Ever since the eighteenth amendment went into effect, we have been deluged with jokes about what the Women's Christian Temperance Union will prohibit next. 'We have been told that one thing after another will be fought: first liquor, then tobacco, then tea and coffee, and so on until they have succeeded in passing amendments, prohibiting carrying matches, and the chewing of gum on Sundays. We have seen such jokes' continually, and have been more or less amused at the incongruous products of the writer's imagination.
And now, behold! These were not jokes, to be laughed at, but solemp warnings in disguise, to be taken seriously! The Women's Christian Temperance Union has actually announced its intention to flight tobacco!
This organization did help to kill John Barleycorn, yet there were at the same time many other and more powerful forces working for the overthrow of Demon Rum. But the Women's Christian Temperance Union flatter themselves, if they believe that alone they can subdue Lady Nicotine.
In this campaign the support of practical business men will be lacking. There is a vast difference between the evil done by alcohol and that done by tobacco. Both are bad for anyone if used injudiciously, just as eating, walking, reading, and innumerable other things are bad if done without moderation. Here lies the great difference--alcohol has caused much misery in the world, but this can hardly be said of tobacco. If a man uses tobacco immoderately, he works harm only to himself; this is not, however, sufficient reason for prohibiting its use by law.
The most important word in the name of the above-mentioned society is Temperance. The object of the Women's Christian Temperance Union is to make others practice this virtue; but there is a proverb called "practice what you preach." The Women's Christian Temperance Union seems to have started on a prohibiting spree; and it might be better for itself and the world in general if it applied the practice of Temperance to its own activities.