Is smoking really that bad?


I really don’t know. My husband smokes, my dad smokes, my mom smokes (well, vapes), and yet they’re all dedicated Catholics. Even our Priest smokes! And he doesn’t try to hide it or anything. I know a lot of people bring up the verse about our body being a temple, but let me ask this: What about drinking coffee? Caffeine is horrible for your body. What about eating junk food? With all those artificial flavors and dyes? Surely that’s not too great, right? What about drinking soda? Do I even have to explain why that’s bad? My husband believes that, if you’re not doing these things with the intent to cause bodily harm, then they’re okay. Thoughts?


I think lung cancer is a terrible way to die. That said, I don’t think smoking is sinful…just not very smart.


Consider two people I know. They drink copious amounts of coffee. All their food consumption is fried and or prepared food, if you can call it that. They also drink copious amounts of soda. Both are overweight.

Guess what’s killing them? Literally?

Their incessant smoking. With ZERO exaggeration, it takes both of them TWO HOURS every morning to hack up a lung just to get moving. They hack to the point of vomiting.
One uses a C-pap and STILL won’t even try to quit.
It is too late for them both, now.
Many things are bad in high quantities.
Smoking is its own heinous class of sucking the life out of you. Literally.

Does your husband really think that the lack of intention negates how damaging smoking is to the body? Seriously?


Yes, it is really that bad.

I have asthma. I cannot understand why someone would intentionally hurt their lungs and ability to breathe clearly. It makes no sense whatsoever.


My mother had a problem with addictions, smoking was one of them. The addiction, what ever it is, becomes your master, and we become it’s slave. We are told in scripture that you cannot serve 2 masters.

Today we understand that cigarettes and other substances are addictive. To purposely start smoking is putting a yolk around your neck, a ring in your nose, and as Catholics we are to stay away from near occasions of sin. To take up smoking is a reckless decision. Many are caught in it’s snare and can’t escape. On the surface it doesn’t look so bad as you say, but look deeper and with the eyes of Jesus being the Lord and Saviour of your life. He should be your master, the one you follow.


My sister died of lung cancer. She had smoked from the time she was a teenager till she was diagnosed with the cancer. There is NO cigarette that is worth what she went through.
I live close to 2 high schools – when I’ve driven by the schools I can’t believe the number of students who are out in front of the schools smoking – it was all I could do NOT to get out of my car and tell them what they might be getting into.


It killed my father (stroke at age 58). My wife, a family doctor, says that in our local hospital, 50% of the beds in the internal medicine ward are occupied by serious diseases caused by smoking. Serious, and usually irreversible damage like lung cancer, emphysema, and cardiovascular illnesses.

My father was also diabetic; smoking and diabetes together are almost a guaranteed death sentence.

Smoking also causes impotence and smokers stink. Literally.

If you smoke, the single biggest thing you can do for yourself, health-wise, is quit.


I definitely hate the smell of smoke, it makes me sick. Maybe I phrased my question wrong. I know smoking is extremely unhealthy, not to mention gross, I was just wondering if it was sinful. Also, I think we all have addictions. My husband is addicted to drawing, does that make it sinful? I mean, he will draw for hours, and it’s so hard to make him stop.


Apart from lung cancer, smoking puts you at risk for so many other serious health conditions such as cardiovascular disease. And when combined with other risk factors such as diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, the risk just multiplies. So yes, it really is bad.


I can’t believe it would be sinful unless a silly person says to him/herself,
“yup, very bad thing to do; think i’ll do it anyway.”

But I do not know about sinful.

Definitely very, very bad for one’s health


Yes it is probably sinful simply that it is an addiction. Ive never been addicted but ive smoked a few times, and i think that was a sin because i knew very well that i could get addicted. The problem is that any addiction to anything of this world is wrong. As a previous answer said, man cannot serve two masters. We all know it is addictive, yet some choose to go along with it. It makes you the slave to smoking, and it can replace God as the most important part in your life. For some people it has, for me it never did and I stopped. But even I knew that could happen so i had sinned.


You said well what about sugar addiction, and caffine addiction? Nobody says that is sinful? Well if you are addicted to either of those things than you are trying to enhance yourself without God continually and being gluttonous. So yes that would be sinful too in a full blown addictions. The difference is that it is much easier to get uncontrollably addicted to drugs or tobacco than to junk food. though that is possible too and should be avoided.


If one is addicted, then one can no longer control the need for the substance in question.
If this is accurate, I would think the sin (or greater sin) lies in making that initial choice of said substance, knowing it is bad for the body, as opposed to the addiction itself.

