Smoking Cigarettes. A sin of gluttony?


#1

Hello everyone! Happy Tuesday. Hope you're all doing well and keeping up with your Lenten promises. :)

Here's what's been on my mind today:

I have noticed that while sins of lust and questions about homosexuality flood the Moral Theology section, the sin of "gluttony" is hardly ever talked about.... even though it seems to be just as prevalent now a days as lust. And perhaps even more so.

Anyway, I got to wondering what y'all thought about smoking cigarettes. I don't mean just smoking recreationally when you're out for drinks, but actually being a smoker... smoking daily due to an addiction to cigarettes. An over consumption.

Is this a sin of gluttony? A venial sin? Mortal sin? Grave matter? Is it on par to something like porn addiction? Why is the sin of gluttony so overlooked? Let me hear your thoughts!

(Disclaimer: I am NOT a smoker and don't smoke "recriationally" or ever.) :thumbsup:


#2

I don’t know if it would fall under gluttony, but any unhealthy attachment like that would seem like a good candidate for venial sin. It could even be a mortal sin when you take the health consequences into account, if you are willingly damaging/endangering your health for it.

I too share your frustration with how overloaded the moral theology forum is with the topic of lust, btw.


#3

OH MY DOG, YES!!!
It’s harder to break a tobacco addiction than one to heroin, and I know because I struggle with it.
I do smoke btw.


#4

Thank you for the input ladies.

I always imagined that IF smoking is a sin, it would fall under the category of gluttony... since it is an over consumption.

But perhaps I am wrong.


#5

Although I don’t remember the line, I know I read in the catechism that smoking tobacco, in and of itself, is not sinful. Like gambling, it only becomes sinful if one overindulges in it and becomes addicted.

The problem with tobacco, though, is that it is so powerfully addictive that it is difficult to use it casually. Hope that info helps, though!


#6

[quote="Debora123, post:4, topic:315651"]
Thank you for the input ladies.

I always imagined that IF smoking is a sin, it would fall under the category of gluttony... since it is an over consumption.

But perhaps I am wrong.

[/quote]

In the CCC "excessive" smoking is under "Thou shalt not kill", as harmful to health.

That's what I remember, anyway...

That's not to say that excessive smoking wouldn't also be a sin of gluttony.

~ Smoker :o


#7

[quote="OxygenMan, post:5, topic:315651"]
Although I don't remember the line, I know I read in the catechism that smoking tobacco, in and of itself, is not sinful. Like gambling, it only becomes sinful if one overindulges in it and becomes addicted.

The problem with tobacco, though, is that it is so powerfully addictive that it is difficult to use it casually. Hope that info helps, though!

[/quote]

Yup!

That's why I made sure to add in my OP that I am asking about the actual addiction to cigarettes (being a smoker), not just an occasional recreational use.

But you are right... it is highly addictive... so perhaps it would be an occasion of sin? Hmmm...


#8

[quote="Edmundus1581, post:6, topic:315651"]
In the CCC "excessive" smoking is under "Thou shalt not kill", as harmful to health.

[/quote]

Ah, hadn't thought about it that way. Interesting.

~ Smoker :o

Have you tried those e-cigarettes? I hear they're pretty miraculous in helping you ween off smoking.


#9

[quote="Debora123, post:7, topic:315651"]
Yup!

That's why I made sure to add in my OP that I am asking about the actual addiction to cigarettes (being a smoker), not just an occasional recreational use.

But you are right... it is highly addictive... so perhaps it would be an occasion of sin? Hmmm...

[/quote]

It's difficult to say, as it varies so much from person to person. If someone is an ex-smoker or knows they become easily addicted to such things, it would probably be best to stay away from tobacco entirely.

But then there are people like my father, who would smoke a cigar on occasion but never became a regular smoker. I guess it all depends on the individual.


#10

Makes sense…


#11

The catechism reference is:

2290 The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine.

As another poster pointed out, it is under commandment 5 “Thou shalt not kill”.

The arguable point here is what is excess use of tobacco. I would say any use of tobaco is excess, knowing what we do about the health effects of it. Knowing how damaging it is to the human body, and viewing the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit, I can’t see how any tobacco use could be consider not excesive or abuse. But I do understand that others view this differently.


#12

[quote="underacloud, post:11, topic:315651"]
2290 The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine.

[/quote]

PS To asnwer the original question, since temperance is the vitrue in opposition to the vice of gluttony, it seems logically implied that yes it would be a sin of gluttony.


#13

[quote="Debora123, post:4, topic:315651"]
Thank you for the input ladies.

I always imagined that IF smoking is a sin, it would fall under the category of gluttony... since it is an over consumption.

But perhaps I am wrong.

[/quote]

Gluttony applies only to food and drink and not other things.

Modern Catholic Dictionary:

GLUTTONY. Inordinate desire for the pleasure connected with food or drink. This desire may become sinful in various ways: by eating or drinking far more than a person needs to maintain bodily strength; by glutting one’s taste for certain kinds of food with known detriment to health; by indulging the appetite for exquisite food or drink, especially when these are beyond one’s ability to afford a luxurious diet; by eating or drinking too avidly, i.e., ravenously; by consuming alcoholic beverages to the point of losing full control of one’s reasoning powers. Intoxication that ends in complete loss of reason is a mortal sin if brought on without justification, e.g., for medical reasons. (Etym. Latin glutire, to devour.)


