Anti-Cigarette League of America archive,1911-1914

Collection processed by and machine-readable finding aid created by UCLA Biomedical Library staff.
Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences
History and Special Collections Division for the Sciences
12-077 Center for Health Sciences
Box 951798
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1798
Phone: 310/825-6940
Fax: 310/825-0465
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Anti-Cigarette League of America archive,
Date (inclusive): 1911-1914
Collection number: 335
Extent: 1 box (0.5 linear ft.)
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library.Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences
Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
Abstract: The collection contains forty-eight items connected to the Anti-Cigarette League of America, from 1911 to 1914, including: letters from Manfred P. Welcher, Field Secretary, trying to arrange the League's first convention; letters of approval for the League or the idea of the convention, from a variety of supporters; other League ephemera.
Physical location: UCLA Biomedical Library Manuscript Cage
Language of Material: Collection materials in English


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Property rights in the physical objects belong to the UCLA Biomedical Library. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish if the Biomedical Library does not hold the copyright.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Anti-Cigarette League of America archive (Manuscript collection 335). Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences , University of California, Los Angeles.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 6427583 

Acquisition Information

Purchased from antiquarian and ephemera bookseller aGatherin' (West Sand Lake, NY), March 2010.

Historical Note

The Anti-Cigarette League of America, an anti-smoking advocacy group founded by Lucy Page Gaston in 1890, had substantial success until the early 20th century in passing anti-smoking legislation in American states. Gaston, a teacher, writer, lecturer and member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) maintained that cigarette smoking was a dangerous new habit, particularly threatening to the young. The League campaigned not only for smoking bans in public places but also for banning cigarettes themselves. With strong public support, between 1890 and 1930 fifteen states enacted laws to ban the sale, manufacture, possession, and use of cigarettes; twenty-two other states considered such legislation.
The League's influence waned when the fight against alcohol trumped that against cigarettes. "The tobacco habit may be a private and personal bad habit, but it is not in the same class as intoxicating liquor," said Wayne B. Wheeler, general counsel of the Anti-Saloon League; a similar attitude was taken by army doctors and military officials during World War I, who claimed tobacco calmed the weary soldier, sedated the wounded, and distracted the bored. Eventually, all the states repealed their cigarette prohibition laws and associated smoking bans in most public places. Kansas was the last to do so, in 1927.

Scope and Content

The 48 items inlude letters and ephemera. Most of the letters deal with arrangements for a projected first convention of the League at the Lake Mohonk Mountain House, a Hudson River resort. The convention was canceled due to low registration.
The antiquarian bookseller aGatherin' compiled an itemized inventory which is enclosed in lieu of a container list.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Anti-Cigarette League of America -- Records and correspondence
Antismoking movement -- United States -- Archival resources
Tobacco -- United States -- History