An Opportunity for Healing

American newspapers of late blazon forth the dismay of a very vocal portion of our citizenry over the shortage of cigarettes. In a shop where tobacco is sold one may note the consternation which is registered when would-be patrons are informed by a merchant that "my lady nicotine" is conspicuously absent from his shelves. All of which should awaken us to the seriousness of the plight of tens of thousands of our victimized brethren, who find themselves in the grip of an unlovely slavery and don't know what to do about it. The situation has prompted the writing of such books as "Smoke Over America," by Dr. Jesse Mercer Gehman, published by The Roycrofters, of East Aurora, New York. This book was reviewed in The Christian Science Monitor of January 20, 1945.

While the Christian Scientist does not approach the problem of tobacco indulgence primarily from the standpoint of the injurious drug-effect upon its victims, he may well broadcast a few of Dr. Gehman's timely warnings. The doctor calls attention to the fact that a cigarette contains "eighteen recognized poisons." And to quote the Monitor review: "It is these poisons which give 'that sudden lift, that feeling of elation and exhilaration.' It is the drug-effect which makes smokers want more and more.... Smoking is associated with a definite impairment of longevity. As to women smokers in particular, Dr. Gehman states that 'smoking is more hurtful to the female organism than to the male.' He concludes: 'There is little question that the cigarette habit among women is responsible for both the loss of youth and the premature arrival of old age, the loss of beauty and the arrival of ugliness.' "

Make a Highway in the Desert
April 7, 1945

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