History repeating itself

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History repeating itself

Postby Territoo » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:39 pm

I know I've been rather quiet lately, but I've been following the posts. I've been researching for an article I'm going to write on the history of health effects of tobacco. I came across this article, and was amazed at some of the similarities between smoking in the Nazi era and today.


In particular the following quotes caught my attention.

"Cigarettes were given to soldiers in the First World War, creating an entirely new generation of addicts; national governments also found in tobacco a marvellous source of income, since sales were easily regulated and effectively taxed."

(Sounds a lot like our government today.)

"Astel was also a rabid anti-tobacco activist, who quickly made a name for himself on the Jena campus by snatching cigarettes from the mouths of smoking students. "

"[Karl Astel's Institute for Tobacco Hazards Research] purchased and distributed 2000 copies of Hans FK Günther's 8-page Trinken, Rauchen, Gattenwahl (Drinking, Smoking, and Spousal Choice) along with 15 copies of Lickint's Tabak und Organismus (at 50 RM each), hundreds of reprints from Reine Luft (Pure Air), the most important anti-tobacco journal of the era, and 3000 copies of Emil Skramlik's compilation of Goethe's views on tobacco. Skramlik also received at least 15 000 RM to produce an anti-tobacco film (Genussmittel Tabak)—"

(Reminds me of Banzhaf and ASH.)

"The authors ... called for a total smoking ban for women, consistent with the Nazi slogan ‘Die deutsche Frau raucht nicht!’ (The German woman does not smoke!). "

(The world's first smoking ban!)

"The Nazi government enacted numerous legal sanctions limiting tobacco use. Tobacco was banned in theatres and cinemas, and on buses and in many public buildings. Astel implemented the nation's first (modern) university tobacco ban, and smoking was barred in post offices, military hospitals, and all Nazi party offices."

(It escalated then too!)

"...the power of tobacco manufacturers at this time should not be underestimated. The industry had strong friends in the ministries of economics and finance, both of which were clearly afraid of interrupting the steady flow of cash from tobacco taxes..."

(How do you say Phillip-Morris in German?)

"The subjects were required to appear for 2 days in Keiser's surgical clinic at the University of Jena; one day they were fed nicotine, the other they were not. The men were then X-rayed to determine effects on the stomach. Human experiments were also carried out on prisoners, and there was a fair amount of animal experimentation."

(Well, we did ask for some scientific studies.)
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