Is smoking a sin?

The Greek word “hamartia,” translated in English Bibles as “sin,” means “missing the mark” and not necessarily “breaking a rule.” The idea is that we aim for Christlikeness in every area of our lives, and we commit “hamartia” in the areas where we fall short of that ideal. Indulging in the occasional enjoyment of a glass of wine or cigarette is probably not a big deal, but anything you’re addicted to or consuming compulsively, be it alcohol or tobacco or video games or food, becomes the victory of the flesh over the spirit and hence, creates distance between your life and the life of Christ which we seek and are called to imitate. Justifying an addiction, rather than calling it what it is and addressing it as a sickness in need of healing, adds another layer of hamartia as we are also called to be honest with ourselves about our sins.

“God can save the sinner you are, but not the Saint you pretend to be.”
Metropolitan Anthony Bloom
Amen, brother. This is being sophisticated about the topic. Have a cigarette, have a drink. Just never do it on Wednesday and Friday and watch, if you get addicted to it. Then it becomes a sin.
 

Philonous

Sparrow
Is smoking a sin?

I don’t think so. And I’ve been doing it in one form or another since age 13.

I was born mildly autistic and with a very long learning curve. Born into a household with an atheistic father who happened to be a musician, and who wanted his son to be a musician just like himself. Only I had no innate musical talent—nor any capacity to focus my attention on learning sheet music. I’d drift, then forget everything I was taught as soon as I left the piano.

This got worse once I started elementary school. I was frequently near failing a grade. And you can imagine what my home-life was like with my atheistic dad trying to impress his relatives his son was a “musician” and a “genius”.

The guy actually talked the school’s vice principal into putting me into all 4 of our school’s accelerated classes. This, because I did well on abstract reasoning tests—but again, no attention span and a very long learning curve.

So I failed out of all those classes. And once you do that in an American public school system you lose your former social life—the only kids who will hang out with you are the delinquents. And in the early 80’s they all smoked, so I started smoking.

The nicotine improved my concentration. That, along with caffeine helped me eventually graduate high school with a “b” average.

Later, when I became an over-the-road truck driver, it was simply a necessity. Wasn’t even something you’d question.

Well, after 38 years of smoking you start getting COPD. I grew to have a very diminished “gas exchange” in my right lung—so much I had to sleep on that side and breathe through my left lung, as otherwise my breathing was too labored to allow me to sleep.

Two years ago I switched to vaping.

It’s still an irritant and I still have right lung breathing problems—but it’s not doing to me what smoking did. And I know, as I’ve been able to go back to jogging at Planet Fitness.

Thing is, it depends on what you’re trying to do in life. If you’re trying to become a priest, yes, it would look awkward to be spending $100 month on a cig habit. Or spending a similar amount on whatever it costs to vape—I’m unsure of the price, as I’ve been able to buy my vaping products wholesale over the internet—although the states don’t like this cutting into their tax revenue, so there’s a bunch of new laws against getting vape products that way.

Thing is, what the tobacco companies started doing in the 1960’s is adding a ton of flavoring, preservatives, and other chemicals to peddle increasingly cheap and poorly-grown tobacco. They’d spray their plants with pesticides that would remain in the tobacco after it’s been cultivated. People started dying all over the place. And so the federal government forced the companies to create a “superfund” that would give states money for healthcare.

However, to qualify for the superfund the states had to sell a certain amount of tobacco products each year.

And so you can see why the states would now have a very strong antipathy to people switching from smoking to vaping.

And so you had these ridiculous “scares” come out. Kids who were buying THC-laden vaping oil to get high would start getting sick—yet it had more to do with chemicals added to the base oil (which is vegetable glycerin propylene glycol—or a mixture of both) than with vaping itself. Nonetheless, the states then launched an ad campaign to insist vaping was “proven harmful”, paying physicians to say as much. It was a bunch of lies.

It’s an irritant. Any gas you inhale that isn’t oxygen is going to be an irritant. That, or it’s going to be a worthless gas for breathing—such as CO2 or nitrogen (can’t get any oxygen from those things).

But “irritant” doesn’t mean “lethal”—at least not unless you’ve got a preexisting condition. The same with poison ivy and bee stings.

