Hysteria, or, in common parlance, hysterics, one of the neuroses, and a most singular affection, is also to be mentioned as one of the effects of tobacco. Hysteria, although, in its original signification, an affection belonging exclusively to females, is nevertheless not unfrequently to be found with all its distinctive features in the opposite sex. As is well known, it often causes fits of alternate laughing and crying; and at the same time the pitiable subject seems to have a heavy ball in the abdomen, that rises towards the stomach, chest, and
* Dr. Mackintosh thus describes this disease: 'Hypochondriac symptoms affect two classes of individuals: Those whose ailments are only imaginaryor functional; and, 2. Those whose complaints are produced by organic disease. The first class of patients embraces the idle, the wicked, the dissipated, and those who are brought up without a profession, who, when left to their own resources, know not how to kill time. The minds of such persons are enervated from a want of due exercise of the faculties they may actually possess, till at last the vital actions become weakened, some of the natural functions, particularly those performed by the stomach and bowels, may be impaired; at which time, should a friend die, or the history of a disease fall in their way they will immediately fancy themselves affected with the same disorder. Or they may have a hundred and fifty different complaints, and think they experience a thousand strange sensations and unaccountable feelings, till bodily disease is, in the end, ingrafted on the mental. The organic disease acts upon the mind, producing a state which, to say the least of it, is far from one of insanity. The primary disease may be functional or structural. If the former, the stomach and bowels will in general be found to be the parts at fault; and I have sometimes discovered, on dissection, diseased states of the liver, lungs, kidneys, bladder, heart, blood-vessels, and also of the brain and its membranes.'
neck, producing at the same time a sense of strangulation. There is
sometimes partial unconsciousness and convulsions. This, then, a
nervous disease, is sometimes caused mainly, or in part, by tobacco.
Be it understood, however, that 1 admit there are many cases of hys-
teria where the drug has had nothing to do in the matter, it never
having been used. All I claim is, that tobacco is one of the many
causes of this most singular disease.*
* No persons are more to be pitied than those who suffer from hysteria. . . .
In some parts of the world where females make much use of tobacco, hysteria or hysterics, essentially a nervous disease, is found to be very prevalent. It is to be observed, however, that, as a general fact, those persons who use tobacco, use also the kindred stimulants, tea, and coffee, one or both of them, so that these articles, either of which may cause that disease, produce a portion of the effect caused. I know a pious old lady, who would think it a great insult, should any one question her title to being a 'good Christian.' She uses not only strong tea daily, as often at least as morning, noon, and night, but smokes her pipe even much oftener; and what is the result? She has had for many years hysterics so badly, that every few weeks she gets the notion into her head that she is at the very point of death. She calls her friends about her to advise and admonish them in the most solemn manner. At one of these times, a worthy daughter of hers, who well understood how the devil was misleading her, said, 'Come, mother, let us go over to Mrs.—,' a neighbour she much loved; 'it will be more pleasant for you to die there.' Up the old lady jumped, and went quickly, although, as she would have it, she was on the very point of dying. It would be impossible to tell how much of the sin of using tea, coffee, and tobacco, may be excused on the score of ignorance in these old Christians; but certain it is,
that since more light has gone abroad on the subject, the younger ones will have much to answer for in these things
Tobacco has been ranked among the causes of insanity. On the great principle, that whatever tends seriously to injure the bodily functions, must also necessarily impair in a greater or less degree the mental manifestations, tobacco may undoubtedly be reckoned a cause of mental aberation. If tobacco can produce hypochondriasis and hysteria, as we know it does, certainly we may infer that insanity proper may also be caused by its use. On this head, however, I will merely quote the words of a distinguished authority. Dr. Woodward. He observes: 'Tobacco is a powerful narcotic agent, and its use is very deleterious to the nervous system, producing tremors, vertigo, faintness, palpitation of the heart, and other senous diseases. That tobacco occasionally produces insanity, I am fully confident. Its influence upon the brain, and nervous system generally is hardly less than that of alcohol, and, if excessively used, is equally injurious. The young are particularly susceptible to the influence of these narcotics. If a young man becomes intemperate before he is twenty years of age, he rarely lives to thirty. If a young man uses tobacco while the system is greatly susceptible to its influence, he will not be likely to escape injurious effects that will be developed sooner or later, and both diminish the enjoyment of life and shorten its period. In our experience in this hospital, tobacco in all its forms is injurious to the insane. It increases excitement of the nervous system in many cases, deranges the stomach, and produces vertigo, tremors, and stupor in others.'
