Dr. John BurdellWelcome to the book Tobacco: Its Use and Abuse, by Dr. John Burdell (1848).
Tobacco pushers and their accessories conceal the breadth of tobacco effects, the enormity of the tobacco holocaust, and the long record of documentation.
The concealment process is called the "tobacco taboo." Other pertinent words are "censorship" and "disinformation."
Here is the text by Dr. John Burdell, D.D.S., of an early exposé (1848) of tobacco dangers. It cites facts you don't normally ever see, due to the "tobacco taboo."
The phrase "tobacco taboo" is the term for the pro-tobacco censorship policy—to not report most tobacco effects.
As you will see, information about the tobacco danger was already being circulated in 1848, 116 years before the famous 1964 Surgeon General Report. Be prepared.

Tobacco: Its Use and Abuse
by Dr. John Burdell
(Boston and New York: Fowler & Wells, 1848)

THE habits of SMOKING, CHEWING, and SNUFFING tobacco have became so universally prevalent, and their effects on the body and mind so obviously INJURIOUS, that we feel it to be a duty to do all in our power to stay and remove this barrier to physical reform and improvement. Indeed, we regard the use of these narcotics as dangerous and destructive to the constitution. Is it not a fact that tobacco consumers transmit to their offspring a perverted appetite which becomes more and more intense? Are not the physical sins of parents visited on their children? Can an EVIL tree bring forth GOOD fruit? Are not many of the ills and much of the disease by which we are afflicted, the result of using tobacco?

This little work was written by request, with a view to point out the USE and ABUSE of tobacco, which we think has been clearly done by the author.

Judging from the immense demand for that excellent TREATISE ON THE TEETH (of which TWELVE THOUSAND have been sold within a year), we may safely anticipate a much greater demand for this, inasmuch as the subject involves principles of equal, if not greater magnitude and importance.

Clinton Hall, 131 Nassau Street.


(pp 4-9)

constantly before him, chewing will lessen his appetite, which will prevent him from eating as often, especially when he has the SWEET morsel in his mouth; in this his teeth may be benefited, by destroying other agents from acting directly on them.

Those who use tobacco, throve off the fluid designed for the stomach, consequently thirst is the result. Such persons will crave something stimulating, which will generally be indulged in, to the destruction of the functions.

I have found much more difficulty in fitting artificial teeth in the mouths of tobacco chewers than others, owing to the irritabable and tender state of the gums. Tobacco causes the gums to recede from the teeth, consequently loosening them.

Six Front Teeth, Four Receded by Tobacco

This cut [above engraving] represents six front under teeth. You will see a part of the roots of four, which were once covered with the gum, and held firm by the jaw, but have now lost their natural and former protector, while the teeth themselves are free from decay. Those who are effected thus may attempt to restore the parts lost, it will be like raising the dead.

What is the foot or hand good for, without a body capable of directing them?


(p 11)

Then let us not try to embalm ourselves, or others, while living, with tobacco or any other drug.

No. 2, Side View, Upper Human Body, Mouth - Intestinal Tract

Explanation of this Plate.

E represents the tongue, u the palate; P and n is the air-passage between the wind-pipe and nose; e, epiglotlis, or lid, which the food shuts over the mouth of the wind-pipe when swallowing, to prevent it from going the wrong way, but when vomiting, it opens, and sometimes lets the food into the breathing pipe, which shows that the food of man was designed to pass down, and not up; A represents the pipe leading to the lungs, B shows the passage leading to the stomach, with the upper portion open to show the inside; B shows the diaphragm, which separates the chest from the bowels; C shows the position of the stomach.

The stomach is the organ of digestion, or, to make it more plain, as the boiler is to the steam engine, so is the stomach to the body. Stop the action of it, and life would soon fail for want [lack] of supplies. The stomach exists—what cannot be affirmed of any other organ—in all animals, without exception, and if the importance of the parts may be estimated in this way, it evidently holds the first rank among our organs.

Food ought not to be received into it in less than six hours after the last meal.

Ed. Note: See also Dr. Robert Carter's 1906 dietary analysis.

Eat to live, and not live to eat, smoke, snuff, or chew, to gratify the lower or animal propensities, at the expense of the intellectual faculties.

