CAN A CHRISTIAN USE TOBACCO?
ONE may justly say that a Christian cannot use tobacco. Everything in his born-again nature rebels against it. The Christian life is a life of separation from sin. One cannot cling to the least sinful habit and be a Bible Christian. God makes perfectly clear in His Word what He requires of the one who expects to inherit eternal life. “Know ye not that ye are the
Perhaps no creature is more helplessly bound by the shackles of an appetite than is the user of tobacco or the drug addict. The effect that nicotine has on the central nervous system causes it to be strongly habit-forming, and easily leads to great excesses. The tobacco habit is frequently classed as a drug habit because of the presence of the powerful nicotine in smoke. Nicotine has at first a stimulating and then a depressing effect on the nervous system. The habits formed by drugs that affect the central nervous system are said, by authorities, to be the hardest to overcome.
There may be those who say that tobacco used in “moderation” does not injure one physically, but what user of tobacco remains moderate? Authorities say that the “drug effect [of nicotine] tends to require increasing use, to tie one up to it, to make it difficult to get along without it.” It is agreed that even in what is called “moderation” in tobacco using, whenever there is an unusual strain put upon the circulatory system “the heart is apparently less efficient.” Some smokers consume 50 cigarettes a day. Today more than $3,000,000,000 is spent for cigarettes each year.
A Serious Problem in Education
A manual for schoolteachers’ use in the public schools makes this significant statement: “The campaign of attractive advertising carried on to increase the sale of tobacco, especially cigarettes, statements and inferences not always in conformity with facts, and the increasing use of tobacco by girls and women, has created a serious problem in education.” The manual calls attention to the billboards showing an athlete with a certain brand of cigarettes, suggesting that he is more efficient because he smokes them. Even school children know that athletes in training are not permitted to use narcotics. Experiments with athletes showed that “in the case of able-bodied men smoking is associated with loss of lung capacity amounting to practically 10 per cent.”
Seven Poisons Absorbed
The chief poison existing in the leaves of the tobacco plant is nicotine. Tobacco-smoking (cigars, cigarettes, pipe) yields between 27 per cent and 36 per cent nicotine absorption. Death will likely result from 60 to 120 milligrams of nicotine taken in pure form. This poisoning is characterized in the new smoker by “pallor, dizziness, faintness, sweating, palpitation, muscular weakness, and collapse.”
Nicotine, however, is not the only compound absorbed in the system; there are at least six other poisonous substances as pyridine, colliding, hydrocyanic acid, ammonia, carbon monoxide, and furfural bases. So in the process of smoking, toxemia – poisoning – may be due to one, two, three or all these substances, or to their combined effect.
There are brands of tobacco that have been treated with other habit-producing poisons. One brand is advertised as being processed in pure
Brands advertised as “de-nicotinized” were found to have an average of 1.09 per cent nicotine content. Others advertised as “toasted” had 1.88 per cent nicotine content. An authority declares, “There is no scientific evidence for such slogans as ‘Not a cough in a train-load.’ ”
A Brand of Selfishness
It has truthfully been said that a “brand of selfishness develops with the habit.” We quote from the school manual: “Many people do not smoke, and tobacco smoke is offensive to them. It is certainly not good manners to blow smoke into the air, especially of closed rooms, cars, etc., where some one may be inconvenienced or even injured.” There are irritating materials escaping from the burning end of cigarettes that are injurious to those in the room who are inhaling the fumes blown into the air.
Tests on the immediate psychological effects of tobacco smoking show “a lowering of the accuracy of finely coordinated reactions.” Out of 23 students dismissed from a school for low scholarship, 21 were smokers. The statement is made that “as one ascends the scale of scholarship, the proportion of non-smokers grows steadily greater.”
Four cancer specialists reported that heavy cigarette smoking has nearly tripled the incidence of fatal lung cancer in the United States, and said that the death rate will be tripled again in another 20 years if the trend continues. They commented: “Because the carcinogenic effect of cigarette smoking does not become evident until after approximately 20 years of smoking it is frightening to speculate on the possible number of lung cancers that may develop as the result of the tremendous numbers of cigarettes consumed.” It is believed by these cancer specialists that “it is both likely and probable that lung cancer will soon become more frequent than any other cancer of the body.”
