Constructing Addiction as a Moral Failing

  • Geoffrey Harding


The aim of the SSOT, to convince the British public of the harm inflicted on the Chinese by the continuance of the opium trade, was reiterated in each issue of the Friend of China. They were aided considerably in their propagandist efforts by reports which filtered back from medical missionaries in China who testified to the injurious effects of opium on the indigenous population. From their daily contact with the opium-using Chinese they perceived the harm to result from the favoured Chinese recreational practice of ingesting opium through smoking; something practically unheard of in Britain. Reprinted wholesale in the Friend of China, (and frequently adjacent to pro-opium testimonies) these missionaries documented their observations of the effects of opium smoking under several headings, including social and physical as well as spiritual.


Opium Trade Religious Sect Opium Dependence Technical Language Medical Missionary 
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4 Constructing Addiction as a Moral Failing

  1. 8.
    A. S. Dyer in ‘Suffering for the Truth’ by M. Gregory 1894 (pamphlet) Braithwate CollectionGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Geoffrey Harding 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey Harding
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutics, School of PharmacyUniversity of LondonUK

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