Smoking: Is it OK as long as I don’t inhale?

Holy Smokes, Batman, how am I supposed to answer a question like this? They didn’t have cigarettes, cigars, or pipes in the days of the Bible. Generally people think the Bible doesn’t say anything about it, it doesn’t hurt anybody but me, it helps to calm me down, I like it, and not everybody gets cancer from it, so what’s the problem?

Well, there are a few things I can say. 1 Cor. 6.19-20 says that your body, as a believer, is the temple of God (where God has taken up residence), and we’re supposed to take care of our bodies and honor God with the way we use our bodies. OK, so it’s well established that smoking is unhealthy and harms our bodies, even if we don’t die from cancer. Now it’s also true that too much pizza, too much sun, too many donuts, too much caffeine, and not enough exercise are also unhealthy, so we have to consider everything in stride.  If we’re going to pick on one, do we need to pick on others?

Verses such as 1 Cor. 6.12, Eph. 5.18, and Gal. 5.23 let us know that God is the only force that is supposed to control our bodies, not some substance—and we all know how addictive nicotine is that how it controls people. We’re not supposed to let other things control us. So there’s an issue about it.

So is smoking a sin? I wouldn’t say so. Sure people get addicted to it, but they get addicted to caffeine too, and we don’t say that’s a sin. I happen to think smoking is dirty, that’s it’s extremely unhealthy, and that it’s not a good use of the money God has given us, but that’s as far as I can go.  I would say smoking cigarettes is unwise, possibly unbiblical, and unhealthy, but you have to decide how you’re going to treat your body and what is means to honor God with your body and your money. An occasional smoke or even smoking in moderation is never condemned in the Bible.

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