A score of improvements in the method of carrying out a small ideal will not take the place of enlarging that ideal. If existing laws stand in the way of broadening the purpose of school hygiene, let the laws be changed. If text-book publishers stand in the way, let us induce or compel them to get out of the way. If we fear rumsellers, their money, and the insidious political methods that they might employ to bring in undertruth if overtruth is once sacrificed, let us go to our communities and locate the rumseller's guns, draw their fire, tell the truth about their opposition, and educate the public to overcome it. If, on the other hand, misguided teetotalism stands in the way, then, as one teetotaler, I suggest that we prove, as we can, in our respective communities that there is a better way of inculcating habits of temperance and self-restraint than by telling untruths, overtruths, or half truths about alcohol and tobacco. Let us prove, as we can, that a subject vital to every individual, to every industry, and to every government is now prevented from fulfilling its mission not by its enemies but by its friends. We can learn the character of hygiene instruction in our schools and the interest taken in it by teachers, principals, and superintendents. We can learn how teachers practice hygiene at school, and how the children of our communities are affected by the hygiene instruction now given. Finally, we can compel a public discussion of the facts, and action in accordance with facts. Without questioning anybody's avowed motive, we can learn how big that motive is and how adequate or inadequate is the method of executing it.

Alcohol and tobacco really occupy but a very small share of the interest and attention of even those men and women by whom they are habitually used. Hygiene, on the other hand, is of constant, uninterrupted concern. Why, therefore, should it be planned to have alcohol and tobacco displace the broader subject of personal and public hygiene in the attention and interest of children throughout the school life? Beyond the text-book and schoolroom a thousand influences are at work to teach the social evils, the waste of energy, and the unhappiness that always accompany the excessive use—and frequently result from a moderate use—of stimulants and narcotics. Of the many reasons for not drinking and smoking, physiology gives those that least interest and impress the child. The secondary effects, rather than the immediate effects, are those that determine a child's action. Most of the direct physiological effects are, in the majority of instances, less serious in themselves than the effects of overeating, of combining milk with acids, of eating irregularly, of neglecting constipation. Were it not for the social and industrial consequences of drunkenness and nicotinism, it is doubtful if the most lurid picture of fatty degeneration, alcoholic consumption, hardened liver, inactive stomach lining, would outweigh the pleasing—and deceiving—sensations of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes.

The strong appeal to the child or man is the effect these habits have upon his mother, his employer, his wife, his children. The vast majority of us will avoid or stop using anything that makes us offensive to those with whom we are most intimately associated, and to those upon whom our professional and industrial promotion depends. Children will profit from drill in and out of school in the science of avoiding offense and of giving happiness, but unless the categories—acts that give offense and acts that give happiness—are wide enough to include the main acts committed in the normal relations of son, companion, employer, husband, father, and citizen, those who set out to avoid alcohol and tobacco find themselves ill equipped to carry the obligations of a temperate, law-abiding citizen.

Things do not happen as described in the early text-book. Other things not mentioned hinder progress and happiness. The child at work resents the mis-education received at school and suspects that he has been following false gods. The enemies that cause him trouble come from unexpected sources. He finds it infinitely easier to eschew alcohol and tobacco than to avoid living conditions that insidiously undermine his aversion to stimulants and narcotics. The reasons for avoiding stimulants in the interest of others are more numerous and more cogent than the reasons for avoiding stimulants and narcotics for one's own sake. The altruistic reasons for shunning stimulants and narcotics cannot be implanted in the child unless he sees the evil of excess per se in anything and everything, and unless he becomes thoroughly grounded in the life relations and health relations to which he must adapt himself.

Unclean streets, unclean milk, congested tenements, can do more harm than alcohol and tobacco, because they breed a physique that craves stimulants and drugs. Adenoids and defective vision will injure a larger proportion of the afflicted than will alcohol and tobacco, because they earlier and more certainly substitute discouragement for hope, handicap for equal chance. Failure to enforce health laws is a more serious menace to health and morals than drunkenness or tobacco cancer.

If it is true that we must attack the problem of alcohol from the standpoint of its social and industrial effects, we are forced at once to consider the machinery by which cities and governments control the manufacture and sale of alcohol. It is not an exaggeration to say that courses in regulating the traffic in alcohol are more necessary than courses in the effects of alcohol upon digestion and respiration.

If Sunday closing of saloons, local option, high license, and prohibition have failed, there is no evidence that the failure is due to the principles underlying any one of these methods. Until more earnest effort is made to study the effects of these methods, the results of their enforcement and the causes of their nonenforcement, no one is justified in declaring that either policy is successful or unsuccessful. It is very easy to select from the meager facts now available convincing proofs both that prohibition does not prohibit and that high license leads to increased drunkenness. The consequence is that the movements to control, restrict, or prohibit the use of alcohol are emotional, not rational.