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As this tabulation shows, "typhoid carried off 28,494 men of ages 25-64, inclusive, in 1900-1907, inclusive, instead of the 22,211 stated in the Baltimore pamphlet, smallpox carried off 2,188 men, instead of 2,214, and if 75 per cent. of the 19,947 male deaths from cirrhosis of the liver at ages 25-64, inclusive, or 14,960, were to be added to the 13,894 deaths charged to alcoholism, the total from both causes would be 28,854, instead of 33,139 as alleged in the pamphlet. In other words, the actual excess over the deaths from typhoid, of male deaths so computed from the returns for alcoholism and cirrhosis of the liver at ages 26-64, inclusive, was 360, and not 10,928 as alleged, and there were only thirteen, instead of fifteen, times as many male deaths from these causes as from smallpox at these ages. These mis-statements, or inaccuracies, in the pamphlet's supposedly official figures are of no great consequence, however, except as tending to indicate the general unreliability of specific Prohibition contentions, as the very basis of any such comparisons is so manifestly unfair and misleading.
On the one side, that of deaths due to typhoid and smallpox, only the deaths primarily due to these diseases and so directly charged are included in the comparison; on the other side, not only the deaths directly due to alcoholism according to the official death returns, but the exceedingly liberal addition of "the 75 per cent. of liver cirrhosis which may be charged to alcohol" are included. What is the authority for this assumption that 75 per cent. of all male deaths from cirrhosis between ages 25-64, inclusive, may properly be charged to alcohol? None is given, and there is no such authority, so far as I am aware. In the estimates of male mortality at ages 20-74, inclusive, in which alcohol might possibly figure as a causative or contributory factor furnished for my book by the medical directors of three insurance companies, one fixed the possible responsibility of alcohol for deaths apparently due to cirrhosis at 30 per cent. and another one at 90 per cent. This wide margin of difference in expert estimates proves how far apart are trained medical observers on this phase of the alcoholic subject, and it was decidedly presumptuous for the Baltimore pamphlet to announce, without citing any authority, that "75 per cent. of liver cirrhosis may be charged to alcohol." But, as I have said, these details of inaccuracy are of only minor consequence, the attempted comparison of entirely dissimilar items voiding the apparent showings of any value.
The alleged figures for adult male deaths due to typhoid, smallpox, and alcoholism and cirrhosis being incorrect, of course the diagrams in which the "comparative mortality from typhoid fever, small-pox and alcoholism" is supposedly shown, in highly workedup fashion, is similarly misleading. And, for the reasons discussed at length on the early pages of this paper, the diagram purporting to picture "moderate drinking and the death-rate facts from the life insurance companies," on the strength of the United Kingdom and Sceptre Life companies' mortality figures for total abstainers and non-abstainers, seems to me to be distinctly misleading. The last-named diagram does at least have the justification of resting on presumably correctly-quoted figures of the little British life. insurance companies in question for their respective "temperance section" and "general section" groups of policyholders, but until much broader and much more carefully classified perience is forthcoming, no diagrams laid out on these lines can be accepted as correctly presenting the relative death-rates of moderate drinkers and total abstainers. Undoubtedly some of the men who were moderate drinkers when they took out their policies in the British companies in question become immoderate drinkers before they die, and some of the men who were not total abstainers when they insured, practically if not actually become non-drinkers in later life. How, then, can diagrams worked out on such uncertain and constantly-changing experience be supposed to record accurately the death-rate of moderate drinkers, when some of the men so classified probably drink to excess and others so classified practically do not drink at all?
INACCURACY A COMMON WEAKNESS OF PROHIBITION
These, and many other veins of inaccurate showings and conclusions seem to underlie the entire mass of Prohibition literature, and are by no means wanting in many of the public school textbooks on physiology, in the sections devoted to the effects of alcohol and narcotics. According to the World Almanac, "all the States in the Republic have laws requiring the study of scientific temperance in the public schools (whatever that may mean), and all these laws were secured by the W. C. T. U." (the Women's Christian Temperance Union). These laws emanating from a single source, it is but natural that they should be substantially alike in their respective
requirements and phraseology. Probably for similar reasons, there is considerable uniformity in the treatment of alcohol and tobacco in the physiological text-books used in the public schools in compliance with these laws, and it is extremely probable that any textbook which did not meet with W. C. T. U. approval on these lines would have a rocky road to travel in finding its way into American public schools. The fact that a considerable majority of the male parents of the children in the public schools of this country themselves probably use either alcohol or tobacco to some extent clearly indicates that the introduction of the anti-alcohol and anti-tobacco instruction in the public school curriculum was not made in response to a general public demand, but largely if not entirely through the determined efforts of the W. C. T. U.
