Thomas A. Sims


The recent act of the Indiana General Assembly, known as the "Indiana Anti-Cigarette Law," is the third act of its kind to be passed by a state legislature. In 1896 the State of Iowa enacted a similar law, and the year following, Tennessee did the same. In the years intervening between these acts and the present act similar bills have been introduced in various legislatures over the country but none of them has passed. The passage of the act by the Indiana Assembly has, however, seemingly reawakened the sentiment in favor of such legislation, and in several of the states bills prohibiting the manufacture and sale of cigarettes were introduced and in one state, Wisconsin, the bill became a law. The indications at present point strongly to the passage of similar laws by many of the states at the next session of their respective legislatures, with the ultimate prospect of a general prohibition of the manufacture and sale of cigarettes throughout the country. The Indiana Statute present nothing new in the field of constitutional law. It does, however, present one question, that of the right of a resident to import for his personal use, which, it seems, the courts have seldom been called upon to meet and pass upon directly. In a number of cases the question has been touched upon collaterally, and in one case, Donald v. Scott it was specifically declared that the right to import carried with it the right to personally use the article imported. There seems to be no doubt, however, that this is a correct expression of the law on the subject, as it is hoped will be shown by subsequent reference to such decisions as bear upon the subject.