Dr. Chapman, of Philadelphia, informed his coadjutor, Dr. Wood, as is stated in the United States Dispensatory, 'that he has met with several instances of mental disorder closely resembling delirium tremens,' which resulted from its abuse, and which subsided in a few days after it had been abandoned.'
EFFECTS OF TOBACCO—CONTINUED.
'Tobacco impairs the natural taste and relish for food, lessens the appetite and weakens the powers of the stomach.'—Dr. J. C. WARREN.
EFFECTS OF TOBACCO ON THE TEETH.
THE pernicious effects of tobacco on the teeth are easily proved, although it has been pretended by some that tobacco is a preservative of these useful organs. The delusion grew out of the fact that tobacco is found sometimes to have the effect of benumbing the nerve of aching teeth. But the teeth of tobacco chewers, who have continued the practice for a considerable length of time, are generally bad, as any one may observe. It was once said in the presence of
'It is a mistake to suppose that smoking aids digestion. The very uneasiness which it were desirable to remove, is occasioned either by tobacco itself, or by some other similar 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?'—MUSSY.
clergyman of our acquaintance, that tobacco was good for preserving the teeth, upon which he answered, 'That is not true, for on one side my teeth are perfectly good, while on the other side, the one in which I have always kept my cud, there is not a stump left.' Query: For what did he use it?
The first and most prominent effect of tobacco upon the teeth is that of softening them. In some instances they become literally worn to the gums, and in others, decay. The mischief is likewise partly caused by indirect effect upon the masticatory organs through the general health, partly by the natural friction of chewing, and partly by the gritty substances the article contains. I know several old men in the country who have from early youth used freely of tobacco in the mode of chewing, and whose teeth are worn quite to the gums, and yet the fangs or roots of the teeth are, in some instances at least, sound. In some of these cases there is also great tremulousness of the nerves, and extreme emaciation of the whole body. Had these individuals not led a country life, spending a great share of their time in the open air, and actively engaged in the healthful duties of farmers, their condition would have been commensurately the worse.
Concerning the fact that the teeth of tobacco-chewers become worn down by the use of tobacco, Dr. Mussey, remarks 'I have observed this 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 other North American tribes, are much addicted to the use of this narcotic. In several instances, when the front teeth of the two jaws have shut close, the surfaces of the grinders in the upper and lower jaw, especially where the quid 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.'
The injury of tobacco on the teeth then, is, first, by direct contact of the poison acting on the vitality of the part; second, through the effect of attrition in wearing them down; and third, indirectly by its pernicious effect upon the fluids of the system and the general health.*
The gums are, in many cases, made to recede from the teeth by the use of tobacco; and when this effect has once taken place, there is no possible means of making them adhere again. Persons often lose teeth in a perfectly sound state, merely by having the gums loose about them. Dr. J. C. Warren, of Boston, judiciously observes, 'that while tobacco can have no material effect in preserving the bony sub-
* "Concerning the effects of tobacco on the teeth. Dr. Alcott observes: 'But granting the most which can be claimed for tobacco in the way of preserving teeth—grant that it benumbs the nerves, and thus, in many instances, prevents pain—grant, even, that it occasionally precludes all other decay, except the promature wearing out of which I have spoken—still, the general truth will remain, that it injures the gums and the lining membrane of the mouth, stomach, and alimentary canal generally, and, in fact, of the lungs also; and thus not only prepares the way for various diseases (to be mentioned hereafter), but spoils the beauty, injures the soundness, and hastens the decay of these organs. It was no doubt the intention of the Creator, that the teeth should last as long as their owner. Yet, in how few of a thousand tobacco-chewers, or smokers, or snuff-takers is this the result?'
stance of the teeth, it has a sad influence on their vitality, by impairing the healthy action of the gums.
