Thursday, April 14, 2011

Adolf Hitler's Health Obsession: The Nazi War on Smokers

St. Rep. Karen Yarbrough

Illinois State Representative Karen Yarbrough (D-Maywood) and Adolf Hitler are two kindred spirits --- anti-smoking fanatics who think it great public policy to employ the iron fist of the state to deny individuals the free choice to use tobacco.

You see, Liberal Obama-enthusiast, Yarbrough thought she was a great social innovator in promulgating the draconian statewide ban on smoking in 2008. But actually she was just lifting a page from the Nazi Fuhrer's playbook.

Adolf Hitler was a health nut who was a vegetarian and a teetotaler.

And Adolf Hitler was the world's first great anti-smoking crusader.

Ms. Yarbrough's Smoke-free Illinois Act prohibits smoking in virtually all public places and workplaces, including offices, theaters, museums, libraries, educational institutions, schools, commercial establishments, enclosed shopping centers and retail stores, restaurants, bars, private clubs and gaming facilities.

But she was simply plagiarising the original work of the famed Austrian-born mass murderer.

According to Robert N. Proctor in the British Medical Journal (No. 7070, Volume 313):

"The first modern, nationwide tobacco ban was imposed in Germany by the Nazi Party in every university, post office, military hospital and Nazi Party office, under the auspices of Dr. Karl Astel's Institute for Tobacco Hazards Research, created in 1941 under direct orders from Adolf Hitler himself.

Major anti-tobacco campaigns were widely promulgated by the Nazis until the demise of the regime in 1945.

German anti-tobacco policies accelerated towards the end of the 1930s,and by the early war years tobacco use had begun to decline.

The Luftwaffe banned smoking in 1938 and the post office did likewise.

Smoking was barred in many workplaces, government offices, hospitals,and rest homes.
Nazi Anti-Smoking Poster

The NSDAP (National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) announced a ban on smoking in its offices in 1939, at which time SS chief Heinrich Himmler announced a smoking ban for all uniformed police and SS officers while on duty.(15)

The Journal of the American Medical Association that year reported Hermann Goering's decree barring soldiers from smoking on the streets, on marches, and on brief off duty periods.(16)

Sixty of Germany's largest cities banned smoking on street cars in 1941.(17) Smoking was banned in air raid shelters-though some shelters reserved separate rooms for smokers.(18)

During the war years tobacco rationing coupons were denied to pregnant women (and to all women below the age of 25) while restaurants and cafes were barred from selling cigarettes to female customers.(19)

From July 1943 it was illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to smoke in public.(20) Smoking was banned on all German city trains and buses in 1944, the initiative coming from Hitler himself,who was worried about exposure of young female conductors to tobacco smoke.(21)

Nazi policies were heralded as marking"the beginning of the end" of tobacco use in Germany.(14)

Now Ms. Yarbrough is fighting tooth and nail to keep smoking out of Illinois casinos, despite evidence that her smoking ban is killing business there.

Der Fuhrer would be proud.