The Tobacco Controversy in America The Tobacco Controversy of 1857 Revisited Colin Mustful
Contents Abstract Throughout the nineteenth century the issue of tobacco smoking was an area of constant debate. In 1857 this debate became public through the pages of the British medical journal the Lancet in what is known as the Tobacco Controversy of 1857. The controversy in Great Britain initiated a thorough discussion over the effects of tobacco smoking in America. The debate was vibrant, but at the time it led to no significant results. However, the controversy created public awareness about the possible effects of tobacco smoking and laid an important foundation for future discussion, research, and legislation. Essay – 2 Appendix – 33 Excerpt from Samuel Solly, “Clinical Lectures on Paralysis.” Bibliography – 34
During the American Civil War cigarettes were issued as a ration in the United States Navy and as a ration to men enlisted in the Confederate Army.1 At the time cigarettes were rare, but they were a perfect fit for the soldier because they were small, easy to carry, and quick to smoke.2 In addition to the convenience of cigarettes, they also provided soldiers with a distraction from the hardships, fear, and horrors of war.3 To soldiers, tobacco became a
According to Jerome E. Brooks, “tobacco was an established ration issued in the United States Navy and it was, by Act of the Confederate Congress, provided to enlisted men.” Jerome E. Brooks, The Mighty Leaf: Tobacco Through the Centuries (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1952), 221. 1
Historian Eric Burns noted that to the soldiers, “cigarettes seemed so tailor-made for battle that they might have been designed by a quartermaster.” Eric Burns, The Smoke of Gods: a social history of tobacco (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2007), 131. 2
Burns commented that, “commanding officers wanted their men to smoke, knowing that they needed distraction from the ennui and horrors around them.” Ibid., 125. 3
necessity of battle. However, despite the popularity of cigarettes among soldiers in the Civil War, the habit failed to attract the appeal of the general public. Men who returned from battle did not carry the cigarette home with them. Rather, most soldiers returned to the unhurried comfort of the pipe or cigar.4 Though cigarettes were slow to gain public popularity, tobacco was not. Before, during, and following the American Civil War tobacco consumption was constantly on the rise.5 By the 1860s, tobacco smoking had become a much more public and widely practiced habit.
Here historian Burns wrote, “rather than bringing the habit home with them, many soldiers seemed to believe that they had now earned the right to return to their cigars or pipes, to smoke unhurriedly again in safe, familiar surroundings.” Ibid., 132. 4
Historian Jerome E. Brooks reported that, “the value of manufactured tobacco products which had been estimated at 30.9 millions in 1860 had, by 1880, risen to 116.8 millions.” Brooks, The Mighty Leaf, 235. 5
Due to its increased notoriety, smoking had also become more widely discussed.
Particularly, people sought to
discuss the effects of tobacco smoking. As more people consumed tobacco, its effects became recognized and, at times, thoroughly debated. In the mid-nineteenth century opposition to tobacco was not an entirely new phenomenon. Criticism of tobacco goes as far back as 1604 when King James of England produced his Counterblaste to Tobacco in which he strongly denounced the use of tobacco.6 Despite spurts of opposition over the centuries, it was not until the nineteenth century that genuine discussion over the effects of tobacco smoke emerged. In 1857 the most significant discussion occurred in the British medical journal Lancet. The Lancet posed the question, â€œIs Tobacco Smoking Injurious?â€? The
King James I, A Counterblaste to Tobacco (New York: De Capo Press, 1604, 1969). 6
question provoked a multitude of responses from those both for and against the use of tobacco. The debate represented the first notable discussion in regards to the effects of tobacco smoking. As noted by historian Eric Burns, the “Lancet became the most reputable source yet to make specific charges against tobacco.”7 The unique and extensive nature of the 1857 Tobacco Controversy presented in the pages of the Lancet encouraged further debate about the effects of tobacco smoking. Although the attack on tobacco resulted in delayed reform, its immediate effect was quite minimal. Historian Eric Burns observed that “the British citizenry could not have been less alarmed by the Lancet conclusions.”8 Furthermore, legislative action against smoking in Great Britain was not taken for an entire half
Eric Burns, The Smoke of Gods, 190.
