Section 3—Tobacco

Chapter 1—Effects of Tobacco Use

What It Does to the Body—Tobacco is a slow, insidious poison, and its effects are more difficult to cleanse from the system than those of liquor.—Testimonies for the Church 3:569. Te 55.1

Tobacco using is a habit which frequently affects the nervous system in a more powerful manner than does the use of alcohol. It binds the victim in stronger bands of slavery than does the intoxicating cup; the habit is more difficult to overcome. Body and mind are, in many cases, more thoroughly intoxicated with the use of tobacco than with spirituous liquors, for it is a more subtle poison.—Testimonies for the Church 3:562. Te 55.2

Tobacco Users Guilty Before God—Tobacco, in whatever form it is used, tells upon the constitution. It is a slow poison. It affects the brain and benumbs the sensibilities, so that the mind cannot clearly discern spiritual things, especially those truths which would have a tendency to correct this filthy indulgence. Those who use tobacco in any form are not clear before God. In such a filthy practice it is impossible for them to glorify God in their bodies and spirits which are His. And while they are using slow and sure poisons, which are ruining their health, and debasing the faculties of the mind, God cannot approbate them. He may be merciful to them while they indulge in this pernicious habit in ignorance of the injury it is doing them, but when the matter is set before them in its true light, then they are guilty before God if they continue to indulge this gross appetite.—Counsels on Health, 81. Te 55.3

Resistance Lowered and Restorative Powers Weakened—God's healing power runs all through nature. If a human being cuts his flesh or breaks a bone, nature at once begins to heal the injury, and thus preserve the man's life. But man can place himself in a position where nature is trammeled so that she cannot do her work.... If tobacco is used, ... the healing power of nature is weakened to a greater or less extent.—The Medical Ministry, 11. Te 56.1

Sowing and Reaping—Let old and young remember that for every violation of the laws of life, nature will utter her protest. The penalty will fall upon the mental as well as the physical powers. And it does not end with the guilty trifler. The effects of his misdemeanors are seen in his offspring, and thus hereditary evils are passed down, even to the third or fourth generation. Think of this, fathers, when you indulge in the use of the soul-and-brain benumbing narcotic, tobacco. Where will this practice leave you? Whom will it affect besides yourselves?—The Signs of the Times, December 6, 1910 (reprinted from The Signs of the Times, February 11, 1886). Te 56.2

Among children and youth the use of tobacco is working untold harm. The unhealthful practices of past generations affect the children and youth of today. Mental inability, physical weakness, disordered nerves, and unnatural cravings are transmitted as a legacy from parents to children. And the same practices, continued by the children, are increasing and perpetuating the evil results. To this cause in no small degree is owing the physical, mental, and moral deterioration, which is becoming such a cause of alarm. Te 56.3

Boys begin the use of tobacco at a very early age. The habit thus formed, when body and mind are especially susceptible to its effects, undermines the physical strength, dwarfs the body, stupefies the mind, and corrupts the morals.—The Ministry of Healing, 328, 329. Te 56.4

Beginnings of Tobacco Intemperance—There is no natural appetite for tobacco in nature unless inherited.—Manuscript 9, 1893. Te 56.5

By the use of tea and coffee an appetite is formed for tobacco.—Testimonies for the Church 3:563. Te 57.1

The highly seasoned flesh meats and the tea and coffee, which some mothers encourage their children to use, prepare the way for them to crave stronger stimulants, as tobacco. The use of tobacco encourages the appetite for liquor.—Testimonies for the Church 3:488. Te 57.2

Food prepared with condiments and spices inflames the stomach, corrupts the blood, and paves the way to stronger stimulants. It induces nervous debility, impatience, and lack of self-control. Tobacco and the wine cup follow.—The Signs of the Times, October 27, 1887. Te 57.3

Lives Are Sacrificed—Alcohol and tobacco pollute the blood of men, and thousands of lives are yearly sacrificed to these poisons.—The Health Reformer, November, 1871. Te 57.4

Nature does her best to expel the poisonous drug, tobacco; but frequently she is overborne. She gives up her struggle to expel the intruder, and the life is sacrificed in the conflict.—Manuscript 3, 1897. Te 57.5

Tobacco Use Is Suicide—God requires purity of heart, and personal cleanliness, now, as when He gave the special directions to the children of Israel. If God was so particular to enjoin cleanliness upon those journeying in the wilderness who were in the open air nearly all the time, He requires no less of us who live in ceiled houses, where impurities are more observable, and have a more unhealthful influence. Tobacco is a poison of the most deceitful and malignant kind, having an exciting, then a paralyzing influence upon the nerves of the body. It is all the more dangerous because its effects upon the system are so slow, and at first scarcely perceivable. Multitudes have fallen victims to its poisonous influence. They have surely murdered themselves by this slow poison. And we ask. What will be their waking in the resurrection morning?—Spiritual Gifts 4a:128. Te 57.6

There Is No Defense—Intemperance of every kind is holding human beings as in a vise. Tobacco inebriates are multiplying. What shall we say of this evil? It is unclean; it is a narcotic; it stupefies the senses; it chains the will; it holds its victims in the slavery of habits difficult to overcome; it has Satan for its advocate. It destroys the clear perceptions of the mind that sin and corruption may not be distinguished from truth and holiness. This appetite for tobacco is self-destructive. It leads to a craving for something stronger,—fermented wines and liquors, all of which are intoxicating.—Letter 102a, 1897. Te 58.1