American Quacks Section Bar

From the Editor's Pen

The following editorial appeared in the June 1929 edition of
Good Health: The Battle Creek  Journal of Health and Hygiene.

(Vol. LXIV, No. 6.  Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, ed.)

The Insatiable Tobacco Cyclops

The tobacco companies, in their greed, have over-reached themselves.  Notwithstanding the prodigious efforts put forth by these unscrupulous, wholesale poisoners, and corrupters of morals, they have not yet succeeded in wholly perverting the public conscience, and there is a general protest against their shameless tobacco propaganda, which is well expressed in the following letter by Dr. Daniel A. Poling, President of the World's Society of Christian Endeavor:

"I speak, first of all, as an American father who, with an American father's concern for his own children, and for all children, challenges current cigaret advertising.  I speak, in the second place, as the President of the World Society of Christian Endeavor; as the representative, therefore, of more than four million young people who share with me the deep hostility against this advertising . . . Woman hood is being exploited for trade.  Excess is being encouraged as efficiency.  Boys and girls in the crucial years of adolescence are being led to stunt their bodies and dwarf their minds."

The vicious attempt of the tobacco companies, in their advertising to create a prejudice against foodstuffs and in favor of tobacco, has led to a vigorous response by the National Food Products Protective Committee, which is using whole pages in the New York Times, in exposing the destructive propaganda of the tobacco mongers.

If the owners of our newspapers are so greedy and so lacking in moral sense as to be willing to cooperate with the tobacco dealers in their campaign to debauch American youth, and if the editors are too cowardly to expose the infamous business, the only way left is for public-minded citizens to buy newspaper space, in which the truth may be told about tobacco and about those conscienceless conspirators against the health and lives and morals of the American people.

See also, DRY DRUNK: The Culture of Tobacco in 17th-and 18th-century Europe at The New York Public Library

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updated 4/13/2013