The public at large, and certainly all intelligent men irrespective of their Prohibition or non-Prohibition leanings, undoubtedly would approve of rational temperance teaching for their children, and the advisability of such teaching probably would be approved by a substantially unanimous vote if put to the test of the ballot. But there are many careful observers, and by no means necessarily drinking men, who firmly believe that the W. C. T. U. movement has decidedly overshot its mark and worked real injury, instead of good, to the general welfare, not only, for instance, by the misguided abolition of "the canteen" at U. S. Army posts, but in its arbitrary and unreasoning interference with the public schools in the way of insisting on the adoption of biased and unscientific textbooks, forcing the study by children of subjects which they cannot grasp, and insisting that the teachers of these children, whatever their own views may be, shall accept and inculcate in their pupils as absolute truths mere opinions on the subject of alcohol and tobacco which have been stamped with W. C. T. U. approval.
Until I became interested in the subject, and took occasion to run over the laws of the various States dealing with these forms of physiological teaching in the public schools, I had no idea of the extraordinary requirements of some of these statutes, or, for instance, that at least 20 States require that their teachers shall pass examinations as to their proficiency in physiology and hygiene. As a rule, properly enough, the laws demand that physiology and hygiene shall be taught in all public schools, or in all schools in part or in whole supported by public money. Some States exempt certain schools, or grades, from these laws, apparently on the sensible
theory that the youngest of school children could scarcely digest instruction on physiology and hygiene, but New York, New Jersey, and several less important States specifically require oral teaching on these lines for children as yet unable to read! The use of adequate text-books on these subjects is generally required or implied in the statutes, and State or local boards or superintendents commonly have the say as to which text-books shall be used, Indiana alone exempting its teachers from using text-books unless they so select.
In some States, principals or teachers must file sworn statements that the laws on these lines have been complied with, and New Hampshire has a statute requiring the superintendent of schools to investigate the teachers' instruction in physiology, with special reference to that regarding alcoholic stimulants. In Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Oregon, South Dakota and Wyoming failure to comply with the law is made sufficient cause for withholding school appropriations; New York, Idaho and North Dakota provide that a teacher's certificate may be revoked for failure or refusal to teach the prescribed course in physiology; and in Ohio the teacher so offending may be fined $25. Pennsylvania even goes so far as to provide that no person in the habit of using any intoxicating drink as a beverage shall be eligible to teach physiology, and in Iowa the advancement of scholars is made dependent on their proficiency in physiology and hygiene.
The pendulum having swung so extremely far in this direction in the earlier days of the W. C. T. U. movement, has latterly tended to swing in the other direction, at least in certain States. In many States the subjects of physiology and hygiene are not now taught in all public schools, and other States have adopted really scientific physiological text-books from which the unscientific and exaggerated statements of some of the earlier text-books have been eliminated, and temperate statements as to stimulants and narcotics substituted. Connecticut sets a new high-water mark among States by prescribing an official physiological text-book of its own construction, but it was not radical enough for the Prohibitionists, and they had the law of their own creation repealed. If I am correctly informed, however the nominally-discarded official text-book is still being extensively used in the Nutmeg State.
In one of the very latest-and in many respects, the very best -of the text-books of Human Physiology, a copy of which I happen to have, more than twenty of the 362 pages, and many diagrams,
are given up to the subject of alcohol and tobacco, and conspicuous in the chapter on "The Effects of Alcohol on the Human Body" is the citation of the mortality experience of the two allegedly distinct sections of the United Kingdom Provident Institution as proof of the relations of "alcohol and length of life." This citation is followed with this positive, but none the less dubious, statement: "These averages have been made up from records including many thousands of lives, and there is no doubt of their correctness. They have been examined with great care to see if there was any reason other than the use of alcohol why the drinking men should die earlier than the non-drinker. No such reason can be found, and it is certain that the users of alcohol fail to live as long as those who do not use alcohol, because the alcohol weakens and injures the body."
Having already discussed at some length the real value of these same mortality statistics, a restatement of my reasons for dissenting from this text-book's conclusions would here be entirely unnecessary. I should, however, like to know precisely what the author of the text-book means by his phrase "the drinking man," whether he believes that all drinking-men of any given age have a common death-rate, however much or little they individually drink, and if his flat-footed assertion that "it is certain users of alcohol fail to live as long as those who do not use alcohol" applies to the "rarely use" variety of the New England Mutual Life's policyholders which was defined by the Company's Medical Director as "the man who says that he perhaps twice a year at a dinner drinks two glasses of champagne." Here is confirmatory, conclusive, and thoroughly up-to-date evidence of the truth of Dr. Duncan's statement in his paper before the Insurance and Actuarial Society of Glasgow which I have previously cited, to the effect that "one of the worst of them (the characteristic failings of teetotallers) is a habit of exaggeration and intemperance in their statements about moderate and temperate indulgence in beverages containing a percentage of alcohol and about the evils, often imaginary, of such moderate indulgence." In my judgment, this exaggeration and intemperance in the temperance teachings, and the methods, of the total abstainers and Prohibitionists are largely responsible for the obvious fact that Prohibition has utterly failed to decrease not only in this country, but apparently throughout the civilized world, the per capita consumption of alcohol. (From the American Underwriter Magazine and Insurance Review, July, 1913).