It cannot be affirmed [in 1849] that tobacco has any specific effect in causing diseases of the mouth, but that it injures this part as any other powerful irritant might do, cannot be questioned. The gums, as well as the tongue and lips, are very subject to that serious and painful affection, cancer. Dr. Warren, before quoted, is as good authority in surgery as can be referred to. He observes:
'For more than twenty years back, I have been in the habit of inquiring of patients, who came to me with cancers of these parts (the gums, tongue, and lips), whether they used tobacco, and if so, whether by chewing or smoking. If they have answered in the negative as to the first question, I can truly say, that, to the best of my belief, such cases of exemption are exceptions to a general rule. When, as is usually the case, one side of the tongue is affected with ulcerated cancer, the tobacco has been habitually retained in contact with this part. The irritation of a cigar, or even from a tobacco pipe, frequently precedes cancers of the lip. The lower lip is more commonly affected by cancer than the upper, in consequence of the irritation produced on this part by acrid substances from the mouth, among such substances what is more likely to cause a morbid irritation, terminating in disease, than the frequent application of tobacco.'
I believe cancers, severe ulcers, and tumors, in and about the mouth, will be found much more common among men than women. Since the former use tobacco much more generally than the latter, may not this be a cause.
That tobacco injures the taste—I mean in a physiological sense—is almost too notorious to need mention. Those especially who chew are injured in this respect. Every one must have observed the dull and almost obliterated taste of the tubacco-chewer. Plain and wholesome food is utterly insipid to him. He must have every thing seasoned in the highest manner, aud even then he often wonders that the food is so insipid. Luscious fruits, which are so pleasant to the undepraved palate, the tobacco-chewer loses all relish for, and often entirely abandons their use. And the worst part of this whole matter is, that tobacco, by blunting the keen sensibilities of the parts concerned, leads men to an almost ungovernable desire for strong drink. And there is another evil, which is, that when inebriates, who have been users of tobacco, reform, they practice still greater excess in the use of the abominable weed, to answer in some degree the cravings for alcoholic stimulus. The bad habit of using tobacco, then, works evil in two ways: first, to cause the individual to desire a stronger stimulus; and, second, when the stronger stimulus is discontinued, to take more and more of the tobacco, in order as far as may be to make up for that stimulus.*
* Dr. Adam Clarke remarked, that 'so inseparable an attendant is drinking on smoking, that in some places the same word expresses both: thus peend in the Bengalee language, signifies to drink and to smoke.' It is with pain of heart that I am obliged to say that I have known several who, through their immoderate attachment to the pipe, have become mere sots. George Sulivan
Public speakers not unfrequently make a liberal use of tobacco, sometimes by smoking, sometimes by chewing, and sometimes by both. Some clergyman find themselves unable to preach unless the pipe or quid has been resorted to just before commencing the pulpit exercises. They feel a troublesome dryness of the mouth and throat. That these individuals are sincere in their belief concerning the good effects of tobacco in their cases, there can be no doubt. They are as honest as the old women are, who cure their tea-headaches with an extra 'good strong cup,'—when they assert that tea is one of the best things in the world to cure headache with; and the latter are not more mistaken than the former. This dryness and parched condition of the throat, are of themselves symptoms of a diseased condition of the part. At first, the habit of using tobacco was commenced foolishly, or perhaps by the advice of some physician, who knew no more of the true science of healing than the man who put the cart before the horse. Why cannot these would-be wise men of the profession, who have so often recommended tobacco for the difficulties of the throat, remember, that the constant and habitual use of any medicine, however good, will with indubitable certainty, wear itself out; and that the effects which at first appeared to be good, become ultimately, in all cases of long-continued use, bad. This axiom, be it remembered, holds good in the use of all drugs. What were at first the symptoms of cure, become, by long-continued use, the symptoms of disease.