(Asked in earnest, I do not know!)


Well…I suppose that is true for some things that will no doubt lead to addiction, like drugs and smoking. You know that you will get addicted, but are willfully choossing that. But for sugar foods…i dont know…I woulod not call it a sin to eat a cupcake, but to eat the whole tray probably is. I guess with food you just have to be disciplined and resist cravings. But I would not call sugar foods a sin because, while you would be better off if you avoided junk food, this generation was raised on junk and so eating it is not a sin. Im not really sure. :shrug: Sugar food could be controlled, but smoking cannot be for very long. So to eat sugar does not mean that you choose addictions. Smoking does. I dont know how youd tell the difference just be reasonable.


Hi, I’m an ex-smoker. Smoking is bad for you. The day will come when the smoking has done enough damage to their heart, blood vessels, breathing with their lungs or cancer will strike them. It is slow motion suicide. I regret ever starting smoking and pay for it now with bad health.


I just watched a friend of mine die of lung cancer. She was a lifelong smoker who started smoking in her teens. Before the cancer diagnosis we’d tell her she really needed to quit, she’d say, “Yeah, I know,” and walk outside to have another. My friend died two weeks before her 55th birthday, leaving two children aged 20 and 21. That’s a terrible age to lose your mother.

My friend had small cell carcinoma, the most deadly and aggressive kind of lung cancer. She was diagnosed just after last Thanksgiving with a prognosis of six months to live. She survived for five months and three weeks, despite having intense chemotherapy. She was determined to live, and fought harder than anyone I have ever known to overcome the cancer, even to her last week of life. The cancer was relentless and took her anyway.

Something dreadful you may not know: When someone is afflicted with small cell carcinoma lung cancer, the cancer spreads to the brain in as many as 41% of patients. My friend was one of the 41%. I watch this woman, who had been a brilliant mathematician, reduced to being unable to figure out how to address an email to her friends. I heard her tears as she was unable to cope with, or even understand, important things her family was trying to resolve with her. I saw her gripped by irrational panic attacks, struggling to keep from suffocating, trying to scream, convinced she was having heart attacks. I saw her family trying to calm her down from the panic attacks, dreading the next one, knowing it was going to happen without warning and they couldn’t stop it.

I stood by her bedside in hospice during her last week of life, where the nurses did the only thing they could to suppress the panic attacks: moderately heavy sedation. She knew who we were and responded to our voices. But she was unable to engage in anything resembling intelligent conversation or assist with her own care in any way. The only good things about her death were that her pain was finally over and she didn’t die alone.

But the pain for her children has only just begun. It’s going to be with them for a long time.

Is smoking really that bad? Well, it stinks up your clothes and house, reduces your sense of taste, leaves you looking prematurely aged, and yellows your fingers. You wind up with burn holes in your clothes, your car seats, and your carpet. The constant exposure to smoke causes allergies and other respiratory problems in family members. Other than that smoking itself isn’t really that bad.

The cancer that results from smoking is devastating.

Ask yourself: Do you feel lucky?


When you smoke, you are burning leaves. I mean, that is exactly what you are doing. It produces an assortment of nasty chemicals and particles that are far worse than coffee, junk food, artificial flavors and dyes, and soda. There is no comparison. You are deceiving yourself if you think they are the same. The nicotine is what hooks you, and it’s all the other stuff that kills you.


To knowingly harm ourselves has to be a sin on some level. Taking your example of smoking, which nobody with a single brain cell would argue isn’t harmful, certainly shortens your life. If I knew it would take off ten years it would be akin to me jumping in front of a bus 10 yrs before I was to die from other causes. It is also a tremendous burden on those who must take care of the infirm. Smokers typically have multiple system failure when they age.


2290 The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others’ safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.

The Catechism speaks of temperance. But I don’t think there’s temperate way to use tobacco. I watched my late mother (a longtime smoker) die of cancer, may God rest her soul. I would avoid anything that could set me up for cancer – if at all possible.


I think it’s interesting that most people who associate smoking and sin seem to have suffered great personal and emotional losses because of diseases associated with the habit. I don’t think you can make a fair judgment of smokers because you are blinded by your own grief.

I know that smoking is potentially harmful, costly, and sort of unpleasant.


The question is not whether or not smoking is socially acceptable. The question is whether or not the use of tobacco products is objectively sinful.

It is not.

Just like with anything else that can be consumed, smoking falls under the virtue of temperance.

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