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creased 24 per cent. more than the smokers; in height, they have surpassed them 37 per cent.; in chest girth, 42 per cent. ; and in lung capacity there is a difference of 8.36 cubic inches. This is about 75 per cent. in favor of the non-smokers, which is 3 per cent. of the total lung capacity of the class.
Here is a scientific demonstration that the use of tobacco checks growth in weight, height, chest girth and lung capacity.
If this be true of young men so nearly grown, as are students in colleges, what must be the effect upon young boys? Their growth ought to be more rapid in proportion; but their undeveloped organisms cannot so well resist the influence of this poison, and they must, therefore, be dwarfed and stunted far more than those who are older.
Students at the Naval Academy.- Dr. Philip S. Wales, SurgeonGeneral, bears also important testimony of the United States Naval Academy, at Annapolis, Maryland. Unquestionably, he declares, the most important matter in the health history of students at the Naval Academy is that relating to the use of tobacco. An experience of five years as health officer there convinced him that the future health and usefulness of the lads educated at that school require its absolute interdiction. He had repeatedly found defective vision resulting from its use in earlier life. Irregularity of heart-action was one of the most conspicuous effects. He had found many cases of irritable heart, the “ tobacco heart” among boys who had acquired the condition by smoking after they had entered school. To quite a number of these promotion had been refused because of these heart-disturbances and unsteady and tremulous hands.
Finally, he says that he is sure that the use of tobacco predisposes to the use of alcoholic drinks. His observation was that it is an obstacle to mental application, hence he concludes that an agent so capable of such potent evil, which, through its seductive effect upon the circulation, creates a thirst for alcoholic stimulation, which exerts a depressing and disturbing influence upon the nerve center, which determines functional diseases of the heart, which impairs vision, which blunts memory, and interferes with mental effort and application, ought-in his opinion as a sanitary officer-at whatever cost of vigilance, to be vigorously eradicated.
Students at West Point Military Academy.—Superintendent John N. Wilson, of the military academy at West Point, New York, states that on several occasions, during the past two years, youths who had successfully passed the physical tests developed eye-trouble soon after beginning their studies. An expert oculist
of New York, after having made several examinations, reported that the weakness had been caused by tobacco-poisoning from the continuous use of cigarettes before their admission into the Academy.*
Testimony of Other Schools.-The late Dio Lewis declared that at Harvard College during fifty years, although five out of every six of the students were addicted to the use of tobacco, not one of them had ever graduated at the head of his class.
At the public schools of Paris, France, a committee was appointed at one time to ascertain the facts upon this matter. It was reported that in the various competitive examinations the students who smoked tobacco were far inferior to those who did not use the article. The investigations of this committee included alike the primary, intermediate and higher schools, as well as the colleges and professional schools. The result in them all was the same.
Dr. William Parker, speaking of the schools and colleges of America, declared : “ Tobacco is ruinous, dwarfing body and mind.” He made the further remarkable statement that in the Free College in the city of New York, in an examination of candidates for admission, out of nine hundred girls 71 per cent. succeeded, while of the boys only 48 per cent. passed. He further affirmed that as a general fact ten girls graduate where one boy gets through. The teachers ascribed this difference to the single fact that boys use tobacco, and girls do not.
In Columbus, Ohio, the teachers and school officers found the cigarette habit so destructive that they were compelled to take action for its overthrow. They organized anti-cigarette leagues, and encouraged the pupils to become members. Orders were promulgated likewise, forbidding anyone to use tobacco on the school grounds or in the building.
The regulations of the Military Academy are very stringent in this matter. They prohibit the use of tobacco, and if cadets are detected smoking, prompt and severe punishment follows.
The concensus of opinion among the teachers and superintendents of our schools, and other institutions of learning, is that the use of tobacco is the bane of the student. They agree generally in the declaration that boys so addicted are certain to deteriorate in scholarship, in self-control and self-respect. The habit takes off the fine edge of the sensibilities, injures the manners, and dulls the moral preception.* Poor is the preparation that such a condition makes for the work, the duties, the encounters of mature life. Many boys have been led to imagine it "manly'' to use tobac
This is a sad mistake. It is the very reverse, and actually makes the growing youth, as well as the grown-up man to a degree, debased and unmanly. The using of tobacco hinders the attaining of those qualities which make the true man. Instead of being an object to be praised and admired, the tobacco-user is one for whom his friends always have to make excuses and apologies. The earlier in life that the obnoxious habit is formed the more certain and pronounced is the blighting effect on the delicate and growing organism of the body.
