iowans were devout and educated. They wanted to prevent the known cigarette effects. They knew about prevention (smallpox vaccinations, hygiene, proper diet-rest-exercise, fresh air, etc.) as a routine part of life.

    People of the 1890's were educated, so knew these effects, they were better educated than now.
    Nowadays, due to media advertising and media censorship, most people don't know (are obstructed from learning) these basics about tobacco, i.e., its role in "moral" effects including but not limited to:
  • abortion
  • alcoholism
  • crime
  • divorce
  • drugs
  • SIDS
  • suicide!
    despite much of such data being extant medically—
    back then, even, already a long time!

  • They knew then to do prevention. They knew that pro-active prevention is wise; after-the-factism, reactive-ism, is backwards and benighted. They did not have the backward modern notion of "educating" how "how to quit" or "why to quit." They in 1897 believed in prevention of starting in the first place. They in 1897 believed in preventing the effects before they became so severe as to have the backward issue of maybe "quitting" even becoming an issue in the first place. Pro-active prevention is wise; after-the-factism, reactive-ism, is backwards and benighted.

    In short, many 1840's - 1890's era activists wanted what is now called a "comprehensive integrated program." This means that adults must set a proper example for children. This emphasis is not 'do as I say, not as I do'! It is not just 'encouraging'! They said 'No' to pusher power to overwhelm.

    Significantly, far more so than now, that era American activism was concerned about national and adults' example,

    See instances of that era's writings (1833-1916):

    1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16;
    17; 18; 19; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28; 29; 30;
    31; 32; 33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 40; 41; 42; 43;
    44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 50; 51; 52; 53; 54; 55; 56; 57; 58
    See also what children in that era were being taught about tobacco.

    And see examples of modern studies verifying importance of adults' example:

  • "Parents' smoking, drinking influence children: Study: Kids' 'play behavior' shows awareness of alcohol and tobacco use" (Associated Press, 5 September 2005) citing study by Madeline Dalton, et al., of Dartmouth Medical School, in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine (September 2005).

  • “Although no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) exists, an international study determined that nearly half of never smokers aged 13–15 years were exposed to SHS at home (46.8%) or in places other than the home (47.8%). Never smokers exposed to SHS at home were 1.4 to 2.1 times more likely to be susceptible to initiating smoking than those not exposed, and students exposed to SHS in places other than the home were 1.3 to 1.8 times more likely to be susceptible.” Source: “Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Among Students Aged 13–15 Years Worldwide, 2000-2007”—MMWR 25 May 2007 / Vol. 56 / No. 20.
    • (In law, people including adults cannot consent
      to self-harm, i.e., to acts causing selves
      great bodily harm;
      but adults' merely appearing to do so
      [though without legal validity]
      itself sets a bad example.

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    Iowans therefore [whether pursuant to some or all examples guidance] correctly identified that a consumer protection law banning manufacture, and banning sales to adults, was crucial: crucial to preventing ADULTS' bad example of using cigarettes. Consumer protection law is based on the logical concept that a product should be safe to use as the manufacturer designs/intends it to be used. No logical reason exists to say this concept applies to all products except tobacco!

    (Not to mention,
  • helping adult addicts themselves struggling to quit, an effort obstructed
    when the killer material is being openly manufactured and sold as
    a constant temptation of easy access;
  • preventing tobacco plumes from harming anyone; and
  • protecting third parties [spouses, co-workers, infants, the unborn, etc.])
  • So Iowa banned cigarette manufacture, cigarette selling. In 1897. Yes, 1897.

    Note the emphasis. To deter and prevent sales, they saw the need not just to act against retailers, but also to ban manufacture, exchange and disposition of both cigarettes and cigarette paper. This was indeed comprehensive.

    Professor Arthur Holmes (of Pennsylvania State College), in "The Psychology of Smoking" said, "If men did not smoke, boys would not. All the appeals and all the legislation possible, therefore, which would suppress the open and overt uses of tobacco are good."

    In the book, The Use and Abuse of Tobacco, by Surgeon John Lizars, M.D. (Edinburgh, Scotland: 1859), a full ban on tobacco had been recommended, based on the hazard already being known, and following a Swiss precedent of banning sales to youths only, see page 49. Dr. Lizars said the hazard is comprehensive, not just to youth ("the health of the community is injured by the use of tobacco"), protect everybody.