century following the 1857 Tobacco Controversy. Although it may not have immediately influenced public attitudes or legislative action, the debate began the process of gathering data, evaluating information, and publicizing conclusions. In the United States during the mid nineteenthcentury a public debate about smoking as direct as that found in the Lancet did not occur. However, as a result of the 1857 Tobacco Controversy in Great Britain, American periodicals and newspapers introduced the issue.
similar to the smoking debate in Great Britain, the controversy in the United States produced few immediate results or clear answers. Instead, there was continual argument made for and against tobacco without reaching a significant conclusion. Despite a lack of results the American Tobacco Controversy remained important.
One notable consensus emerged from the American Tobacco Controversy. All sides agreed that the effects of tobacco smoking needed to be discussed. Although physicians could hardly agree on the repercussions of smoking, they knew it was important and that it could not be ignored. While writing in the Lancet, physician David Johnson noted that a discussion on the effects of tobacco would indeed add a valuable contribution to medical science.9 Though Johnson made an important observation, he was not the first to make such a remark. As early as 1846, eleven years prior to the Tobacco Controversy, an American, Reverend Benjamin Lane published the book, Responses on the Use of Tobacco.10 In his work, Lane invited responses from both clergy and physicians
David Johnson, â€œIs Smoking Inurious?â€? The Lancet, i (3 Jan. 1857), 22. 9
Benjamin Ingersol Lane, Responses on the Use of Tobacco (New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1846). 10
regarding their opinions and observations on the use of tobacco. Lane sought to call attention to the use of tobacco and to obtain facts from those who had them. Lane suggested that “very few have turned their attention to the subject of tobacco.”11 In an essay written nine years after Benjamin Lane’s work, American physician S.A. Ogier expressed the same opinion and argued that the effects of tobacco smoking needed to be discussed. Although Ogier wrote his essay two years prior to the 1857 Tobacco Controversy, he noted that some physicians at the time believed the tobacco question to be fully determined.12 Therefore, as early as
Ibid., 8. Supporting Lane, British clergyman Beman suggested that the negative effects of tobacco are endless and stated, “I wonder physicians keep silent as they do.” Ibid., 155. 11
Ogier wrote that “to some this may appear a useless consumption of time, regarding the question of its being injurious as settled beyond dispute; such, would 12
1855, some held that the effects of tobacco smoking were indisputably injurious. However, Ogier challenged this notion and suggested that there is a diversity of opinion regarding the effects of tobacco smoking throughout the medical profession.13 In the conclusion of his essay, Ogier added his hope of drawing attention to the subject of tobacco smoking which he believed had not been thoroughly discussed.14 In 1861 physician Dan King wrote an intensive discourse on the use of tobacco in which he also stated that
certainly seem to be a rational view of the subject.” S.A. Ogier, “Essay on the Use of Tobacco.” The Medical Reporter, ii, no. 3 (Jan. 1855), 66. 13
Toward the end of his essay, Ogier wrote, “enough has been said, I conceive to draw the attention of the society to the subject, which I think has not received that attention which its importance merits.” Ibid., 75. 14
the subject of tobacco smoking deserved attention.15 Furthermore, King referred to the comments made in the Lancet by Samuel Solly and David Johnson during the 1857 Tobacco Controversy. This demonstrated, that although King was aware of the previous debate concerning the tobacco question, he still contended that it needed to be discussed to a greater degree. Moreover, King showed here that despite the somewhat limited scope of the 1857 Tobacco Controversy, it reached the attention of the American medical profession. If it had not been determined already, as late as 1867 contributors to local American periodicals still suggested that the use of tobacco was a subject that deserved attention. One physician, after having diagnosed
King stated, â€œthe more the subject is examined, the greater its importance appears, and the constantly increasing consumption of tobacco, certainly deserves attention.â€? Dan King, Tobacco; what it is, and what it does (New York: S.S. & W. Wood, 1861), 11. 15
tobacco as a cause of amaurosis, suggested that his discovery merited serious attention from the medical profession.16 Another contributor, also writing in 1867, strongly noted his belief that not only had the effects of tobacco smoking been neglected, but that they had been intentionally overlooked by those in the medical profession.17 This may be because some physicians disregarded the effects of tobacco smoking in order to avoid conflict.18 Due to the popularity smoking had
