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ID 14878
file
title alternative
The social and moral background of the early anti-tobaco movement in America
creator
NDC
General history of North America
abstract
In 1964 Surgeon General Luther Terry warned explicitly in his Report on Smorking and Health that "many kinds of damage to body functions and to organs, cells and tissues occur more frequently and severely in smokers than in those who abstained." This report had a great impact upon the American people, particularly smokers, and become a turning point for the anti-tobacco movement. After Terry's influential warning, the anti-tobacco movement began to show signs of activety, including the promotion of non-smoking planes, trains, restaurants, theaters, and so on. These changes, however, marked not the begining but the revival of the movement in the United States.

The anti-tobacco movement had started at the turn of the 20th century, when the Anti-Cigarette League of America was organized in 1899 under the leadership of Lucy Gaston, whom Sinclair Lewins depicts as an "anti-nicotine lady from Chicago" in his novel, Arrowsmith. The League, seeking anti-tobacco legislation, put pressure upon local and state politicians. At first Gaston and her fellow "reformers" tried successfully to ban the sale of tobacco products to minors. Then, with tremendous support from many anti-liquor activities they succeded in enacting "Cigarette Prohibition Laws" in fourteen states and one territory.

All these Cigarette Prohibition Laws" prohibited the sale, and in some states the sale and manufacture, of cigarettes. But they never referred to other types of tobacco products, such as plug, snuff, and pipe tobacco. The anti-tobacco movement in the late 19th century was virtually the ANTI-CIGARETTE movement. Cigarettes, a relatively new type of tobacco product in the United States emerging after the Civil War, became popular gradually among minors, women, and immigrant workers, because they were easy to be handled, cheap, especially after a cigarette rolling machine was invented early in the 1880s, and light in taste compared to other types of tobacco.

The discourse the early anti-tabacco movement adopted, therefore, tended to focus on the social disorder and moral deterioration caused by a certain group of people. According to the anti-tobacco advocates, minors' and women's use of tobacco was not acceptable, because smorking might undermine public virtue and order, and induce them to drink, while workers' use was not permissible, either, because smorking at the workplace might decrease productivity, and also induce them to drink. The purpose of this paper is to examine various discourses like the above, answering who tried to eliminate cigarettes and how they did so during the time when medical arguments were not as scientific or persuasive as today.
journal title
Memoirs of the Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University. I, Studies in area culture
volume
Volume 30
start page
51
end page
81
date of issued
2004
publisher
広島大学総合科学部
issn
0385-1451
ncid
SelfDOI
language
jpn
nii type
Departmental Bulletin Paper
HU type
Departmental Bulletin Papers
DCMI type
text
format
application/pdf
text version
publisher
department
Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences
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