There are cases in which this tendency to dryness of the throat in public speaking would, without the use of tobacco, become so severe and the hoarseness so great, that it would be very difficult to proceed in the exercise. However if persons will persevere, and rid themselves wholly of the noxious drug, they will find that within a reasonable time, a few weeks, or at most, months, the unpleasant symptoms will pass off. Especially will this hold true, if at the same time other
_____ said, 'that the tobacco pipe excites a demand for an extraordinary quantity of some beverage to supply the waste of glandular secretion, in a proportion to the expense of saliva; and ardent spirits are the common substitutes; and the smoker is often reduced to a state of dram-drinking, and finishes his life as a sot.' And the learned and sagacious Dr. Rush remarked, 'that smoking and chewing tobacco, by rendering water and other simple liquors insipid to the taate, dispose very much to the stronger stimulus of ardent spirits,' and that 'hence the practice ofemoking cigars haa been followed by the use of brandy and water as a common drink.' Also some years ago a writer in the Genius of Temperance (American) said that the practice of smoking and chewing tobacco 'produced a continual thirst for stimulating drinks;' and that this tormenting thirst 'led him into the habit of drinking ale, porter, brandy and other kinds of spirits, even to the extent, at times, of partial intoxication;' and then he added, 'I have reformed; and after I had subdued this appetite for tobacco, I lost all desire for stimulating drinks.'
The inhabitants of Northern Siberia, male and female, we are told, swallow the smoke of tobacco for the purpose of bringing on a stupefaction, aa pleasurable as that of drunkenness to the spirit-drinker. But this is what the good and Christian lovers of tobacco would call the intemperate use of the delectable weed—the good thing God has given with which to soothe the heart. But as in the case of spirit-drinking it would, we think, be a somewhat puzzling question, in the science of morality, to determine precisely how many quids, how many pipes full, how many 'pinches,' and how many cigars, in short, what precise quantity would in any given case come under the head of Christian moderation.
The senses of sight, smell, and hearing, are also injured by the use of tobacco.
proper means be used to invigorate the general system and its Ioca1 parts; such as exercise daily in the open air, bathing, tepid, cool, or cold, according to the season of the year and the individual's strength; washing and rubbing well the throat frequently with the hand wet in cold water, gargling with the same, and the use of water as the only drink; these and the like means, in connection with complete and entire abstinence from tobacco, are the natural and best means that can be resorted to in such cases.
It will be inferred, then, from these remarks, that tobacco, like tea, coffee, and all stimulants that tend to inflame the fauces, throat, and other parts concerned in speech, is injurious to the voice.
Since writing the above paragraphs, I have found, in an excellent article on tobacco in the London Medical Gazette, published some months ago, by Dr. Thomas Laycock, the following judicious observations:
'The first and simplest morbid result of excessive smoking, is an inflammatory condition of the mucous membrane of the lip and tongue, and this sometimes ends in the separation of the epithelium. Then the tonsils and pharynx (upper part of the throat) suffer, the mucous membrane becoming dry and congested. If the throat be examined, it will be observed to be slightly swollen, with congested veins meandering over the surface, and here and there a streak of mucous. The inflammatory action also extends upward into the posterior nares (openings to the nostrils), and the smoker feels from time to time, a discharge of mucous from the upper part of the pharynx, in consequence of the secretion from the mucous membrane of the nares collecting within them. The irritation will also pass to the conjunctiva (and I am inclined to think from the nares, and not by the direct application of smoke to the eye), and the results are heat, slight redness, lachrymation (running of tears), and a peculiar spasmodic action of the orbicularis muscle of the eye experienced, together with an intolerance of light on awakening in the morning.'
'Tobacco when used in the form of snuff,' says Dr. Rush,* 'seldom fails of impairing the voice, by obstructing the air.' 'The truth of this remark, though made about half a century ago, we see verified in the case of thousands of public speakers. It is not the snuff-taker alone, however, who injures his voice by tobacco, though the injury which he sustains may be most immediate and severe. By the dryness of the nasal membrane, which chewing and smoking produce, these vile habits have a similar effect. The smoke of the tobacco contains many fine particles of the weed itself, which lodge in the passages. These particles exert a destructive influence on the nerves of every part they touch. The smoke itself also contains a great portion of the deadly spirit or power of the tobacco, and operates on the nerves of every part it touches in the same destructive manner. Besides this deadly influence on the nerves, the acrid power of the tobacco operates injuriously on the muscular tissues and delicate fibres of the organs of voice.'†
It must be evident that any agent which is known to cause serious
* It is, I presume, generally known that Dr. Rush gave perhaps more attention to investigations concerning the human voice than any other physician who has ever lived. His writings on this subject are probably the best extant.
