Chapter 2—Tobacco's Polluting, Demoralizing Influence

We Meet It Everywhere—Wherever we go, we encounter the tobacco devotee, enfeebling both mind and body by his darling indulgence. Have men a right to deprive their Maker and the world of the service which is their due? ... Te 58.2

It is a disgusting habit, defiling to the user, and very annoying to others. We rarely pass through a crowd but men will puff their poisoned breath in our faces. It is unpleasant, if not dangerous, to remain in a railway car or in a room where the atmosphere is impregnated with the fumes of liquor and tobacco.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 33, 34. Te 58.3

It Curses and Kills—Women and children suffer from having to breathe the atmosphere that has been polluted by the pipe, the cigar, or the foul breath of the tobacco user. Those who live in this atmosphere will always be ailing.—Testimonies for the Church 5:440. Te 58.4

The infant lungs suffer, and become diseased by inhaling the atmosphere of a room poisoned by the tobacco user's tainted breath. Many infants are poisoned beyond remedy by sleeping in beds with their tobacco-using fathers. By inhaling the poisonous tobacco effluvia, which is thrown from the lungs and pores of the skin, the system of the infant is filled with poison. While it acts upon some infants as a slow poison, and affects the brain, heart, liver, and lungs, and they waste away and fade gradually, upon others, it has a more direct influence, causing spasms, fits, paralysis, and sudden death. Te 58.5

The bereaved parents mourn the loss of their loved ones, and wonder at the mysterious providence of God which has so cruelly afflicted them, when Providence designed not the death of these infants. They died martyrs to filthy lust for tobacco. Every exhalation of the lungs of the tobacco slave, poisons the air about him.—The Health Reformer, January, 1872. Te 59.1

A Factor in Increasing Crime—The use of tobacco and strong drink has a great deal to do with the increase of disease and crime.—Manuscript 29, 1886. Te 59.2

The use of liquor or tobacco destroys the sensitive nerves of the brain, and benumbs the sensibilities. Under their influence crimes are committed that would have been left undone had the mind been clear and free from the influence of stimulants or narcotics.—Manuscript 38a, 1905. Te 59.3

Satan Controls the Paralyzed Mind—Thousands are continually selling physical, mental, and moral vigor for the pleasure of taste. Each of the faculties has its distinctive office, and yet they all have a mutual dependence upon each other. And if the balance is carefully preserved, they will be kept in harmonious action. Not one of these faculties can be valued by dollars and cents. And yet, for a good dinner, for alcohol, or tobacco, they are sold. And while paralyzed by the indulgence of appetite, Satan controls the mind, and leads to every species of crime and wickedness.—The Review and Herald, March 18, 1875. Te 59.4

Will the Women Smoke?—God forbid that woman should degrade herself to the use of a filthy and besotting narcotic. How disgusting is the picture which one may draw in the mind, of a woman whose breath is poisoned by tobacco. One shudders to think of little children twining their arms about her neck, and pressing their fresh, pure lips to that mother's lips, stained and polluted by the offensive fluid and odor of tobacco. Yet the picture is only more revolting because the reality is more rare than that of the father, the lord of the household, defiling himself with the disgusting weed. No wonder we see children turn from the kiss of the father whom they love, and if they kiss him seek not his lips, but his cheek or forehead, where their pure lips will not be contaminated.—The Health Reformer, September, 1877. Te 59.5

The Only Safe Path—Many are the temptations and besetments on every side to ruin the prospects of young men, both for this world and the next. But the only path of safety is for young and old to live in strict conformity to the principles of physical and moral law. The path of obedience is the only path that leads to heaven. Alcohol and tobacco inebriates would, at times, give any amount of money if they could by so doing overcome their appetite for these body-and-soul-destroying indulgences. And they who will not subject the appetites and passions to the control of reason, will indulge them at the expense of physical and moral obligation.—The Review and Herald, March 18, 1875. Te 60.1

Tobacco's Enslaving Power—In fastening upon men the terrible habit of tobacco using, it is Satan's purpose to palsy the brain and confuse the judgment, so that sacred things shall not be discerned. When once an appetite for this narcotic has been formed, it takes firm hold of the mind and the will of man, and he is in bondage under its power. Satan has the control of the will, and eternal realities are eclipsed. Man cannot stand forth in his God-given manhood; he is a slave to perverted appetite.—Letter 8, 1893. Te 60.2

Those who claim that tobacco does not injure them, can be convinced of their mistake by depriving themselves of it for a few days; the trembling nerves, the giddy head, the irritability they feel, will prove to them that this sinful indulgence has bound them in slavery. It has overcome will power. They are in bondage to a vice that is fearful in its results.—The Signs of the Times, October 27, 1887. Te 60.3

The Witness of Those Who Overcame—While speaking, we asked those to arise who had been addicted to the use of tobacco, but had entirely discontinued its use because of the light they had received through the truth. In response, between thirty-five and forty arose to their feet, ten or twelve of whom were women. We then invited those to arise who had been told by physicians that it would be fatal for them to stop the use of tobacco, because they had become so accustomed to its false stimulus that they would not be able to live without it. In reply, eight persons, whose countenances indicated health of mind and body, arose to their feet.—The Review and Herald, August 23, 1877. Te 61.1

Warn Against Presumption—Parents, warn your children against the sin of presumption. Teach them that it is presumption to educate an appetite for tobacco, liquor, or any hurtful thing. Teach them that their bodies are God's property. They are His by creation and by redemption. They are not their own; for they have been bought with a price. Teach them that the body is the temple of God, and that it is not to be made strengthless and diseased by the indulgence of appetite. Te 61.2

The Lord did not create the disease and imbecility now seen in the bodies and minds of the human race. The enemy has done this. He desires to enfeeble the body, knowing that it is the only medium through which mind and soul can be developed for the upbuilding of a symmetrical character. Habits which are contrary to the laws of nature, war constantly against the soul. Te 61.3

God calls upon you to do a work which through His grace you can do. How many sound bodies are there which can be presented to God as a sacrifice that He will accept in His service? How many are standing forth in their God-given manhood and womanhood? How many can show a purity of tastes, appetites, and habits that will bear comparison with Daniel's? How many have calm nerves, clear brain, unimpaired judgment?—The Signs of the Times, April 4, 1900. Te 62.1