Here the physician stated that “the circumstantial evidence tending to connect the disease with the use of tobacco as a cause deserves the serious attention of the profession.” “Amaurosis Caused by Tobacco Smoking,” Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, ME), Nov. 7, 1867. 16
The author stated, “on the score of selfishness or ignorance, the main body of the profession are mournfully derelict in duty touching the ruinous effects of this great and fashionable narcotic.” “Injurious Effects of Tobacco,” The Christian Recorder (Philadelphia, PA), Aug. 3, 1867. 17
achieved, it was a delicate subject, and one which many physicians avoided. One author, a supporter of smoking, reasoned that the subject had not been completely discussed because the effects of smoking are limited and few.19 Therefore, he believed that topic had been ignored because it was irrelevant. Whether ignored or unnoticed, contenders in the Tobacco Controversy recognized that the effects of tobacco smoking needed to be discussed. Those who did not ignore the subject of tobacco smoking contrived a huge array of arguments both for and
In an article written in the Atlantic Monthly in 1860, the author states that “whichever side of the question we may assume, as the most popular, or most right, the feelings of so large and respectable minority are to be consulted, that it behooves the critic or reviewer to move cautiously.” “Tobacco,” Atlantic Monthly, 6 (Aug., 1860), 187. 18
The author asks the question, “How is it that the great majority of men in every country can daily ‘poison’ themselves, and yet the effects of this imprudence escape our notice?” “The Dangers and Delights of Tobacco,” Every Saturday, 6 (Nov. 28, 1868), 679. 19
against the habit. For instance, tobacco opponents cited physical disease, mental lethargy, and national degeneration as negative effects of tobacco smoking. Meanwhile, proponents cited mental stability, relaxation, and comfort as positive effects of tobacco smoking. Despite numerous arguments put forth during the 1857 Tobacco Controversy, there remained almost countless other claims regarding the effects of tobacco smoking. Though what was known was little, what was argued was considerable.20 In the years surrounding the 1857 Tobacco Controversy, tobacco opponents in the United States aggressively publicized their arguments.21 Opponents
In an article about the effects of tobacco the author stated that “what is absolutely known is very little.” “Tobacco,” Atlantic Monthly, 195. 20
Writing in 1860 one author concluded, in regards to the controversy, that “the reformers have hitherto had the 21
presented a vast amount of evidence and hearsay critical of smoking, but their suggested reforms were ignored. The critics contended that smoking caused, as well as aggravated disease.22 Opponents recognized and argued that smoking was the cause of disease.23 Opponents also contended that smoking weakened the intellect. They argued that smoking slowed and depressed the mind’s ability to think. They believed that smoking hindered the mind so that it could no longer function properly.24
better of it in point of argument, and have pushed the attack with most vigor, yet but with trifling results.” Ibid., 187. One author noted that “several forms of disease . . . are greatly aggravated and often rendered fatal by the use of tobacco.” “May I Use Tobacco?” The Christian Recorder, (April 4, 1863). 22
Physician S.A. Ogier reported that “gesture derangement is probably the most common, if not constant attendant upon its use.” Ogier, “Essay on the Use of Tobacc,” 71. 23
There were, of course, less popular arguments made against tobacco smoking. One such argument was that tobacco smoking made a man poor. In this case, opponents recognized the effect of tobacco on the material well-being of a man rather than on his physical or mental well-being. One author noted that money spent on tobacco was, in some cases, greater than the money spent on bread.25 Opponents considered it deplorable that a man use his money on such a harmful habit, which only acted to make a man poor.26
In one such case, physician Dan King remarked that while smoking, “the mind is in a state of dreamy repose so long as the stimulus lasts, and when that is discontinued it sinks into a state of relapse, and in process of time its powers become permanently enfeebled and depraved.” King, Tobacco, 46. 24
In an 1863 article the author reported that “the city of New York consumes $16,000 a day for cigars, and $12,000 for bread – one fourth more everyday for the pledge of a premature death than for the staff of life!” “May I Use Tobaccco?” The Christian Recorder. 25
