Page images

the use of tobacco upon the youth are such as to appeal to us to put forth our most earnest efforts for their safety. The proposition before us contemplates this state of things.

It enquires whether a law forbidding the sale of cigars and cigarettes to minors should be enacted and enforced. Already has the matter engaged the attention of philanthropists and public men. As long ago as the roth of January, 1891, Mr. Edwards, of Vermont, presented a memorial of citizens of the District of Columbia to the United States Senate, praying for the passage of a law to restrict the smoking of cigars and cigarettes and the use of tobacco in the District. It was duly referred and ordered printed. *

Legislatures of the several States have also considered the matter. There are laws prohibiting the sale of cigarettes or tobacco to minors, under specified ages, in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming.

I do not find the state of Wisconsin in this category. It may, however, have passed such a law since 1891; and perhaps some other States ought now to be included.

In several States it is simply made unlawful to sell cigarettes or tobacco to minors; others impose likewise heavy fines and also imprisonment.

There is also diversity in respect to age. Maryland fixed the limitation at fourteen years; while Georgia and Idaho extend it to twenty-one. Most States named make it sixteen years of age. In Indiana the age is fixed at sixteen, and the fine is not less than one dollar or more than ten; and it is also made unlawful for any one to persuade, advise, counsel or compel any child under sixteen years of age to smoke or chew tobacco.

It is evident from this extensive legislation that there has been at different times much anxiety entertained in regard to the pernicious effects of this practice. Yet, is the condition of affairs in

* Miscellaneous Documents of the Fifty-first Congress, Second Session,

No. 40.

other States and in the cities is like what it is Indiana, these laws are virtually a dead letter. Like the practice pursued in respect to other prohibitory or restrictive legislation to affect the morals or personal habits of the members of the community, they are left to enforce themselves. They are like political platformsa declaration and little more.

Meanwhile our youth, in alarming numbers, are everywhere following in the footsteps downward of their adult acquaintances. Hundreds of boys, and even many girls, are to be seen who are addicted to the cigarette habit.

Magnitude of the Evil.-I will now present a few statements in regard to the manufacture and sale of cigarettes. The Western Tobacco Journal, for August, 1893, in an article upon the output of tobacco for that month, says that the number of cigarettes made was 357,844,360—an increase over the number in the same month in 1892 of 87,054,430. The output for the entire year estimated at 3,350,000,000! The “American Tobacco Trust," according to its own showing, made a profit in 1892 of $4,000,000 from cigarettes alone.

In 1886, according to the reports of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the money expended in the United States for tobacco was $433,184,480. This would represent 4,957,528,488 cigars and cigarettes, and 191,592,240 pounds of tobacco and snuff. The cost as here given represents only the wholesale prices, not what is paid by the consumers.

While these figures are not up to the present date, they show an aggregate which is truly appalling. What adds to the cause for alarm is the fact that the expenditure and consumption at the present time far exceed the amounts here given. The annual report of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue shows that, during the fiscal year ending with June, 1894, the number of cigarettes made in the United States exceeded 3,000,000,000. This would be an average of about fifty to each individual of the population. A decade ago, according to the Commercial Gazette, the number manufactured was only some millions. There has been a steady and rapid increase year by year.

How Cigarettes are Made.-So great is the demand, that cigarettes are not now made by hand, as they are made in Turkey and Russia. Like everything else in America, the facilities for manufacturing them have been notably increased by the adoption of machinery. Within the last few years several extraordinary inventions for this purpose have come into use. These patents are immensely valuable. One of these machines is capable of turning out 275 cigarettes per minute upon the average.

The mode of operating may be worth describing. The machine passes along an endless strip of paper, the width of which is the exact length of a cigarette. The tobacco is fed from above into little scales, which drop down as soon as they have received the precise amount required, emptying their contents upon the strip of paper, which is then rolled, chopped off with knives and neatly glued together-all in an instant of time; the machine then counting them, assorting them into packages, and wrapping them up, without the aid of human hands.

Peculiar Ingredients Used in Cigarettes.--. The manufacturers, each of them, have their own particular formulas for the article which they produce. These are more or less secret. None of the brands of cigarettes which are placed in the market are composed of a single kind of tobacco. The original material is merely the basis for artificial flavoring. To begin with, various aromatic oils are employed. The list of these includes rose.geraniam, vanilla bean, tonka bean, and licorice root.