    Dr. Lizars also said that in 1857, the medical journal The Lancet had provided guidance on "excess smoking" in context of a 10-year programme for youth avoidance of tobacco, that if followed, would have led to abolition of smoking by 1867. As Iowans of 1897 knew, that "youth" focus had not worked. Focusing on youth does not, and cannot work, as long as the killer items remain available. Wherefore they (1897 Iowans) concluded to ban the manufacture and sale. (See later writings against mere "youth focus.")

    In the same era, Rev. Benjamin Lane, in The Mysteries of Tobacco (New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1845), pp 50-51, had proposed an immediate tobacco ban with "severe penalties."

    For data on tobacco's adverse brain effects, click here. Cigarettes thus cause "the worst of all drug habits, the smoking of tobacco"—Herbert H. Tidswell, M.D., The Tobacco Habit: Its History and Pathology (London: J. & A. Churchill, 1912), p 69. Banning the "worst" drug, tobacco, in this 1897 'controlled substances act,' = banning them all! as per the medical fact that eliminating the cause = eliminating the effects; here, eliminating the gateway drug = eliminating the post-gateway drugs.

    Sublatâ causa, tollitur effectus: Otez la cause, l'effet disparaît, says Le Dr H. A. Depierris, Physiologie Sociale: Le Tabac (Paris: Dentu, 1876, reprinted and edited, E. Flammarion, 1898), p 328.

    Protecting children only, without banning sales to adults, long has been found to be ineffective, say Luther H. Higley, et al., The Evils of Tobacco and Cigarettes (Butler, Indiana: The Higley Printing Co, 1916), p 60; and H.S. Gray, "The Boy and the Cigarette Habit," 29 Education 294-315 at p 311 (1909).

    Iowans of that era were educated,

    So they passed a comprehensive integrated effects prevention law, preventing all cigarette effects, known then or not. In essence, this law institutionalizes the constitutional rights to life and due process, as per the common law

    Iowa was a leader. Tennessee also passed a cigarette sales ban that same year. Soon Wisconsin, like Iowa, did likewise. In 1905, Indiana prohibited cigarette sale and give-away. Michigan followed the lead of such states in 1909 with a cigarette manufacture, give-away, and sales ban (MCL § 750.27, MSA § 28.216, still law).

    Nebraska passed a law, No. 28-1421 (1919), saying inter alia, "Only cigarettes and cigarette material containing pure white paper and pure tobacco shall be licensed" (full text in Nebraska Revised Statutes, Vol 2A, p 299, 1995 Reissue).

    "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."—Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881).

    Examples of what comprehensive cigarette control (e.g., the 1897 law) prevents (whether partially or wholly, known or unknown then) include but are not limited to the following:

    Abortion Addiction AIDS
    Alcoholism Alzheimer's
    Birth Defects
    Brain Damage
    Breast Cancer
    Hearing Loss
    Heart Disease
    Lung Cancer
    Macular Degeneration
    Mental Disorders
    SIDS Suicide Total Overview

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    Once Iowa banned cigarettes, litigation resulted from challenges by litigious tobacco pushers. As the cigarette hazard was already clear in 1897, Iowa won all challenges. Below is a case list:

    McGregor v Cone, 104 Iowa 465; 73 NW 1041; 65 Am St Rep 522; 39 LRA 484 (24 Jan 1898) ("The . . . 'Anti-Cigarette Law,' being chapter 96, Acts 26th Gen. Assem., prohibits the sale of cigarettes within this state . . .")

    Cook v Marshall County, 119 Iowa 384; 93 NW 372; 104 Am St Rep 283 (2 Feb 1903) aff'd 196 US 261; 25 S Ct 233; 49 L Ed 471 (16 Jan 1905)

    Hodge v Muscatine County, 121 Iowa 482, 483; 96 NW 968; 67 LRA 624; 104 Am St Rep 304 (22 Oct 1903) aff'd 196 US 276; 25 S Ct 237; 49 L Ed 477 (16 Jan 1905) ("Section 5006 of the Code forbids . . . the manufacture, sale, exchange, or disposition of cigarettes or cigarette paper.")

    Iowa had already had pre-1897 tobacco-related cases, e.g., Kaufman v Farley Mfg Co, 78 Iowa 679; 43 NW 612 (28 Oct 1889) (a cigar jobber termination case); and Iowa v McGregor, 76 F 956 (ND Iowa, 23 July 1896).