It will be seen in this plate that smoke and snuff, taken into the mouth or nose, will impregnate more directly the wind-pipe and lungs, while chewing will


effect them less, especially those who have large nostrils, and keep the mouth shut; but if the juice is swallowed, it will affect the stomach and intestines. What is it that the lungs call for, except pure atmosphere, which has no smell, neither can it be detected by the unsullied instincts of our nature? Hence all combinations or scents are deleterious, and unfit for those delicate air-cells which serve as instruments for arterializing the blood.

No. 3.
Shape and structure of the Lungs
a, the trachea or wind-pipe;
b, its branch to the right and left lung;
c c c, the three lobes which compose each lung;
e e e, the air cells of the lungs dissected;
d, the pulmonary arteries, or entrance and
egress of the blood from and to the heart.

If the avenues through which the lungs are supplied are lined or impregnated with that which is disagreeable to the pure instincts, then the poor and trodden


(p 14-16)

immediate offspring will have smaller and weaker eyes. This process will continue from generation to generation, until they will be hatched without eyes. I have one in this condition preserved in spirits, which was taken from a pool of water in the mammoth and dark cave of Kentucky.

Cut the tails of your dogs off for a few generations, and by-and-by, you will be saved the trouble, for there will be no tails to cut.

No. 4.
Six Dogs, Tailed to Tail-less

Take a pup from the blood-hound, and another from the grey-hound; the first will tallow the track of its prey by scent, even if it take a circuitous course; while the other will follow by sight, and cut across lots, if necessary. Why is this difference? says one. Another answers: Because their parents had used one organ, and neglected another.

Animals in a wild or rude state have great uniformity of color, features, etc.; but after their natural condition is changed by domestication, it produces such a modification in their appearance as to almost deceive the critical observer—which has led many to doubt a common parent of the human family.

There is a rule which will determine between species and species, in all animal creation; that is, different species will not continue to propagate from generation to generation, while variety, or those which had a common parent, will do so. This, I think, will settle the point without further investigation.


(p 18-19)

I took common tobacco, and soaked it in water about the temperature of the blood, and after procuring a number of frogs, applied a portion of the juice where the hind legs are connected with the body, as will be

Frog in A Natural State

seen in the drawing. The first leaps were violent, and two or three feet in length; but the succeeding leaps grew shorter and shorter until the muscles became so weak that the animal was unable to draw the legs up to jump again. They remained in the position you see them in cut No. 6, until signs of life were invisible, though I supposed it would recover after a time; but on the third day it began to decompose.

The others had it applied on the back and legs, and in less than half an hour life was not perceptible. Those which had it applied in the mouth, vomited, and soon died. It was tried on mice with similar results.

You will see No. 5 in its natural state and position,


and the enjoying the pleasures of its animal existence, and in less than an hour, all of its powers asleep.*

Frog in a Lifeless Condition
* Sleep is rest, or cessation of voluntary or involuntary motion. Those who wish to put themselves into this state by artificial means, will call things good according to their lulling or soothing effects on the vital powers of the body, until they cease to exist, or sleep, as represented in the Scriptures. "David slept with his fathers, and was buried." [I Kings 2:10]. In


(p 22-24)

Scale, Man - Pig, Balancing
When One Scale Goes Up, The Other Goes Down

IN order to make it more plain, I have placed a man on the longest end, who is SUPPOSED to be capable of regulating the animal, by stepping forward or backward.

"Every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things;" therefore, "I keep under my body, (or appetite,) and bring it into subjection," says a profound reasoner [the Apostle Paul, in I Corinthians 9:25].

Whatever is beneficial to the whole man, is always just and right.

The animal propensities act FIRST in children, and continue under certain modifications through life; but are designed to be regulated, as the intellectual faculties advance. "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things." [I Corinthians 13:11].

In proportion, then, to the strength of the reasoning and moral organs, will the lower propensities be governed.

"To the law, and to the testimony." [Isaiah 8:20].


(p 26)

said they, "that there can be any impropriety in our wearing these things?"

"By no means," was the prompt reply; "when the heart is full of ridiculous notions, it is perfectly proper to hang out the SIGN."

