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February 17, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(7):435. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460070051008

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An Alabama judge has given out the decision that the right to expectorate is inherent, and unless special receptacles are provided no penalty can accrue from spitting on floors or sidewalks. Here is another obstacle to the antituberculosis crusade. The decision is, however, apparently a broad one, and may not prove a precedent in all regions. There are other possibilities of committing nuisances than spitting, which have just as good a claim to be considered an inherent right, and which, in our civilized communities, are prohibited in public, notwithstanding the inconvenience the prohibition may cause. It would seem that spitting is to be considered a special privilege, according to this Alabama jurist. If his decision is to stand and be followed elsewhere, public spittoons will have to become a prominent feature in the landscape and take up space in all public conveyances, at least if the expectorating ordinances are to

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