    As tobacco pushers are litigious, and lead to additional issues, Iowa has had other cases as well:

    Hirschhorn v Bradley, 117 Iowa 130; 90 NW 592 (20 May 1902) (a manufacturer attempt to terminate a cigar sales agent)

    A. Santaella & Co v Otto F. Lange Co, 84 CCA 145; 155 F 719 (CA 8, Iowa, 17 June 1907) (another cigar salesman termination case)

    State v C. C. Taft Co, 183 Iowa 548; 167 NW 467; 9 ALR 390 (7 May 1918) (institutionalizing the right to fresh and pure air via the 1897 cigarette ban)

    Rish v Iowa Portland Cement Co, 186 Iowa 443; 170 NW 532 (23 Jan 1919) (worker injured on the job due to tobacco)

    Taft Co, et al v Abbey, 185 Iowa 1069, 1074-1075; 171 NW 719,720 (11 April 1919) app dism 252 US 569; 40 S Ct 345; 64 L Ed 720 (15 March 1920) (upholding reporting violators of the 1897 cigarette sales ban, including owners of buildings wherein illegal sales occurred. "The thought of the Legislature evidently was that the traffic in cigarettes was inimical to the public good and ought to be suppressed. The traffic was made unlawful.")

    State v Lagomarcino-Grupe Co, 207 Iowa 621; 223 NW 512 (5 Feb 1929) (a licensing aspects case)

    Ford Hopkins Co v Iowa City, 240 NW 687 (9 Feb 1932) repl 216 Iowa 1286; 248 NW 668, 670 (15 May 1933) (affirming cigarette license denial. ". . . . three thousand minors attend the [area]. Ford Hopkins Company . . . has located its store in a prominent part of the city 'where young people are passing all the time. . . . It has a tendency to bring boys and girls into that store.' Cigarettes apparently had been sold to, and used by, minors, and the council and police force were anxious about controlling the sale and use of cigarettes in the community. . . . 'I had [this] brought to my attention by my daughter where two minor friends of hers were trying to buy cigarettes . . . I do not believe in . . . minors smoking.'")

    Iowa FlagIowa Flag       Iowans' concern about tobacco pushers deliberately hooking children on cigarettes was well-founded. Tobacco company intent and action when unrestrained is shown by this example of smoking—30% of 6 year old boys; 50% of "boys between 9 and 10"; 88% of boys over 11, reported by Prof. W. E. Dixon, On Tobacco, 17 Canadian Med Ass'n J 1531 (Dec 1927). Likewise, Ohioans and Chicagoans were expressing similar concerns.

           Tobacco pushers wanting to turn nonsmoker children into tobacco addicts well know that: "The first step toward addiction may be as innocent as a boy's puff on a cigarette in an alleyway," said the U.S. Supreme Court in Robinson v California, 370 US 660, 670; 82 S Ct 1417; 8 L Ed 2d 758 (1962).

           Professional analysts recognize that adult smokers would typically not be smoking if they had not been illegally solicited or obtained while they were children. See the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rule entitled "Regulations Restricting the Sale and Distribution of Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco to Protect Children and Adolescents." 61 Fed Reg 44,396 (28 Aug 1996) (resulting rule codified at 21 CFR § 801, et al.). The FDA found that "cigarette and smokeless tobacco use begins almost exclusively in childhood and adolescence." 61 Fed Reg 45239.

           Minors are particularly vulnerable to Madison Avenue's exhortations, plastered on racing cars and outfield fences, to be cool and smoke, be manly and chew, and the FDA found "compelling evidence that promotional campaigns can be extremely effective in attracting young people to tobacco products." Id. at 45247.

           This initial element of illegality renders subsequent cigarette manufacturing and sales illegal, as Iowans correctly recognized.

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    Bernstein v Marshalltown, 215 Iowa 1168; 248 NW 26, 27; 86 ALR 782 (4 April 1933) (cigarette license denial case: ". . . the Legislature was dealing with police regulation of cigarettes and cigarette papers, the sale of which under the public policy of the state . . . is considered illegal and dangerous to the public health and morals.")