#14

But gluttony can also be more generally defined as intemperance or indulging in anything to excess. If excessive smoking is not a sin of gluttony (or intemperance), I’m not sure what else it would fall under?

A good example of this broader definition, which goes even further away from the mere food/drink definition, is when St John of the Cross talks about the dangers of spiritual gluttony, where people seek pleasure in their prayer and other religious acts, such that their spiritual nourishment is not the goal, but rather the goal is a sweetness of experience.


#15

[quote="Debora123, post:1, topic:315651"]

Is this a sin of gluttony? A venial sin? Mortal sin? Grave matter? Is it on par to something like porn addiction? Why is the sin of gluttony so overlooked? Let me hear your thoughts!

[/quote]

Being a slave to any thing is to make an idol out of it. Also, since now we know that smoking kills, it would argue it is an offense against the 5th commandment: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Suicide or doing harm to our bodies is also a serious sin, especially when we knowingly do it, fully knowing the consequences. Before one can make any progress in the spiritual life one must uproot vices. Venial sins weaken the soul and makes one more susceptible to falling into grave sin. If a soul cannot say "no" to a cigarette it means the soul is a slave to something that is harmful to the health of the body.

God may have created a man and for him to live 80 years, but years of smoking and bad living will certainly shorten his life; which might translate into a very painful Purgatory in reparation for the many years that God had intended the man to live that were squandered on bad living. God doesn't will that a man drive drunk and die in a drunk driving accident; but this happens every day. Had that vice been uprooted, many people would be alive today, making amends for past sins, and being useful in God's vineyard..


#16

[quote="underacloud, post:14, topic:315651"]
But gluttony can also be more generally defined as intemperance or indulging in anything to excess. If excessive smoking is not a sin of gluttony (or intemperance), I'm not sure what else it would fall under?

A good example of this broader definition, which goes even further away from the mere food/drink definition, is when St John of the Cross talks about the dangers of spiritual gluttony, where people seek pleasure in their prayer and other religious acts, such that their spiritual nourishment is not the goal, but rather the goal is a sweetness of experience.

[/quote]

With regard to the sin of gluttony it applies only to food and drink.
Excesses and abuses in other things are bad but they are not gluttony.


#17

[quote="underacloud, post:14, topic:315651"]
But gluttony can also be more generally defined as intemperance or indulging in anything to excess. If excessive smoking is not a sin of gluttony (or intemperance), I'm not sure what else it would fall under?

A good example of this broader definition, which goes even further away from the mere food/drink definition, is when St John of the Cross talks about the dangers of spiritual gluttony, where people seek pleasure in their prayer and other religious acts, such that their spiritual nourishment is not the goal, but rather the goal is a sweetness of experience.

[/quote]

Correct.

I was always taught that gluttony was not bound by food and drink, but rather it is the sin of any type of over consumption and over indulgence.


#18

[quote="Debora123, post:17, topic:315651"]
Correct.

I was always taught that gluttony was not bound by food and drink, but rather it is the sin of any type of over consumption and over indulgence.

[/quote]

That is not correct. Gluttony is confined to food and drink.
If you read the Modern Catholic Dictionary definition I quoted in post #13 you would see that. The Modern Catholic Dictionary was written by Father John A. Hardon, S.J. and bears the Nihil Obstat which means it is free from doctrinal error.

You will find nothing in the CCC or Canon law to support what you were taught.


#19

[quote="Debora123, post:1, topic:315651"]
Hello everyone! Happy Tuesday. Hope you're all doing well and keeping up with your Lenten promises. :)

Here's what's been on my mind today:

I have noticed that while sins of lust and questions about homosexuality flood the Moral Theology section, the sin of "gluttony" is hardly ever talked about.... even though it seems to be just as prevalent now a days as lust. And perhaps even more so.

Anyway, I got to wondering what y'all thought about smoking cigarettes. I don't mean just smoking recreationally when you're out for drinks, but actually being a smoker... smoking daily due to an addiction to cigarettes. An over consumption.

Is this a sin of gluttony? A venial sin? Mortal sin? Grave matter? Is it on par to something like porn addiction? Why is the sin of gluttony so overlooked? Let me hear your thoughts!

(Disclaimer: I am NOT a smoker and don't smoke "recriationally" or ever.) :thumbsup:

[/quote]

If you are not a smoker, why do you ask? I don't smoke cigarettes, but I find it troubling how some folks seem a bit smug that they do not smoke. In fact, I think smokers are the most snubbed members of society.

We all have crosses and we are all sinners. Consider yourself blessed that you do not have the burden of this addiction that so many suffer from. Instead of inquiring about the sinfulness of someone else's vice, perhaps you could offer up a prayer for them.


#20

[quote="cargau, post:19, topic:315651"]
If you are not a smoker, why do you ask? I don't smoke cigarettes, but I find it troubling how some folks seem a bit smug that they do not smoke. In fact, I think smokers are the most snubbed members of society.

We all have crosses and we are all sinners. Consider yourself blessed that you do not have the burden of this addiction that so many suffer from. Instead of inquiring about the sinfulness of someone else's vice, perhaps you could offer up a prayer for them.

[/quote]

I was asking because I was curious, nothing wrong with that. If you don't like it, don't comment.

Interesting how you probably never posted anything like this on any of the dozens of homosexuality threads started each week by people who are not homosexual.


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