Counsels for the Church


Tobacco a Slow Poison

Tobacco is a slow, insidious, but most malignant poison. In whatever form it is used, it tells upon the constitution; it is all the more dangerous because its effects are slow and at first hardly perceptible. It excites and then paralyzes the nerves. It weakens and clouds the brain. Often it affects the nerves in a more powerful manner than does intoxicating drink. It is more subtle, and its effects are difficult to eradicate from the system. Its use excites a thirst for strong drink and in many cases lays the foundation for the liquor habit. CCh 103.7

The use of tobacco is inconvenient, expensive, uncleanly, defiling to the user, and offensive to others. CCh 103.8

Among children and youth the use of tobacco is working untold harm. 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.144 CCh 103.9

There is no natural appetite for tobacco in nature unless inherited. CCh 104.1

By the use of tea and coffee an appetite is formed for tobacco. CCh 104.2

Food prepared with condiments and spices inflames the stomach, corrupts the blood, and paves the way to stronger stimulants.145 CCh 104.3

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.146 CCh 104.4