Hurles on chewing tobacco


By Vernon E. Hurles - Religion Columnist



W.E. McCumber reminds us that chewing tobacco and dipping snuff is a new fad resurfacing among young people.

Even on the campuses of colleges and universities some are spitting brown, perhaps thinking to prove their independence.

My mother taught me better than to call people stupid, but please allow me to say that chewing and dipping tobacco is stupid, dirty, and unhealthy. Besides it looks bad, smells bad, and is bad.

There was a certain tobacco chewer who attended a rural church. The little frame building had colonial windows, with 16 panes of glass in each. The rear window on the left side had a missing pane. This man sat by that window and occasionally spat a stream of tobacco juice through the open space.

The window was repaired, unknown to him. The next Sunday, morning, at what he thought was a discreet moment during the sermon, he turned his head and let the juice fly. The ugly brown stream hit the plane of glass—-kersplatt! It spread out and ran down, attracting everyone’s attention. It was a horrifying moment, for he was a shy person.

The habit, once acquired, is hard to break. A young man was influenced to chew the cud. His friend tried, with no avail, to persuade him to give up the obnoxious habit. Agreeing with his friend he threw his plug into a vacant lot. However the next day he saw him in the same lot searching for his discarded plug.

A 7-year-old boy was given a chew from his teenage uncle; warning him not to inform his mother of his new found vice. Every where the uncle went the boy went, everywhere the uncle spit the boy spit, he was feeling all grown up.

Suddenly the mother approached. In the boy’s haste to avoid detection he swallowed his cud. Soon he became sick, very sick. He turned green and heaved up things we could not recall ever having swallowed. That was his last attempt at chewing tobacco.

Someone asked an old minister, “Do you think you can go to heaven and chew tobacco?” He replied “I am not sure, but one thing is certain, he would have to go to hell to spit, for there would be no tobacco juice permitted on the streets of gold.”

If chewing and dipping never resulted in embarrassment or inconvenience, it is still a foolish habit—-and dangerous. A pinch between your check and gum can result in cancer of the mouth. Purity of heart and maturity of thought will cure the habit.

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By Vernon E. Hurles

Religion Columnist

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