These are added to the tobacco after it has been chopped into shreds ready to be rolled into cigarettes. Finally, the particular drug chosen is applied in the form of a liquid solution, and sprayed over the material with an atomizer. Careful discrimination is employed in regard to the quantity, a precise number of drops being distributed to each cigarette.

From the best professional and other information at hand, there can be no doubt that Opium, Cocaine, Cannabis Indica, and other appetite-kindling drugs, are used to a large extent in this way. It is a significant fact that while the quantity of leaf tobacco manufactured is steadily increasing, less sugar and licorice are used. The other materials it should be remarked, however, are used to a larger amount.

Injurious Effects of the Habit.- When pure tobacco is used by an individual it injures the brain and nervous system, the heart and digestive system; but when opium and other deleterious drugs are added to the tobacco, as is done in the manufacture of cigars and cigarettes, is it any wonder that physicians, like those of Yale, Harvard, and Amherst, found, after much care and frequent examinations, that the students lost weight, height, chestgirth and lung-capacity from the tobacco habit? And when Indian Hemp, Cocaine and kindred drugs are used in conjunction, what are we to expect?

The tobacco habit is found almost everywhere, and in all classes, from the outcast in the street to the king upon the throne ; from the vile transgressor of every moral law to the most honored divine ; from the ignorant to the learned and erudite; from the child and youth to the veteran hoary with age. Many of its victims are fully conscious of its direful effects, yet constantly yield to its imperious demands. They had formed the habit, perhaps, when they were too young to know what it would entail, and now are its slaves, possibly not having moral strength to attempt its resistence.

Senior Students in Yale College.-I will enumerate some of the results to youth from this habit, as these are given by various superior authorities.

J. W. Seaver, M.D., thus describes the effects of tobacco upon. the physical development of the students of Yale College:*

Through the assistance of several members of the senior class, I am able to make a more complete statement, and equally interesting showing from a scientific point of view. The data at present discussed relate 10 187 men, composing a senior academic class at Yale. All these men have been examined and measured at least twice during the course, viz. : immediately after entrance, and in the last term of the senior year. With two exceptions, over ninety per cent. of the men were also examined in the sophomore year, and many in the junior year.”

The material, therefore, he says, was fairly complete, and the group large enough to eliminate the elements of mechanical error and chance growth.

“On entering college the class of 1891 had a list of thirty-eight tobacco users, or about fifteen per cent. of the class. At the be

*University Magazine, June, 1891.

1.74 in. 1.43 in. 1.27 in.

ginning of the junior year their percentage had slightly increased, although eighteen of the men who were recorded as ' tobaccousers' had for one reason or another left the college. At the end of the senior year, the record stood as follows: There were seventy-seven men who had never used tobacco; there were twenty-two men who had used it slightly, at rare intervals, of whom six begun the practice in the last term of the Senior year; there were seventy who used it regularly.

" The growth of the men in four of the principal authrofometrical items of varied character is as follows:

Weight. Heiget. Chest Girth. Lung Capacity. Non-users

11.78 lb.
.894 in.

21.4 cub. in. Irregular users.

11.05 lb.
.788 in.

14.4 cub. in. Habitual users.. ...... 10.66 lb. .72 1 in.

12.1 cub. in. "If this growth be expressed in the form of percentage, it will be seen that in weight the non-users increased 10.4 per cent. more than the regular users, and 6.6 per cent. more than the occasional users. In the growth of height, the non-users increased twenty-four per cent. more than the occasional users.

In growth of chest girth, the non-user has an advantage of the regular user of 26.7 per cent., and over the occasional user of 22 per cent., but in lung-capacity the growth is in favor of the non-user by 77.5 per cent. when compared with regular users, and 49.5 per cent. when compared with irregular users.

“ It has long been recognized by the ablest medical authorities that the use of tobacco is injurious to the respiratory tract, but the extent of its influence in checking growth, in this and in other directions, has, I believe, been widely under-estimated."

Students at Amherst College.-Dr. Seaver's conclusions in regard to the dwarfing effect of tobacco are fully corroborated by the statement more recently published by Professor Edward Hitchcock, M.D., of Amherst College. He gives the results of tobacco-smoking upon the physical development of students, as shown by study of the matter in the class of 1891. Of this class, 71 per cent increased in their measurements and tests during the entire course, while 29 per cent. remained stationary or had fallen off. In separating the smokers from the non-smokers, it appears that in the item of weight the non-smokers have in

« PreviousContinue »