Editorial, Letters etc. – Tobacco Smoking Excise

Accreditation The Redcar and Saltburn-by-the- Sea Gazette 15/03/1878


            A little paragraph from the Excise returns showing the annual consumption of tobacco has attracted some attention. In 1811, we consumed less than 14 ounces per head; since then the proportion has steadily increased, and in 1876. We consumed 23 ½ ounces. Deducting, on the one hand, women and children, and making allowance, on the other hand, for waste, this amount, according to a contemporary, to about half an ounce per week for every male of disposable age throughout the United Kingdom. This seems a very moderate allowance, but then we must remember that a great many men even now are non-smokers. When we note how the tobacconist’s shops have increased in number and significance since 1841, and the hosts of persons smoking in the street or in public conveyance (outdoor smoking was the end, a rarity), we are surprised to find that the men of 1841 consumed per head as much as seven-twelfths of our present average., But we must remember that they were in 1841, an army of inveterate snuffles – and snuff runs away with a great deal of tobacco – whose ranks have been subtly themed since that date; and also that there was at that time a considerable amount of steady solemn smoking of long pipes at taverns and private houses during the evenings. There were far fewer counter attractions in the way of public amusements, then than there now are. With regard to the much-argued question as to whether tobacco is injurious or not, we will only say if few words. Wherein moderation consists each man must find out for himself. But we must all so honestly state of belief (after thirty years’ personal experience “of cloud compelling”) that it conduces to idleness, for whereas the non- smoker when at his leisure is glad to find some useful occupation for his hands, the smoker is satisfied with his pipe. Of course, he can read, and often does, but reading nowadays is usually the merest recreation (Accreditation – Graphic


Lol Hansom November 30, 2016 Editorial, Letters and other., Redcar