Baltimore Evening Sun (19 February 1913): 6.


In the midst of all our torquernadan crusading, how is it that no moralist has dedicated himself to the extinction of the cigarette, that coffin nail, that debauchery, that father of crime? Elsewhere in this fair land it has been dealt staggering licks by the chemically pure. In Kansas, Iowa and Missouri the children in the public schools are taught to fear and abominate it; in Nebraska, Michigan and Alabama there are hot campaigns against it; in Indiana its sale is forbidden by law. But here in Baltimore not a single voice in raised against it. Our moralists are the most virulent in Christendom--their ardor, indeed, is often far more Mohammedan than Christian--and yet I have not heard a word from them about the licentious and diabolical cigarette.

Certainly this cannot be due to ignorance of its deadliness. It is a matter of common knowledge, indeed, that the cigarette is one of the most insidious of all agents of sin. The boy who inhales its noxious fumes today will be a drunkard tomorrow and a murderer next week. The woman who smokes cigarettes is sinister and unspeakable--a dangerous companion for the young. The man who pursues the corrupting vice is a shifty, blear-eyed rascal, with the complexion of a bilious jonquil and a liver that plots treasons. All criminals smoke cigarettes. So do all paranoics. It is the unanimous pet and comfort of felons condemned to be hanged.

On the medical side the evidence against it is irrefutable and overwhelming. In Dr. Osler’s great work on “The Principles and Practices of Medicine” (lib. XIV, fol. 324) there is the direct statement that the cigarette is one of the most potent causative agents in influenza, cancer, diphtheria, ophthalmia, beri-beri and senile dementia. Dr. Osler there describes an experiment with guinea pigs made by Prof. Dr. Hugo Bierfisch, of Leipzig. Two sets of guinea pigs, one of which had been trained to smoke cigarettes and the other of which had been kept pure, were exposed to virulent cultures of the bacillus typhosus. The virtuous guineas at once leaped out of the window, but the cigarette smokers, besotted by nicotine, snouted the fatal germs and at once fell into convulsions. By next morning all of them save one were dead of arterio-sclerosis, and that one was a babbling maniac.

This experiment was confirmed with trained rabbits by Dr. H. von Scbweineshaxen, of Jena, and with Siberian wolfhounds by Prof. Dr. Max Donau, of Vienna. Dr. Donau is of the opinion that the disease commonly called hydrophobia is really a form of ptomaine poisoning caused by the use of inferior glue on cigarette wrappers. This theory, it should be stated in fairness, is disputed by Dr. Donau’s distinguished colleague, Prof. Dr. Adolph Spatenbraeu, but Dr. Spatenbraeu agrees that cigarettes often cause jaundice, lumbago and housemaid’s knee. He is also of the opinion that the delirium tremens sometimes encountered in temperance lecturers is more often caused by devotion to the seductive coffin nail than by secret dalliance with the confidential jug.

And all this medical evidence is amply supported by the statistics of our prisons and almshouses. Of the 226 murderers confined in Sing Sing prison between January 1, 1900, and December 31, 1910, no less than 207 ascribed their downfall to cigarettes. Of the 1,987 forgers imprisoned at the same place during the same time 1,562 blamed cigarettes. From Charleston Prison, near Boston, come reports that are even more impressive. Every one of the yeggmen now serving time there is a cigarette fiend. The late Dr. Clarence Richeson was another. Dr. Harvey H. Crippen, hanged in London for the murder of his wife, smoked 15 packages a day. Johann Hoch, the celebrated Chicago murderer, went to the gallows with a cigarette in his mouth and a glass of fake Plisener in his hand.

But there is no need to go on. Everyone knows that the cigarette is the father and mother of felony, as it is of Bright’s disease. The boy who succumbs to it ends invariably as a profligate and an invalid. Like the boy who monkeys with the wine cup, he shoots the moral chutes, dying horribly and in two places at once, the almshouse and the gutter. The cigarette is the badge of the white slave trader, and not only of the white slave trader, but also of the following rogues and rascals:

Acrobats, Journalists,
Atheists, Kidnappers,
Bandits, Labor leaders,
Barbers, Medical students,
Bartenders, Moll-buzzers,
Bigamists, Mormons,
Blackhanders, Murderers,
Blackmailers, Musicians,
Boomers, Phrenologists,
Boozers, Piano tuners,
Burglars, Pickpockets,
Camorrists, Pilsenerists,
Chorus girls, Pirates,
Chickens, Poets,
Child stealers, Politicians,
Congressmen, Press agents,
Cornetists, Reporters,
Counterfeiters, Revolutionists,
Critics, Road agents,
Dips, Robbers,
Dog-catchers, Schnorrers,
Dope fiends, Seducers,
Eagles, Shoplifters,
Elks, Spiritualists,
Firebugs, Suffragettes,
Forgers, Swindlers,
Fortune-tellers, Tenors,
Gamblers, Touts,
Ganovs, Violincellists,
Garroters, Voluptuaries,
Grafters, Ward heelers,
Grave robbers, Whisky drummers,
Hangmen, Wire-tappers,
Horse-thieves, Xylophone players,
Job hounds, Yeggmen.

And yet, as I have said, the deadly cigarette goes uncombated in Baltimore. Not a single moralist bawls it out. Not a single wiskinski goes among the pious taking up a collection for its extinction. Not a single brave fellow defies the sinister camorra of its victims and apologists.

From the estimable Hot Towel of this morning, page 16, column 5:

Among the speakers will be Governor Goldsborough, a representative of Mayor Preston. * * *

An indirect and delicate flip of the goose-grease. But for two weeks past the Towel has done very little greasing. Here a dab of butter and there a dab of vaseline--but no general assault at arms, no ardent and ecstatic oiling. In the present case, indeed, it is an open question whether the intent was to anoint Harry or to lubricate the Governor. Better a “representative” of the Archangel than an archdeacon in Cathay!

But this hiatus, after all, is only temporary. Once the August Customer returns from Hot Springs and launches his hand-fed Senatorial boom, the Long Toms of oleomargarine will be run out from the battlements and fired until they burst. Three thousand shells of cocoa butter are plied upon the roof. The great auction dredge pumps bear’s grease from the Heidelberger tun in the cellar. An epoch-making exhibition of plain and fancy greasing impends.