Mahatma Gandhi on Tobacco

..Cigars and cigarettes, whether foreign or indigenous, must be avoided. Cigarette smoking is like an opiate and the cigars that you smoke have a touch of opium about them. They get to your nerves and you cannot leave them afterwards. How can a single student foul his mouth by converting it into a chimney? 

                             Young India. 15/9/1927


“Of all the abuses to which my name has been put, I nothing so humiliating to me as the deliberate association of my name with cigarettes. A friend has sent me a label purporting to bear my portrait. The cigarettes are called ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ Cigarettes. Now I have a horror of smoking as I have of wines. Smoking, I consider, to be a Vice. It deadens ones conscious and is often worse than drink in that it acts imperceptibly. It is a habit which is difficult to get rid of when one it seizes hold of a person, it is an expensive vice. It fouls the breath, discourages the teeth and sometimes also causes cancer. It is an unclean habit. No man has received my permission to associate my name with cigarettes. I should feel thankful if the unknown firm were to withdraw the labels from the market or the public would refuse to buy packets bearing such labels.

                                                                                                Young India. 12/1/1921

 

A correspondent who is interested in a variety of reforms asks what the nation pays for her tobacco bill. I find that we pay for unmanufactured tobacco and cigarettes 213 lakhs per year. The cost is increasing every year. The import of unmanufactured tobacco which was 1.25 million lbs in 1923 rose to 5 million in 1927. There was corresponding increase in the imports of cigarettes. If the references I have consulted are reliable, we do not export any of our own tobacco. Therefore the value of that considerable crop has to be added to the figures quoted above. If every smoker stopped the dirty habit, refused to make his mouth his chimney to foul his breath, damage his teeth and dull his sense of delicate discrimination, and made a present of his saving to some national cause, he would benefit himself and the nation.
                                                                                                                                                                  Young India. 5/7/1928

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