It is of course difficult, and perhaps even impossible, to accurately estimate the value of tobacco to the race; but let us glance at the pros and cons, and then each one can roughly estimate for himself. Tobacco may be used medicinally, but it is a dangerous and uncertain remedy, and it probably has not one medicinal use that cannot be more suitably met by other remedies. One can readily imagine easier digestion as the result of the sedative influence of the after-dinner cigar upon a disquieted nervous system, especially if the coincident irritation of alcohol and coffee have need of correction; but it can also be imagined that in most of such cases the remedy has been the cause of and will further increase the disordered condition, and that nutrition of deficiently nourished nerve tissue is rationally indicated rather than partial narcotization. There then remains, so far as I can see, the solace of moderate anaesthesia and, occasionally, of occupation for idlers, as the only items that can be placed to the credit of tobacco.

There certainly are individual cases where such usage may be more provocative of physical benefit than evil, but, before judging for the race as a whole, compute the other side of the question.

Tobacco injures the general health of the public through the economic loss caused by its consumption. The people of our country spend annually over seven hundred millions of dollars for tobacco - twenty per cent. more than is spent for bread. This sum represents only a minor part of the cost of the tobacco habit to the country. The crop is immensely exhaustive to the soil. Its culture has blighted whole sections of fertile territory. In the time consumed by the producer and the trader in its production, manufacture, and sale, and by the consumer in its use, and by the general interference with vital activity and consequent decreased productive capacity, there is represented an almost unimaginable sum of money. Certainly the people at large are not so well fed both as to quantity and quality, or so thoroughly clothed, or so hygienically housed that they can afford this gigantic economic waste.

There can be little doubt that if the people had sufficient intelligence and moral strength to taboo tobacco, this comparatively senseless outgo would be largely devoted to supplying these and other necessities of an exalted health status.

Tobacco injures health through its moral effects. The tobacco habit is certainly a dirty and frequently a disgusting habit, and encourages other dirty practices. Its use tends to make men cowardly, irritable in temper, and low in spirits. It blunts ideas of purity and courtesy, leading to invasion of the rights of others. It is presumed that few medical men would visit a delicate, sensitive patient after saturation with the "fragrant" effluvia of onions, but thousands whose systems are saturated with nicotine and who reek with nauseating odor do not hesitate to inflict their presence on sick or well. The time will come when the tobacco user will not be allowed to poison the atmosphere that is the common property of the public - will not be allowed to force the inhalation of nicotine upon the general public, to say nothing of being allowed to poison the infants and women in his own family. What would be said of a man who introduced poison in any degree into the food or drink of his child? Is the poisoning of the household atmosphere by the ignorant, thoughtless, or selfish smoker morally more defensible? Tobacco injures health through hereditary influence. The tobacco user begets, more certainly than the non-user, puny children with disordered nervous conditions.

Luckily for our race, the women, who have the most important prenatal influence in guarding its physical well-being, are practically non-users of the plant. The general health status of the race is improving, not because the use of tobacco or the indulgence in other questionable practices is harmless, but because, among other things, of the great advance in general intelligence and knowledge of hygienic law.

A person, or the public in general, may practice an injurious habit, and yet more than counteract its influence by opposing beneficial practices.

Horace Greeley said, "Show me a drunkard who does not use tobacco, and I will show you a white blackbird." In this country, where dietetic drinking habits are not common in the family, the weakening of moral fiber by indulgence in tobacco is usually the introduction into the round of vicious indulgences, and thus directly or indirectly affects health. Smoking induces dryness of the mucous membrane of the mouth and consequent thirst. The partially paralyzed nerve terminals want something more stimulating than water to afford relief. Furthermore, blunted appetite induces deficient nutrition, and consequently there is a call for some "pick-me-up;" hence we find that the use of tobacco tends to the habitual use of alcoholic beverages, and there are very few habitual users of alcohol who escape without structural injuries to the body as well as perversion of its functions. Decrease of vital activity in all the tissues of the body marks the use of tobacco. The tendency is toward functional paralysis, though occasional signs of stimulative irritation are to be noticed, especially in the respiratory passages. The interference with intellectual activity is marked.

It is said that during a period of fifty years no tobacco user stood at the head of his class in Harvard. The accumulated testimony of investigating observers is conclusive that, other things being equal, users of tobacco, in schools of all grades, never do so well in their studies as non-users.

One head of a public school said he could always tell when a boy commenced to use tobacco by the record of his recitations. Professor Oliver, of the Annapolis Academy, said he could indicate the boy who used tobacco by his absolute inability to draw a clean, straight line. The deleterious effects of tobacco have become so clearly apparent that we find its sale to minors is prohibited in France, Germany, and various sections of this country. It is somewhat a question if, at the present time, the race is not doing itself more injury by its use of tobacco than it is with alcohol, because of its more universal use, particularly by youth, and because of the respectability of the habit, which comes of its use by a certain intelligent part of the race, including teachers of morals and physics, and even temperance reformers. There is a widespread sentiment in existence that it is not a respectable thing to be even partly paralyzed by alcohol, but how few there are who consider narcosis as in any way connected with the use of tobacco.

Its effect is more diffused and masked, and is not so acutely serious in individual cases, but through its interference with vital activity, tobacco is probably more generally injurious to the race than alcohol.

The editorial fiat of "too long" prevents a full exposition of the subject, but, in closing, let me say I hear millions of tobacco users ask, "Why, then, was this plant given to man, if its general effects are so decidedly evil?" The question presupposes design in creation. Without subscribing to this theory, or pretending to have solved the mystery of the presence of evil in the world, the answer may be suggested that the overcoming of many seductive evils becomes to man a means of his progressive higher development. Of one thing I am convinced, that the physical development and welfare of man is interfered with in strict sequence to his consumption of substances that are unnecessary for his nutrition - stimulants and narcotics inclusive. - Medical Record.