Another interesting, but less common argument of opponents, had been that smoking was a cause of infidelity. Writing in 1861, physician Dan King concluded that “wherever tobacco is most used, infidelity is most prevalent.”27 In fact, women seen smoking were often assumed to be unchaste.28 Another commenter suggested that smoking actually worked to separate men from women. Smoking, he argued, “impairs virility” and leads men away from women and toward the companionship of men.29
Physician Dan King argued that, “it is obvious that all the money expended for tobacco is so much lost, and as almost every one expends more or less in his way a large portion of the people are made poorer by it.” King, Tobacco, 60-61. 26
Historian Jerome E. Brooks commented that “it was a forgone conclusion with the reforming element that a female who indulged in the new vice tacitly admitted that she had relinquished her chastity.” Brooks, The Mighty Leaf, 231. 28
Furthermore, the same author remarked that smoking had the effect of making a man impolite. He stated that “smoking dulls a man’s sense of the rights of others.”30 Though these effects had no physical consequences, they still served as a warning against the habit of smoking. In addition to these, opponents claimed numerous other ill effects of smoking. Some denounced smoking as the cause of deafness, blindness, and even insanity. Opponents also argued that smoking acted to stunt growth and cause a man to be a dwarf. Smoking was claimed as bad for the heart which in turn shortened life. Also, it was contended that smoking promoted drinking and therefore
The author argued that “tobacco, by disturbing and impairing virility, tends to vitiate the relations between the sexes, tends to lessen man’s interest in women and his enjoyment of their society, and enables him to endure and be contented with, and finally even to prefer, the companionship of men.” An Old Smoker, “Does it Pay to Smoke?” Atlantic Monthly, 21 (1868), 137. 29
Ibid., 138. 17
led to drunkenness. Others claimed that tobacco impaired the appetite. Smoking was also noted to produce languor and even fretfulness. Altogether, opponents viewed tobacco as a torment whose effects were negative in every sense. They sought as many reasons as possible to speak out against the habit. Physician T.L. Wright properly summarized the perspective of opponents when he wrote, “the habitual use of tobacco, even when its most distressing effects are not reached, is merely a slow but certain process of dwarfing, or belittling, a man, both in an intellectual and moral sense.”31 But, no matter the arguments expressed by opponents, the effects of tobacco smoking were unclear to physicians and the general public alike.32 Regardless,
T.L. Wright, “The Use of Tobacco,” Cincinnati Lancet and Observer, 15 (1872), 283. 31
For instance, upon attending his patient in 1862, Dr. P.J. Farnsworth wrote, “I questioned him now about his smoking, and found that he had considered it so small a matter as not to mention it.” P.J. Farnsworth, “Some of the 32
opponents were determined to make their viewpoint known as shown through their near endless arguments. The appeals of tobacco supporters were also numerous, but did not compare to those of the tobacco opponents. Those who spoke in favor of the use of tobacco could not match the variety and multitude of opinions set forth by opponents. However, proponents strongly defended their case throughout the controversy. Arguments made by proponents generally appealed to their affection and fondness of tobacco smoking. Although they occasionally questioned the accusations of opponents, most proponents sought to exalt the use of tobacco rather than deny its negative effects. The most popular argument contended that tobacco soothed the working classes. This argument was evident in the original Lancet debate and continued in the comments of U.S. proponents. They Effects of Tobacco,â€? American Medical Times, 5 (Oct. 4, 1862), 190. 19
believed that no matter if tobacco was an evil, it was a necessary luxury to the poor and working men who needed a break from the hardships of reality.33 Proponents perceived that the calming, soothing, and relaxing benefits of tobacco outweighed any negative effects produced by its use.34 Proponents also claimed that tobacco contributed to social cooperation. They suggested that the use of tobacco brought people together. In this way, some believed tobacco smoking erased class lines because of its ability to bring rich and poor together.35 It also fostered gentlemanly
Speaking on behalf of tobacco one author asked, “who could wish to deny a poor man a luxury so cheap, and so dear to him?” An Old Smoker, “Does it Pay,” 129. 33
In an 1859 New York Times article the author appealed that “all persons who have gone through long, solitary, disheartening exertion in the open air, know the soothing and sustaining power of tobacco.” “The Tobacco Question,” New York Times (New York, NY), Aug. 23, 1859. 34