† Dr. Alcott.
diseases of the gums and mouth, and to impair materially the voice, must also be detrimental to the throat. Beyond doubt, chronic throat disease which is so prevalent at this day, is often caused, in great part, by the use of tobacco. This arises not from any specific nature of the drug, but first, from its effects on the mouth and throat locally, second and mainly, from its pernicious effects on the general health.
EFFECTS OF TOBACCO—CONTINUED.
'Tobacco, even when used in moderation may cause dyspepsia, headache, tremors, vertigo.'—Dr. R USH .
'Who can see groups of boys of six or eight years old in our streets smoking cigars, without anticipating such a deterioration of our posterity in health and character, as can scarcely be contemplated, even at this distance, without pain and horror?'—Dr. R USH
I N reference to the effects of tobacco on the respiratory organs, it becomes a question of great importance, whether it has any effect in causing that dreadful disease, consumption; a malady that has become so common in the United States as to be termed the American disease; a malady which, when firmly seated upon the individual, can rarely if ever be cured. Our country is becoming more and more settled, and should therefore, other things being equal, become also more healthy. There can, however be no doubt, that within, the last fourth of a century [1824-1849] this disease has increased in the United States. Since railroads, canals, steamboats, ships, and other means of conveying the so-called luxuries of life from the different parts of the world to almost every nook and corner of our wide country, have been so much improved, the dietetic and other hygienic habits of our people have become much changed. Thus it is, doubtless, in part that consumption has, within that time, become more frightful in its ravages than when a state of greater simplicity obtained.
As to the use of tobacco, I am well aware it will be objected that females, who, in our country, seldom use the article, are yet very subject to consumption. But the disease is hereditary in a large proportion of cases. In that case, the effect of unfriendly agents would be only the more rapidly to develope the disease. There being no public registry of births and deaths in most parts of the United States, it would be difficult to form an opinion as to whether males or females suffer most from this disease.
But it cannot be doubted that tobacco has an influence in many cases, in causing and developing consumption. While the narcotic effect of the plant is exerted on the nervous system, we know that inflammation and ulceration of the throat is often found in cases of those who smoke freely. A short, hacking cough is also to be observed, attended sometimes with the bringing up dark, grumous blood. On the whole, no important part of the system is so liable to disease as that delicate structure, the lungs. I have known of some cases, and heard of numbers of others, in which tobacco has been at least a prominent cause in developing consumption. This has been proved true from the fact, that on discontinuing the use of the drug a great
amelioration of the symptoms has taken place, and in some cases a complete cure has been thus effected.
It will be understood, then, I do not affirm that tobacco is the principal cause of the fearful ravages of consumption in our country. The causes are many and complex, and need deep study and investigation to enable us to arrive at accuracy of results. Could we know the whole truth in the matter, we should doubtless find that, besides a variety of debilitating habits, the use of stimulants and narcotics, such as wine, spirits, tea, coffee, and tobacco, have had much to do in causing and developing this most stealthy and insidious disease.
Any agent whatever that poisons the system, however gradually, may cause ulceration and destruction of the lungs.
PALPITATION OF THE HEART.
A nervous palpitation of the heart is often caused by the use of tobacco. This effect may be produced either by the action of the narcotic on the nervous system, or indirectly through its effect upon the stomach, which, in certain diseased states, acts by sympathy on the heart, producing the palpitation. I am certain that any physician who will carefully observe a sufficient number of cases of palpitation, will find that I am correct in this position. Many a man has been treated a long time for what was termed a heart disease, and without any good effect whatever. In many of these cases, the great and most important thing necessary has been to abstain from all use of tobacco. But here I must observe, also, that the use of strong tea and coffee very often produces the same results; so that, if the disease had been caused principally by tobacco at first, and if this were discontinued, and not the former articles, the user of tobacco would, in many instances, fail of obtaining a cure. Avoid tobacco, tea, and coffee—in short, all narcotics—this is the rule; a practice which, followed faithfully and perseveringly, will in every case be attended with the best results.
DIFFICULTY OF BREATHING.
