Harper's Weekly 09/14/1867


CONSUMPTION OF TOBACCO.

Reformatory efforts of the most persevering
character have been brought to bear upon smok-
ers, chewers, and snuff-takers without the least
effect. Notwithstanding prohibitory laws, enor-
mous taxation on the growth and sale of the
terrible vegetable narcotic, its use has extended
over the globe. The savage and the Christian-
ized philosopher, the king and the peasant, are
alike slaves to tobacco. Neither the denuncia-
tions of His Majesty James I. of England, or a
Sultan of Turkey threatening to burn out the
eyes with the hot ashes of his subjects who should
smoke the hateful weed, which he resolved to
drive from his dominions, ever checked its on-
ward progress. Writers, philanthropists, lectur-
ers, learned physicians, and men and women of
all orders have reasoned against it, appealed to
the common-sense of the people, plead with their
friends and fought with a common enemy, to no
earthly purpose. Tobacco is triumphant. Even
the last great tax on the luxury of cigars and
pigtail, by Congress, which seemed likely to
limit its consumption, has had no more effect
than beating an elephant with a feather. But
in the mean while people die prematurely of
palsy of the heart, cancerous stomachs, and dis-
eased lungs from its excessive use; and they
will continue to do so if half the world is depop-
ulated by this vegetable tyrant.



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