domestic habits.36 Rather than making a man rude, proponents believed that it made a man more polite and comfortable to be with. From the perspective of the proponents, the widespread use of tobacco signified its harmlessness. They noted that the product of tobacco was used in excess all around the world and that its use was always increasing. Because of its wide use, proponents believed that it could not have negative effects, or, at least that its effects could not be as deleterious as suggested by opponents. They claimed that since tobacco was so widely used, it must
The author here stated that “the remarkable circumstance was, that all the difference which naturally exists, and naturally appears, between an educated and an uneducated person was obliterated; and it seemed, too, that the smoke was the common element in which the two were blended.” An Old Smoker, “Does it Pay,” 135. 35
One author suggested that “smoking is eminently social, and favors domestic habits.” “Tobacco,” Atlantic Monthly, 199. 36
therefore have had an enriching quality and did not possess any negative aspects.37 In order to further support their side of the argument, proponents also proposed that the effects of tobacco smoking were different for each individual. They suggested that although the effects are negative for some, they are positive for others. In this way, proponents did not deny certain baneful effects, but instead suggested that each individual must decide for himself if he chooses to smoke.38 Because proponents could not be sure of the
To support this argument one author wrote, “from these columns of consumption we may logically deduce two prime points for argument. First, that an article so widely used must possess some peculiar quality producing a desirable effect. Second, that an article so widely used cannot produce any marked deleterious effect.” “Tobacco,” Atlantic Monthly, 192. 37
One author, writing in 1868, petitioned that, “it is in every man’s power to answer very decidedly for himself the very important question whether tobacco is injurious to him.” “The Dangers,” Every Saturday, 684. 38
direct medical effects of smoking, they determined that it ought to be left as a matter of personal choice. Though smoking may have been injurious to some, they argued that it could not be injurious to all. For instance, while writing in 1862, physician P.J. Farnsworth conceded that smoking was injurious, but that only one of five users experienced its deleterious effects.39 And even for those who were made ill by tobacco, he argued, smoking may still have been considered a benefit.40 Among the numerous arguments, both sides agreed from the earliest stages of the debate that tobacco use among youths was deleterious and should be prohibited.41
P.J. Farnsworth, “Some of the Effects of Tobacco,” 190. 39
Physician S.A. Ogier wrote, “Alas that the sweet feeling of satisfaction and repose, must be disturbed by the painful conviction of disease induced by the indulgence; but so it is.” Ogier, Essay on the Use of Tobacco, 71. 40
Also, both sides pleaded that smoking among youths should be forbidden.42 Contributors to the debate clearly recognized smoking was detrimental to youth development although they may not have acknowledged the same effects among adults. Ultimately, the lack of a consensus on the effects of smoking during the second half of the nineteenth century limited legislative action against smoking. In Great Britain, legislative action was not taken against smoking until 1908, when Parliament passed the Children’s Charter Act
While writing in 1860, an author who strongly supported the use of tobacco wrote, “on one point we are sure . . . and that is in a sincere denunciation of the habit of smoking at a tender age.” “Tobacco,” Atlantic Monthly, 202. 41
An 1865 newspaper article wrote, “in these days we need to increase the intellectual and bodily strength of our youth: we therefore beg of the masters of schools, of the fathers, mothers, and others who have charge of boys to have no hesitation about the matter, but to put out the pipes of the small boys at once.” The Daily Miners’ Register, “Tobacco Smoking,” October 6, 1865. 42
forbidding the sale of tobacco to youths age sixteen and under. In America, legislative prohibitions occurred sooner than in Great Britain, but those results remained limited and temporal. In 1864 the U.S. federal government began to tax cigarettes.43 Though this did not restrict their sale, it may have acted to deter their demand. In the seventeenth century King James issued a tobacco tax for this very reason.44 It was not until 1883 that legislative action was taken to prohibit the sale of tobacco when New Jersey made it illegal to sell tobacco to youths age sixteen and under.45 Though this was not a federal law, it represented
Cassandra Tate, Cigarette Wars: The Triumph of the Little White Slaver, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 12-13. 43
Burns, Smoke of Gods, 47.