Statement of Authorities
From a bibliography of 750 writers on the subject of tobacco and its effect on the human system, the following statements have been culled:
“Ninety-six per cent of all cases of cancer of the mouth are caused by smoking.”
“The possibility of tobacco epilepsy is admitted.”
“Paralysis of the muscles of the eye caused by tobacco has been noted.”
“Heart troubles are caused by smoking, especially through the inhalation of cigarette smoke. There has been an enormous increase of arteriosclerosis in the last years due to the abuse of tobacco.”
“The inhalation of carbon monoxide in the smoke is dangerous.”
“Acoustic troubles [nicotine deafness] are caused by chronic tobacco intoxication.”
“Some smokers become so forgetful as to make the physician suspect the beginning of progressive paralysis.”
“The most common symptoms complained of in the excessive use of tobacco is loss of appetite and chronic intestinal catarrh. The habit seems to favor duodenal ulcer, and many specialists in their treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers forbid the use of tobacco.”
“On the respiratory tract, a continuous smoking may result in chronic irritation that results in a morning cough and hoarseness, also chronic bronchitis. Tonsillitis and sore tongue are common results of continuous smoking. Physicians feel that those who have a tendency toward tuberculosis or have developed it would be better off if they did not smoke.”
“The mortality from tuberculosis equals 5.66 per cent of diseases among tobacco workers.”
Touch Not the Unclean Thing
Tobacco using is an unclean thing. God condemns unclean things. He commands the Christian not to contaminate himself with anything that is defiling. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (II Corinthians 6:17, 18).
Many people profess to be Christians who do not have victory over the tobacco appetite. God’s Word does not call a person a Christian unless he has victory over all sin. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” A new creature is not a slave to a sinful habit nor to an unclean one. God has promised to save from the uttermost to the uttermost all who come unto Him through Jesus Christ. Those who have been slaves of tobacco, snuff, and other evil habits for thirty, forty, sixty, and even eighty years have, by the wonder-working power of God, been delivered from the very desire of it. Prove God for yourself if you are bound by the tobacco habit; offer Him an honest heart of repentance, and He will deliver you and save you from every sin. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
Emptied of Tobacco
When revival meetings were held in Virginia a real-estate man came to the minister and said that it would be useless to expect to accomplish anything there “preaching against tobacco,” because almost everyone there either used tobacco or raised it. However, the meetings were held and a number of people were definitely saved. After that they no longer used tobacco in any form nor grew it for the contamination of others. When one is really saved he is completely out of the tobacco business – smoking, growing, or selling it. Even the natives of foreign countries find that to be true. One person wrote that a minister with a pipe in his mouth came to a home asking them why they did not come to his church. He was told that the pipe was the answer.
The following is a part of the testimony of a Virginian who was saved a number of years ago:
“I was raising tobacco and using it when I came from old Virginia to Portland. I am ashamed to tell it but I couldn’t quit the use of it. When I tried to quit, the appetite increased on me. But, thank God, one night coming across the bridge, I threw my tobacco into the river. I had some that was put up in
OTHERS HAVE BEEN DELIVERED
Habits and Appetites
“I had habits in my life that I couldn’t break away from, but since the day God saved me, He has taken every desire away. I had smoked the pipe for over thirty years.”
Delivered by Prayer
“After starving for almost four years in a prison camp, I would trade my chow – what little rice I got – for a cigarette. That is a good place to try your will power. I wanted to quit smoking, but I couldn’t do it. But, thank God, when I got on my knees and prayed, He took the desire for tobacco out, and I haven’t had a cigarette in my mouth from that day to this.”
On Burnside Street
“As I came down Burnside street with an old pipe in my mouth, I heard a voice about a block away. Somebody was telling what Jesus had done for him. It was what I had been looking for for years. The tears rolled down my cheeks. I was lost to the world about me for two hours, till I found myself at the altar in the church. I got up from the altar, from crying to God, and threw my tobacco and pipe from me. I had smoked for twelve years, but God took that awful habit out. I knew these were God’s people. They laid their hands on me and prayed the prayer that went right through to the Throne, and they cast out the demon that had me bound, and I was able to throw the pipe away. I praise God for this mighty salvation.”