The use of tobacco besides tending to cause and develope consumption, has sometimes the effect of impairing the function of respiration. I think any one who will observe closely, and notice those persons who have addicted to smoking for fifteen or twenty years, and in many cases a less time, will perceive that the respiratory function does not go on as perfectly as it ought. There is a kind of wheeziness of the breathing; the man is short-winded, so to say. I have seen, in numbers of instances, this difficulty exhibited in a remarkable degree. A great smoker is never a great pedestrian.
There is also the sudden starting and choking sensation, with a feeling of weight and great oppression about the heart, with, at the same time, an extreme difficulty in taking in the breath. That tobacco is the principal cause of these difficulties has been proved, as when the article is discontinued the symptoms soon vanish.
It is to be observed, however in this connection, that both tea and coffee used freely, do in some cases cause these last-mentioned nervous symptoms of breathing and oppression about the heart. Any narcotic, preserved in, may bring about these results. It is the effect of the poison upon the nervous system generally in these cases.
A case is quoted by the Rev. Mr. Lane, in Mysteries of Tobacco, from Dr. Clarke, as follows: 'A person of my acquaintance who had been an immoderate snuff-taker for upwards of forty years, was frequently afflicted with a sudden suppression of breathing, occasioned by a paralytic state of the muscles, which serve for respiration. The only relief she got in such cases was from a cup of cold water poured down her throat. This became so necessary to her, that she could never venture to attend even a place of public worship without having a small vessel of water with her, and a friend at hand to administer it! At last she abandoned the snuff box; the muscles re-acquired their proper tone, and in a short time after, she was entirely cured of her disorder, which had been occasioned solely by her attachment to her snuffbox.'
In the country parts of the United States, we often find persons who tell us it is absolutely necessary for them to use tobacco. They were in the habit of 'spitting up their food,' for which the doctor told them to commence taking it. The oracle of the doctor is the veriest law and gospel whenever it agrees with the propensities of patients. But I have known some well-meaning, pious people brought into the habit in this way, and when once it is fixed upon them, not one of a hundred has the power to leave it off. That there is such an effect of tobacco in certain cases of indigestion (spitting up food), there is no doubt. It happens in this wise; the stomach has been worried and goaded habitually with too much and improper kinds of aliment; perhaps the brain has been for a long time subjected to too much excitement, which is always visited to a greater or less extent upon the stomach: by a severe attack of sickness with imprudent dosing, or perhaps by dosing in a smaller and more continued way, the stomach has become so weak that often a part of the food is rejected.
Now in such cases the symptom is a good one rather than otherwise. If too much is given for the weak and debilitated stomach to do, it is better if it have power to eject a part of its load. It can then go on more favourably in the fulfilment, of its difficult task. But the tobacco is taken, the organ is stupefied into the submission of retaining its load. Thus the very symptom which patient and physician are combatting in such a case is a good one, and ought not to be interfered with, except that less food should be taken. But such advice physicians know too well is never obeyed, nor are people apt to pay for a thing so simple as that. Hence it is that physicians often find it necessary, to advise differently from that which they know would be in reality the best.
As to the symptom in question, I say, unhesitatingly, it is better not to interfere with it by administering drugs; and especially a drug that fixes a habit so strong and ungovernable upon the system as the use of tobacco. Use the natural means of invigorating the whole system, and thus the weak part will become strengthened. By no other means can it be. It is easy to give stimulants which will delude the individual for the time, but harm is the only and inevitable result from such practice; and in no case should the stomach be given too much to do.
Among the great and almost innumerable family of symptoms belonging to indigestion, there is none that may not be caused by
tobacco. Spitting up food, pain in the stomach, acidity, heart-burn, loss of appetite, disrelish for all simple articles of food and drink, eructations, flatulency, constipation, constipation alternating with diarrhœa, palpitation, tremulousness, fulness in the head, giddiness, stupor, depretigion of spirits, weakness of the eyes, wasting of the flesh (but in some cases the opposite extreme), derangement of the liver, pallor of the countenance and sallowness—such are some among the multitude of symptoms that are known to be caused by the use of this detestable drug.
Some persons who suffer from constipation smoke in the morning for the purpose of causing the bowels to act. The cathartic effect of tobacco is one of its prominent results when taken in considerable quantity. And it is also true, that with many persons in whom there is a tendency to torpor of the bowels, the smoking of a cigar will bring about this result. Whether the effect be a good one, let us enquire.
