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one-third of the total receipts from internal revenue tasation, and it now yields about one-fifth. Tobacco also yields ten per cent of the total customs receipts, against four per cent under the tariff of 1883. Altogether, tobacco now furnishes fifteen per cent, or nearly onesixth, of government's total net ordinary receipts.
The present status of the tobacco industry thus represents immense financial interests. Many millions are invested in tobacco lands, barnsj fertilizers, culture, implements, labor and warehouses. About $100,000,000 are engaged in making cigars, cigarettes and snuff, and in manufacturing tobacco. The growers get, say, from $40,000,000 to $50,000,000 for the crop in its raw state. Aside from vast sums paid for help in the domestic trade, our tobacco factories alone pay in wages over $60,000,000, and their annual product exceeds $200,000,000 in value. Tobacco is exported, in its raw state, to the average value of $30,000,000, while imports represent about half that sum. Add to this something like $50,000,000 of revenue paid to government, and it appears that the annual stake in the United States tobacco crop and industry represents the stupendous sum of more than $400,000,000. The duplication in this total is much more than offset by items that manifestly are not included, such as the permanent investment in farms, warehouses, factories and the like.
Certainly the investment in this tobacco crop and trade, and its annual product, are sufficiently large to raise it to the dignity of one of the most important of American industries. As such, it is well worthy of the most profound attention on the part of planters and agricultural scientists, of dealers and manufacturers, and of statesmen.
All evidence and experience demonstrates what every intelligent tobacco planter knows—that only the best quality, except in rare instances, pays a real profit. And with the increasing competition of foreign leaf in the markets of the world, it is evident that the supremacy of American tobaccos will depend, in great measure, upon their quality. Present profits and future prosperity will be governed by the quality of the leaf produced. This fact cannot be too often reiterated. To this end, our scientists must cooperate most earnestly with planters, while much is yet to be learned about preservation and improvement of quality in the processes of packing, handling and manufacturing.
Our statesmen must also be educated to pursue a policy that shall develop, instead of discourage, this great industry. This country's policy of removing every possible obstruction in the way of domestic tobacco culture, trading and manufacture, is the only right method. The product can stand a reasonable amount of direct taxation, when imposed and collected by the comparatively simple and effective system now in vogue. It imposes on growers no restrictions of any moment, while taxes on the finished product and on licenses are moderate, and are collected with little friction.
While we should jealously guard our interests in the foreign market for the surplus of American leaf, the certain increase in production and quality in other parts of the world must be reckoned upon. The idiotic restrictions on tobacco culture in other countries (it is prohibited in Great Britain and Spain, and seriously hampered in other European States), are likely to be succeeded by the American system, which is equally successful as a revenue producer, without depriving farmers of the benefits of growing this profitable crop. The longer those restrictions are maintained abroad, the better the opportunity for American leaf in foreign markets. But it is inevitable that these older nations will gradually encourage tobacco culture, while newer lands possess vast areas of soil, now virgin to this crop, where it is destined to be grown on a commercial scale.
Thus, the present status of the tobacco industry throughout the world emphasizes the wisdom of guaranteeing the home market to the American producer. How important this is, appears from the fact that within less than two decades, our imports of tobacco have jumped from a nominal figure to equal half the value of our tobacco exports—the latter a fruit of four hundred years of effort! To buy foreign leaf at an average of sixty cents a pound, and pay for it with domestic tobacco at eight cents per pound, is a policy that cannot be justified by any economic theory, when the truth is that leaf of the same quality as the imported can be grown in the United States.
IS TOBACCO INJURIOUS TO THE HEALTH OF THE BODY, THE MORALS, OR THE INTELLECTUAL FACULTIES?
The enormous increase in the consumption of tobacco, previously outlined, has been accomplished in the face of what was formerly the bitterest opposition. During the past twenty years this feeling against the tobacco habit has somewhat waned, until the campaign against the weed is now mainly directed against its being indulged in by the young, or to excess by the old. Snuff taking is on the decrease, it is a question whether chewing is not also on the decline, and the vast increase is in the various ways of consuming tobacco by smoking.
Tobacco has, on the one hand, been denounced as the fruitful parent of all that is physically injurious or morally depraved, and on the other hand, its use is regarded as innocent, wholesome, pleasing and comforting, adding to the happiness, while subtracting nothing from the health of the body, or from the elevation of the morals or the clearness of the intellectual faculties. The
truth seems to lie between these extremes. With persons of weak bodies or nervous temperaments, the use of tobacco is unquestionably injurious, while persons of full habit and sluggish minds frequently derive great benefit from its use.
Norman Kerr, M. D., F. L. S., of London, England, who is probably the highest authority among the English-speaking peoples in all matters pertaining to the effects of narcotics and stimulants upon the human system, says: "With persons of a certain temperament the use of tobacco produces concentration of thought, mental satisfaction, protection against infection, and domestic happiness." "There are persons," he says, "so constituted that the intellectual powers require to be arrested and concentrated before any definite intellectual effort can be even entered upon. To such persons tobacco smoking has proved invaluable, the advantages far outweighing the disadvantages. No other substance, narcotic or anaesthetic, is yet known which would serve this purpose and do Bo little damage." "Were tobacco not known," he continues, "the idiosyncrasies of such individuals would interfere with the achievement and excellence of their work. All those with whom tobacco does not disagree realize fully the pleasure and mental satisfaction afforded by its use."
"No language," says Dr. Kerr, "can accurately describe the comfort enjoyed from a pipe, when exposed to severe weather in trenches, or the power it has to stay the stomach-crave when no food is to be had, and this action of tobacco, under such circumstances, cannot be harmful."
Tobacco, as a powerful and efficient disinfectant, has long been known, and within recent years this has been fully demonstrated by an ingenious series of experiments performed by Tazzinari, of Rome, which are reported in the Annual of Universal Medical Science for