We annex a table, showing the amount of nutriment contained in those articles generally used for food:

Nutritious matter in a 100 pounds of the following articles:
100 lbs.Nutritious matter, lbs.
1st. Rice95
2d. Peas93
3d. Beans92
4th. Wheatfrom 80 to 85
5th. Barley" 75 to 80
6th. Rye" 70 to 75
7th. Indian Corn" 55 to 70
8th. Butcher's Meat, (average)35
9th. Potatoes25
10th. Beets16
11th. Carrots14
12th. Turnips, Cabbages, etc.6 to 8

Ed. Note: Current nutrition information is at www.nal.usda.gov/fnic.

See also R. B. Carter, "Alcohol and Tobacco" (250 Littell's Living Age (1906), pp 479-493, at p 483
  • R. Weindruch & R. L. Walford, eds., The Retardation of Aging and Disease by Dietary Restrictions (Springfield, IL.: Thomas, 1988); and George S. Roth et al., "Biomarkers of Caloric Restriction May Predict Longevity in Humans," 297 Science (#5583) 811 (2 Aug 2002) and "Eat Less, Live Longer" (CNN, 2 Aug 2002) (results of eating 30% less: biomarkers of more youthful levels of DHEAS, reduced body temperature and insulin level, and 40% greater longevity)
  • Lavon J. Dunne, Nutrition Almanac, 3rd ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill Pub Co, 1990), pp 268-307 (food chemical composition chart; from Agricultural Handbook, pp 1-23, by U.S. Dept. of Agriculture).
  • Farmers and steady, hard-laboring people, will accomplish the most work, with the least expenditure of the vital principle, on what is generally termed bread-stuffs.

    Men of sedentary habits and delicate constitutions, with high order of intellect, will generally enjoy themselves best on fruit and vegetables.

    Persons whose employments require them to make great bodily exertion—such as boxers and fighters—will succeed best by eating flesh and stimulating food, in order to excite and give them courage similar to the carnivorous animals when influenced by hunger.

    Fans are used by those mostly pinched up by corsets. They are made to fly rapidly when the poor creature pants for the atmosphere.

    Yellow corn contains more oil and nutriment than white, consequently it is more difficult to digest. For invalids, white corn is preferable.


    (p 28)

    Infants require much sleep; however, the number of hours passed in sleep varies from six to twelve. Seven to nine hours would seem to be about the fair proportion which every man ought to take who values his health, or expects his intellect to be in a fit state to enjoy life. If we allow a certain time for repose or sound sleep, we shall not get it without deducting the time while dreaming, for the organs are cheated.out of their natural rest which was designed for them; and in the morning we feel tired, because we have been laboring against wind and tide.

    Those who wish to do physiologically right, ought never to take any drink or food above the temperature of the blood. Let it be simple, not compounded. For breakfast, let it be uniform, if possible, the year round; so I would say of the after meals; and, after a time, nature will regulate herself, and call for about the same bulk regularly. If you eat at one time an article which contains but little nutrition, and at another time the same bulk with double the nourishment, the appetite will never be a guide.

    FLATTERY.—Flatterers were well described by the old author, who says, "they only lift a man up, as it is said the eagle does the tortoise, to get something by the fall." The stronger the SHELL, the higher they require to be lifted up.

    The man who dares to do right, under all circumstances, is the truly honest, brave, and consistent.

    Let all reflect and consider the above, whenever circumstances shall place them in trying situations; "for the just shall shine brighter and brighter."

    Never hurry nor retard nature; only remove obstructions which may be in her way. She never errs, neither asks advice, but pursues her own course; and those who will observe her laws, will grow wiser and wiser.

    We never regret eating too little.

    [The End]


    [In interim, pending completion of this site,
    you can obtain this book via your local library.]

    Other Books by Dr. Burdell
    The Natural Food of Man
    The Teeth: Their Structure, Disease, and Treatment

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    The Use and Abuse of Tobacco,
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    Tobacco and Its Effects: Report
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    by G. F. Witter, M.D. (1881)
    Click Here for Titles of Additional Books

    Background on 19th Century Dentistry