How does a cathartic or aperient substance act thus to cause the peristaltic motion of the colon or lower bowel? By its action, indirectly, as an undue and unnatural stimulant to the part. This is the case with all such substances; and who does not know that the habitual use of any article of the kind never cures the difficulty—only in the end makes it worse? Look at the immense amount of pill-taking in the United States, the most pill-gullible and pill-accursed country on the face of the earth. What an amount of mischief is thus done the health, by keeping up a mode of drugging the system for fvils which the drug appeared at first to remedy. Pills never yet cured a case of constipation, and never can; the same also is true of tobacco.
REDUCING THE FLESH.
Tobacco has a tendency generally to reduce the flesh; so much so that many persons arc made too lean by its use. There is not only leanness, and the usual symptoms of dyspepsia, but a dark, unhealthy sallowness of the complexion. On the other hand. we sometimes, though not often, find very fat persons who use liberally of the weed. Hence the same causes may produce apparently opposite results.* That state of the system is also one of disease.
* In those cases where it becoms necessary to devise means of counteracting the too great tendency to fleshiness, there are much better means that may be resorted to, better and more effectual than tobacco would be, even if it exerted no ill effect upon the system. Let persons use pure soft water as the sole drink; practice daily bathing, exercise in the open air, and adopt a diet regulated upon physiological principles, such as brown bread, potatoes, fruit, milk, and water. Then there will not be too much flesh. And such means, moreover, while they are the most effectual for accomplishing the desired object, are at the same time peculiarly favourable in promoting the health, strength, and permament well-being of the whole systsm. It is not so with the tobacco process, vinegar-drink ing, and things of the like kind.
Let it be understood that no creature, when all the organs are performing their natural offices, will either spit or throw off the secretions of the mouth.
Tobacco destroys the exquisite flavor of taste.
Farmers who neglect their calves, and permit them to go lousy, will tell you that a decoction of tobacco is good to sprinkle along the back, to destroy the vermin; but care should be observed in not using it too freely, for if so, it will destroy the calf also.
Some contend that smoking preserves the teeth from decomposition; and assert, as a reason, that hams smoked will be preserved longer than without its agency; but whoever should attempt to smoke their hogs while living, he would be liable to be taken up and sent to the lunatic asylum.
Tobacco causes the gums to recede from the teeth, consequently loosening them.
To show the more specific effects of tobacco on animal life, I will give the following facts:
I took common tobacco, and soaked it in water about the temperature of the blood, and after procuring a number of frogs, applied a portion of the juice where the hind legs are connected with the body. The first leaps were violent and two or three feet in length; but the succeeding leaps grew shorter and shorter until the muscles became so weak that the animal was unable to draw the legs up to jump again. They remained in that position until signs of life were invisible, and on the third day the animal began to decompose.
The others bad it applied on the back and legs, and in less than half an hour, life was not perceptible. Those which had it applied in the mouth, vomited, and soon died. It was tried on mice with similar results.
A poor farmer (as related to me recently), with but one cow and horse, found them covered with lice. A benevolent friend gave him a bottle of the juice of tobacco, as he had heard that it would destroy the lice at once. The owner thanked him for the article, and poured it along the back and tail of the horse and cow according to direction. They soon showed signs of weakness, and lay down; one survived six hours, and the other about twelve.
A parent applied tobacco to the head of his son, in order to destroy the inhabitants of that region. The tobacco made the child sick, and stopped the regular secretions for a time, which marked his nails and teeth; the latter marks he will carry through life.
Some sheep had it used on them for destroying ticks; it marked that portion of the wool formed during the time the secretions were interrupted. The marks could be seen with a magnifying glass, and by taking hold of each end of the fibres, they would first break where the marks were.
An individual residing in the city of New York, who trains and speculates in dog's for a livelihood, informed me that he thought one of his most valuable dogs did not appear very well, and concluded he would give him an emetic. Consequently, he soaked a cigar in order to obtain the juice for the above purpose; but before the dog had had the dose on his stomach one minute, he was dead.— JOHN BURDELL, No. 2, Union Place, Union Square, New York.
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Other Books on Tobacco Effects