Another Ground for Protest.-While, however, we make an appeal in behalf of those who are thus injuring and debasing themselves, a word may be said upon another side of the question. Those who do not use tobacco have also some rights in the matter which those addicted to the habit are morally bound to respect. Are they not to be protected in their enjoyment of God's gift of pure air? Must those who do not use tobacco, who prefer cleanliness above the filthiness incident to the quid, pipe, cigar, cigarette and snuff-box-must they be compelled to inhale the polluted atmosphere that is diffused by the chewer and smoker? Must they be subjected to the obnoxious poison, whether they will or not? †
* Some one has quaintly affirmed that the use of tobacco demoralizes; that it makes a boy careless about his hair; that he lets his nails go uncleaned and his clothes soiled-in a word, he is dirty.
† A good story is told of a collector for a publishing house in Boston that sold law books on credit. The collector was an inveterate tobacco-user. Whenever he waited upon a debtor the latter was invariably sure to pay the bill without delay, in order to escape a second visit from the man of reckless expectoration. It was simply a question of paying the bill or spoiling the carpet.
Tobacco and its Disgraces.—It is the matured conviction of the men who have given careful attention to the subject that the use of tobacco is precursor to that of alcohol. “Show me a drunkard who does not use tobacco,” said Horace Greeley, and I will show you a white black-bird.” To this the celebrated Dr. John Lizars, of England, adds his confirmatory testimony: “It is a notorious fact," said he, “that the two vices, tobacco and alcohol, are twins, and are always associated together.”
The late Dr. Mussey, of Cincinnati, Ohio, also makes the strong declaration : “Smoking and chewing tobacco produce a continual thirst for stimulating drinks, and this tormenting thirst is what leads to drunkenness."
It is too true, however, that many of our leading, most influential and talented citizens are votaries, if not abject slaves, to the tobacco habit. We have over-frequent public exhibition of the abhorrent fact. The famous Yorktown Commission is yet fresh in memory. Among its items of expenditures, as presented to congress, was a bill for cigars and cigarettes alone amounting to the monstrous sum of $1,386.20, while that for liquors and to. bacco exceeded seven thousand dollars. Yet a deeper disgrace attaches to the junketing of the funeral train that accompanied the remains of the lamented President Garfield. Similar occurrences have taken place repeatedly in the cases of others who have died in the public service, but we forbear.
The moral sense of the men who could render, or even incur, such bills, or participate in such revels and orgies, must be obtuse beyond our power to perceive or imagine. The occurrences themselves reflect deep disgrace, not only upon those immediately taking part in them, but also upon the constituencies electing representatives having such habits, and upon the nation itself whose servants they are. No matter for wonder can it be that so many are without respect for the laws when they are vividly conscious that the men who enact them are thus vicious and corrupt, and the fountain itself is thus polluted. Yet, despite other agencies of a wrong, we may remain very confident that, but for the foul tobacco habit, the evils would be infinitely less, and that its disgraceful spectacle would not be exhibited.
Tobacco and Insanity.—Mental alienism is another sequence. An agent so potent in deranging the nervous system can but be a
powerful factor in promoting disturbances of the functions of the mind. In this proposition a large number of physicians and experts will be found to concur. Dr. Bremer, of St. Louis, Mo., who has long been connected with the St. Vincent's Institute for the Insane, is unequivocal in declaring this conviction. “ Tobacco really does cause insanity,” he stoutly affirms; and in all such cases, where the “tobacco habit” is fully overcome, the symptoms of insanity in its various forms are sure to disappear.
Dr. Woodard, of the Massachusetts Insane Asylum, Dr. Lizars, Dorothea Dix, and others declare that the immoderate use of tobacco produces an affection of the spinal cord, and weakness of the brain, resulting in madness. In the young it is not only liable to arrest growth and physical development, but to cause permanent feebleness of the mental faculties. We may witness this on every hand.
Few of the children and youth that we see to-day with cigar or cigarette in mouth will ever go beyond mediocrity, if they escape becoming insane or imbecile outright.
What is the Remedy ?—Scientific analysis has been expended upon tobacco, and has arrived at tolerable exactness in regard to its nature and qualities. We need no explanation, either of its virious properties, or its extraordinary fascinating qualities. These are alike apparent on every side. But its baneful nature should be carefully studied. It is a deadly poison, and its oil or concentrated extract will destroy life as unconditionally as the acid of peach seed, the juice of woorara, or the venom of the hooded snake. A result of smoking is often the deadly cancer. The use of tobacco produces nervousness, dyspepsia, heart-disease, paralysis. It injures the voice, enfeebles the sense of taste and smell, brings on weakness of the eyes and blindness, and, in short, overturns health and hastens death. It impairs the mental and moral constitution, weakening the faculties for acquiring scientific knowledge, benumbing the sensibilities, rendering the individual filthy and loathsome in personal habits, uncourteous in manners, blunted in sense of right and wrong, and producing a tendency to excessive use of alcoholic drinks and consequent drunkenness. The habit is expensive as well as filthy and disgusting. Taken all in all, it is destructive of all that is best and purest in manhood, the highest moral and intellectual qualities of our human nature.