Dr. Pease Assails Nicotine, but Doesn’t Rebuke
Questions Whether McKinley, for Smoking, Was Not
Guilty of Greater
Crime Than His Assassin; Says Fight on Tobacco Is Gaining.
It looks as though the
United States Senate’s audacity in striking from an appropriation
bill the Smoot amendment prohibiting smoking in any building in
the District of Columbia used by the executive departments of the
government is to go unrebuked.
Dr. Charles Giffin Pease, indubitably
the champion rebuker of the age, was asked yesterday at his home,
101 West Seventy-second Str[e]et, what he was going to do about
“Is it not a legitimate question,”
demanded Dr. Pease, “to inquire who is guilty of the greater crime,
President McKinley, who practiced the poison addiction (smoking,
the doc meant; even the word makes him shudder) to his own hurt
and a greater hurt to the human race by elevating the example to
the highest political office in the land, or the assassin who fired
the shot under the excitement of the moment?”
It may have been a legitimate question,
but it wasn’t a fair one. No question is fair if one of the two
possible answers is Czolgosz. Dr. Pease sent a stern glance after
the query, however, and proceeded.
Classes Smoking as Crime
“Unless we as a people,”
he said, “are willing to face such serious and potent questions
we are not well-wishers of humanity.”
He looked at the reporter as though
he suspected him of not being a well-wisher of humanity.
“That’s true, doctor,” said the reporter,
hoping to allay this suspicion, “but what are you going to do about
the Senate? It has given President-elect Harding permission to smoke
in his office.”
“It is difficult,” replied Dr. Pease,
“to move people to a sense of responsibility as an example or progenitor,
especially those holding high official positions. They should be
willing to sacrifice all harmful addiction for the sake of humanity.
It is said that McKinley’s surgeons said that he would have recovered
from the gunshot wound had he not had a tobacco heart.”
“So it is,” said the reporter, who
had just heard it with his own ears, “but about the Senate now”—