U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 51st Cong., 2nd sess., Serial Set Vol. No. 2821, Session Vol. No. 3. 45
substantive action against tobacco smoking. Also, it took place twenty-five years prior to the Children’s Charter Act in Great Britain. Numerous states followed New Jersey’s example and by 1892 twenty-nine states had passed laws forbidding the sale of tobacco to minors.46 The opponents of smoking gained significant support in 1892 when the U.S. Senate Committee on Epidemic Disease called cigarettes a public health hazard.47 The Senators apparently paid heed to an 1892 petition to Congress by physician Prentiss D. Webster, who concluded, “I cannot express too strongly, from a medical point of view, my opinion of the grave, deleterious effects of the use of tobacco – especially by cigarette smoking – by young person.”48 Here, Webster reflected the growing judgment
Burns, Smoke of Gods, 156. 26
against tobacco smoking. Furthermore, historian Cassandra Tate commented that by the 1890s, “the question was not whether cigarettes were harmful . . . but whether it was possible or desirable to obliterate them by law.”49 Then, in 1893, Washington became the first state to ban the buying, selling, and manufacturing of cigarettes altogether.50 Between 1895 and 1909 twelve other states made it completely illegal to smoke cigarettes thereby following the precedent set by Washington State.51 Unfortunately, such laws were not rigidly enforced. As noted by historian Eric Burns, “a cop’s mood on a given
U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 51st Cong., 2nd sess., Serial Set Vol. No. 2821, Session Vol. No. 3. 48
Tate, Cigarette Wars, 46.
Tate, Cigarette Wars, 46.
Burns, Smoke of Gods, 149. 27
day, or his own particular cravings or lack thereof for tobacco, might be all that determined a smoker’s fate.”52 The culmination of early anti-tobacco legislation occurred in the beginnings of the twentieth century. By 1916, every state had a law of some sort restricting the sale of tobacco.53 But, in the same year, author William Young observed that “there is every evidence that anti-cigarette legislation, which a few years ago was rampant all over the country, is rapidly dying out.”54 After 1916 legislation against tobacco continued to diminish and by 1927 all fourteen states that had previously banned the sale of
William Wesley Young, The Story of the Cigarette (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1916), 274. 53
William Wesley Young, The Story of the Cigarette, 275. 54
cigarettes lifted their restrictions to at least a partial degree.55 In the end, little had changed. Throughout the latter half of the nineteenth century the tobacco habit grew and changed, but was unaltered by controversy. As debate over the tobacco habit rose and fell little had been determined of its effects. By the twentieth century legislators knew enough to say smoking was injurious, but their laws were neither enforced nor permanent. Instead, whether the effects of smoking were slandered or advocated, smoking continued.56 The Tobacco Controversy, however, was not as irrelevant as its immediate results imply. Firstly, the 1857 Tobacco Controversy put forth in the Lancet was a
Burns, Smoke of Gods, 168.
