This topic started to come up in a different thread, so I think I decided to start this one.

Is smoking a sin? or could it be? Let’s not talk so much about pipes and cigars, but cigarettes. Few get bent out of shape over pipes or cigars but I’ve met quite a few well-meaning Catholics who think smoking cigarettes at all is just plain sinful. Thoughts?

Smoking cigarettes is simply stupid, and inconsiderate of other family members.

If it’s not a sin, it certainly should be…

Just my opinion, though… My opinion and one dollar will buy a Coke at McDonald’s… :rolleyes:

according to my recollection, A religious brother told us (me and my other friends) that excessive smoking is a sin. The reason for the sin is you are knowingly destroying your own health and body, the body which God entrusted to you during your earthly life, which is also a part of the Church, the body of Christ.
He only mentioned “excessive”, so I don’t know about “occasional” smoking.

hope this helps.

There are people on both sides of the issue. My case against this argument is that many smokers never experience any significant negative health effects. If 98% did, I’d say they have a good argument, but since the number is more like only 40% I don’t think it holds water. You can’t say it’s grave matter because it harms your health if it doesn’t actually harm your health.

The argument that addiction reduces one’s culpability is also extremely valid here. One may start smoking only a little and then they are addicted and it can be very difficult to quit.

No its not a sin, it breaks none of Gods commandments.

To become addicted to something (willingly) is sinful.

There are serious health problems with cigarettes. Just because not everyone experiences them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. I’m not saying it’s necessarily a mortal sin, but it’s definitely a venial sin to smoke cigarettes to excess (as it would be with cigars or pipes). Anything done to excess is a sin.

On a cultural level, cigarettes are pretty disgusting and are quite off-putting to most people. They have so many chemicals in them (and, I’m pretty sure, a lot of added nicotine to induce addiction), that I can’t see how one can say that the proportional benefit of them is sufficient to subject one’s body to these negative effects, especially when there are so many other forms of tobacco use that have no serious long-term effects on health when used in moderation. That being said, I’m not going to say that someone who smokes cigarettes in moderation is committing a sin. I just think it’s low-class and pretty disgusting. That being said, I regularly smoke cigars, occasionally smoke a pipe, and use nasal snuff frequently.

suggest those who have had to care for family members coping with COPD and dying of cancer, to the extent that the caretaker’s life has been drastically affected, weigh in here. Thou shalt not kill applies to suicide whether it is slow or fast acting.

That makes no sense at all. I’m just sayin…


I wasn’t going to say anything, but, yes.

Also, I meant to mention the quote from St. Jerome (or was it St. Augustine :hmmm:), that he sees no difference in killing oneself with a single blow or with many little ones over a long period of time. Even if cigarettes don’t always lead to cancer, they do lead to long-term health problems, which would be at least venially sinful to inflict willingly upon oneself.

It’s under the commandment of “Thou shall not kill”.
In this commandment, we should also respect for health.

**CCC 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.

How about the Fifth Commandment that says “Thou shall not kill”?

[quote=Dr. Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College and Roman Catholic Apologist]“According to Church teaching, respect for human life requires respect for one’s own body, precluding unhealthy behavior, the abuse of food, alcohol, medicines and illegal drugs.”

Key word been excess, the question wasn’t is excessive smoking a sin it was is smoking sin period, it is not in itself a sin, it is only if done to excess.

It makes me think - although it’s not directly related to the thread’s topic.
A smoker who smokes everyday, but is very active in sports and works out everyday,
and a non-smoker who doesn’t do regular exercise, maybe just once or twice a month,
who will have more exposure to the risk of bad health in the long term?

Well he would fall under the sin of sloth, one of the seven deadlies and certainly sins more than the smoker does.

Oh I see. Yeah, I agree that the action of smoking itself is morally neutral. :smiley:

God in His infinite wisdom gave us a few things to make our miserable lives a little more tolerable. Tobacco, beer, shade, fishing, and a good swimming hole fall into this category. Thank you God for these little mercies.

I cigarette is probably no more harmful than a handfull of french fries or a spoonful of cheesecake. Some smokers get heart or lung disease just as some desert-eaters (or overt-eaters) get heart disease or become overweight, sometimes even obese. I don’t think there is any difference in the two. enjoy life’s little pleasures like smoking and sweets and even laying in the sun in moderation and you’ll likely be okay. doing any of them so much that you harm yourself is likly wrong - though addiction could of course reduce the culpability of a glutton of any stripe.

smoking could not have been considered a sin before the 1960s because nobody knew it was bad for you until then. God can’t punish you for what you don’t know.

If someone smokes with the intent to do themselves bodily harm it is sinful. This intent is almost always absent.

If someone smokes with the intent to commit suicide it is sinful. This intent is almost always absent.

Smoking 4 or fewer cigarettes a day has no or negligible health effects from the literature I have read. I have also seen studies done that 1 or 2 cigarettes a day can have positive health effects.

Oh, we knew it was bad, all right… but we didn’t want to believe it because we enjoyed it…

Your first cigarette told you it was bad for you when you coughed up a lung… but after a few puffs, it got easier… so we just “had to learn how to smoke,” and get used to it. :rolleyes:

**“Tobacco is a dirty weed
I like it.
It satisfies no normal need.
I like it.
It makes you wheeze, it makes you scream.
It’s the worst damned stuff I’ve ever seen!
I like it.”

But not any more, that’s fo sho… :thumbsup:

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