    Ravreby v United Airlines, 293 NW2d 260 (Iowa, 18 June 1980) (travelers' rights case involving a partial smoking ban)

    Snap-On Tools Corp v IAMAW Lodge 1045, 86-2 Lab Arb Awards (CCH) § 8409 (Iowa, 19 June 1986) (on-job smoking ban case)

    In re Marriage of Stanley, 411 NW2d 698 (Iowa, 24 June 1987) (divorce case due to smokers' disproportionately high [+53%] divorce rate)

    Des Moines Register and Tribune Co v Des Moines Typographical Union No 118, 88-1 Lab Arb Awards (CCH) § 8154; 90 Lab Arb (BNA) 777 (5 Feb 1988) (on-job smoking ban case, pursuant to the duty to provide a safe work place and protect workers from health risks)

    Reysack v State, 440 NW2d 392 (Iowa, 17 May 1989) (Details)

    Iowa ex rel. Miller v Philip Morris, Inc, 577 NW2d 401 (Iowa, 22 April 1998) (a health care cost reimbursement case to recoup taxpayer money spent on smokers' health care)

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    Yes, Iowans of 1897 set a good example for us all. They did not let the tobacco lobby dictate to them. They prevented the current story, 'it's legal'—as though a thing being legal, allows using it to commit a holocaust (the 1971 medical term already being used for tobacco deaths, high then already).

    Examples of References:
    The Smoking-Crime-Connection
    1836 1854 1857
    1878 1882 1901
    1915 1916 1924
    1925 1989 1991

    Note that 1897 Iowans avoided the modern error of focusing solely on children! See Stanton Glantz, PhD, "Preventing Tobacco Use—The Youth Access Trap," 86 Am J Public Health (#2) 157 (Feb 1996) (article on the error of dealing solely with protecting youth).
    The 'youth focus' is indeed a major error. That approach leaves spouses (due to lung cancer), co-workers (due to smoking-on-the-job), infants (due to SIDS), the unborn (due to abortion), and the public-at-large (due to alcoholism, drugs, and crime), denied protection. Iowans knew to avoid the 'youth access trap,'
    Advisory: Treat pretended 'nonsmoker advocates' who insist on the 'protecting the kids' focus as THE issue, as tobacco lobbyists.
    Treat pretended 'nonsmoker advocates' who insist on limiting the issue by excluding tobacco's "moral" effects as tobacco lobbyists.
    Treat pretended 'nonsmoker advocates' who insist on excluding the FULL range of solution, e.g., anti-poisoning and anti-murder laws and precedents, as tobacco lobbyists.
    Treat pretended 'nonsmoker advocates' who thus reveal themselves as money-motivated not wanting to END the tobacco holocaust but to continue it throughout their career by 'pulling their punches,' for their own careerist purposes, as tobacco lobbyists.

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    Our great-grandparents of the 1897 era were better educated on the tobacco issue than people now. For example, children could understand Thomas Edison's 1914 cigarette analysis! And in 1889, even students were so much better educated on cigarette effects that they were informing adults, state legislators in one state (Michigan)! They believed in dealing with causes, believed in prevention of effects, vs hand-wringing denunciations of effects! You've likely seen examples of media hand-wringing about crime, crocodile tears, amidst their carefully avoiding saying the tobacco-crime connection.

    Due to the 90% cigarette role in crime, Judge Leroy B. Crane recommended, "Congress should stop the manufacture, sale, and importation of cigarettes."—Quoted by Prof. Bruce Fink, Tobacco (Cincinnati: Abingdon Press, 1915), p 19.

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    We need more such clear-thinking people, who "prize their liberties and maintain their rights" (including pure air rights) as Iowa's flag well says.

    Please urge all officials to pass a law in each jurisdiction, specifying, it "forbids . . . the manufacture, sale, exchange, or disposition of cigarettes or cigarette paper" (words that are an example for us all). Please urge this in all jurisdictions—nations, states, counties, cities, etc. And please do call-in programs, and letter writing to urge this, to newspapers, representatives, senators, governors, parliamentarians, and all pertinent elected and appointed officials and candidates.

    For information on tobacco's current impact on Iowa, see the overview at the Tobacco-Free Kids website.

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    Sample Language
    Please support adoption of a law that "forbids . . . the manufacture, sale, exchange, or disposition of cigarettes or cigarette paper." Iowa did this in 1897, details at Such a law will help prevent the full range of tobacco effects, known and unknown, thus save lives.
    Iowa residents, please contact your governor, senators, and representatives, asking that the 1897 law be re-introduced and re-passed.
    And In Interim, Include in All Zoning and Business Licenses, Requirement to Comply With All Pertinent Laws, Including Pure Air Rights, Safe Product Duty, and No Murder

    "Tobacco Free Iowa" continues the life-saving work for smoke-free air. It may be contacted at (515) 253-0147 or (800) 688-0147.

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