In an 1868 essay the author noted that in the previous ten years tobacco consumption had doubled. This just following the 1857 Tobacco Controversy. â€œDangers and Delights,â€? Every Saturday, 679. 56
remarkably unique catalyst for continued debate on the effects of tobacco smoking. Never before had such a vast array of opinion been discussed about the effects of tobacco in such a concise time frame as it had in the Lancet. The Lancet acted as an open forum for allegation and retort. Ultimately it incited a prolonged debate on the effects of tobacco smoking and aroused the prolonged and vibrant tobacco controversy in America. Though the Civil War helped popularize smoking, the 1857 Tobacco Controversy made it an issue. Since the question over the injurious effects had been introduced and discussed in detail in Great Britain, it enabled American physicians to continue and sustain the discussion. Over time the opponents successfully lobbied Congress and state governments. In the early twentieth century anti-smoking legislation swept the country, yet only a decade later they were reversed. Thus the fate of anti-smoking legislation in the United 30
States produced the same irresolution as the original debate in 1857 did in England. In effect the proponents won, until better information was obtained in the 1960s. From its beginnings, the effects of tobacco smoking have been continually debated. But, it was not until the mid-nineteenth century that a true, effective, and valuable discussion about the effects of tobacco smoking started. The smoking debate was defined in 1857 through the pages of the Lancet and continued through American periodicals. Throughout the latter half of the nineteenth century in America, tobacco smoking was discussed, debated, and revealed to be unfit for the well-being of its users. Though the debate extended over many years and resulted in minimal action against smoking, the American Tobacco Controversy was real and its results were relevant. The American Tobacco Controversy, similar to its predecessor
in 1857, was important and necessary toward determining the true effects of tobacco smoking.
Appendix Excerpt from Samuel Solly, “Clinical Lectures on Paralysis” “There was another habit, also, in which my patient indulged, and which I cannot but regard as the curse of the present age. I mean smoking. Now, don’t be frightened my young friends, I am not going to give a sermon against smoking, that is not my business; but it is my business to point out to you all the various and insidious causes of general paralysis, and smoking is one of them. I know of no single vice which dose so much harm as smoking. It is a snare and a delusion. It soothes the excited nervous system at the time, to render it more irritable and more feeble ultimately. It is like opium in that respect, and if you want to know all the wretchedness which this drug can produce, you should read the ‘Confessions of an Opium-eater.’ I can always distinguish by his complexion a man who smokes much, and the appearance which the fauces present is an unerring guide to the habits of such a man. I believe that cases of general paralysis are more frequent in England than they used to be, and I suspect that smoking tobacco is one of the causes of that increase.”
Solly, Samuel. “Clinical Lectures on Paralysis.” The Lancet, December 13, 1856, 641.
Bibliography Unpublished Federal Documents U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 51st Cong., 2nd sess., Serial Set Vol. No. 2821, Session Vol. No. 3. Books Brooks, Jerome E. The Mighty Leaf: Tobacco Through the Centuries. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1952. Burns, Eric. The Smoke of Gods: A Social History of Tobacco. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2007. King, Dan. Tobacco; what it is, and what it does. New York: S.S. & W. Wood, 1861. King James I. A Counterblaste to Tobacco. New York: De Capoo Press, 1604, 1969. Lane, Benjamin Ingersol. Responses on the Use of Tobacco. New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1846. Tate, Cassandra. Cigarette Wars: The Triumph of the Little White Slaver. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. Young, William Wesley. The Story of the Cigarette. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1916. Periodicals 34
An Old Smoker. “Does it Pay to Smoke?” Atlantic Monthly. Vol. 21. (1868). Farnsworth, P.J. “Some of the Effects of Tobacco.” American Medical Times. Vol. 5 (October 4, 1862). Johnson, David. “Is Smoking Injurious?” The Lancet, January 3, 1857, 22. Ogier, S.A. “Essay on the Use of Tobacco.” The Medical Reporter. Vol. 2, No. 3. (January 1855). “The Dangers and Delights of Tobacco.” Every Saturday. Vol. 6. (November 28, 1868). “Tobacco.” Atlantic Monthly. Vol. 6. (August 1860). Wright, T.L. “The Use of Tobacco.” Cincinnati Lancet and Observer. Vol. 15 (1872). Newspapers Bangor Daily Whig and Courier New York Times The Christian Recorder The Daily Miners’ Register
Published on Jan 9, 2014
Throughout the nineteenth century the issue of tobacco smoking was an area of constant debate. In 1857 this debate became public through th...