The Smoke Gets in Your Eyes | Bleader

The Smoke Gets in Your Eyes


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Chicago Tribune, June 4, 1894. Just to put the 2009 federal ban on flavored cigarettes (other than menthol) in perspective, check out some of the additives employed by tobacco marketers in that utopia of free markets we call the Gilded Age.

I think my favorite ingredient on this list is jimson weed, a poisonous herb whose effects are memorialized in the charming old medical school mnemonic "Red as a beet, dry as a bone, blind as a bat, mad as a hatter, hot as a hare." That refers to telltale symptoms of flushing, dehydration, mydriasis (aka "blown pupil"), hallucinations, and fever. Whee!

Of course, belladonna (aka deadly nightshade) sounds like good fun too, what with potential side effects including tachycardia, hallucinations, blurred vision, loss of balance, constipation, confusion, and the spontaneous molting of skin. (Belladonna is not for everyone. Consult your doctor before running naked through the Loop shrieking "THE MOON IS TRYING TO KILL US!!")

"Dude" in this context basically means an overdressed, underemployed young man of dissolute and perhaps fey character. That's one flipping his lid in the cartoon. There's good stuff about the etymology of the term here at The Dudespaper.

For more stuff about the wide-open dope trade of your great-granddad's day, check out the narcotics and cocaine threads at The Hope Chest.

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