And I may go back to being a truck driver. For now, I’m trying to do other things in my life. But again, vaping keeps me alert (I’m vaping as I write this). Once I stop, I’ll start drifting—double my sugar intake, double my caffein intake. That, or do next to nothing—eat, take a bath/shower, stare at a few news stories, go back to bed.
 
Last edited:

DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
Is smoking a sin?

I don’t think so. And I’ve been doing it in one form or another since age 13.

I was born mildly autistic and with a very long learning curve. Born into a household with an atheistic father who happened to be a musician, and who wanted his son to be a musician just like himself. Only I had no innate musical talent—nor any capacity to focus my attention on learning sheet music. I’d drift, then forget everything I was taught as soon as I left the piano.

This got worse once I started elementary school. I was frequently near failing a grade. And you can imagine what my home-life was like with my atheistic dad trying to impress his relatives his son was a “musician” and a “genius”.

The guy actually talked the school’s vice principal into putting me into all 4 of our school’s accelerated classes. This, because I did well on abstract reasoning tests—but again, no attention span and a very long learning curve.

So I failed out of all those classes. And once you do that in an American public school system you lose your former social life—the only kids who will hang out with you are the delinquents. And in the early 80’s they all smoked, so I started smoking.

The nicotine improved my concentration. That, along with caffeine helped me eventually graduate high school with a “b” average.

Later, when I became an over-the-road truck driver, it was simply a necessity. Wasn’t even something you’d question.

Well, after 38 of smoking you start getting COPD. I grew to have a very diminished “gas exchange” in my right lung—so much I had to sleep on that side and breathe through my left lung, as otherwise my breathing was too labored to allow me to sleep.

Two years ago I switched to vaping.

It’s still an irritant and I still have right lung breathing problems—but it’s not doing to me what smoking did. And I know, as I’ve been able to go back to jogging at Planet Fitness.

Thing is, it depends on what you’re trying to do in life. If you’re trying to become a priest, yes, it would look awkward to be spending $100 month on a cig habit. Or spending a similar amount on whatever it costs to vape—I’m unsure of the price, as I’ve been able to buy my vaping products wholesale over the internet—although the states don’t like this cutting into their tax revenue, so there’s a bunch of new laws against getting vape products that way.

Thing is, what the tobacco companies started doing in the 1960’s is adding a ton of flavoring, preservatives, and other chemicals to peddle increasingly cheap and poorly-grown tobacco. They’d spray their plants with pesticides that would remain in the tobacco after it’s been cultivated. People started dying all over the place. And so the federal government forced the companies to create a “superfund” that would give states money for healthcare.

However, to qualify for the superfund the states had to sell a certain amount of tobacco products each year.

And so you can see why the states would now have a very strong antipathy to people switching from smoking to vaping.

And so you had these ridiculous “scares” come out. Kids who were buying THC-laden vaping oil to get high would start getting sick—yet it had more to do with chemicals added to the base oil (which is vegetable glycerin propylene glycol—or a mixture of both) than with vaping itself. Nonetheless, the states then launched an ad campaign to insist vaping was “proven harmful”, paying physicians to say as much. It was a bunch of lies.

It’s an irritant. Any gas you inhale that isn’t oxygen is going to be an irritant. That, or it’s going to be a worthless gas for breathing—such as CO2 or nitrogen (can’t get any oxygen from those things).

But “irritant” doesn’t mean “lethal”—at least not unless you’ve got a preexisting condition. The same with poison ivy and bee stings.

And I may go back to being a truck driver. For now, I’m trying to do other things in my life. But again, vaping keeps me alert (I’m vaping as I write this). Once I stop, I’ll start drifting—double my sugar intake, double my caffein intake. That, or do next to nothing—eat, take a bath/shower, stare at a few news stories, go back to bed.
That's interesting. You say smoking ruined one of your lungs but you don't think it's a sin? Sounds like self harm when done to that extent. I understand the tradeoff, and when driving for long periods it's obviously not done for pleasure, but to stay awake. I've done that before.
 

Philonous

Sparrow
That's interesting. You say smoking ruined one of your lungs but you don't think it's a sin? Sounds like self harm when done to that extent. I understand the tradeoff, and when driving for long periods it's obviously not done for pleasure, but to stay awake. I've done that before.
There’s a difference between “damage” and “ruin”. That, and it happened right after a period in my life when I had essentially given up physical exercising for 5 years. If you want “sins” that was the greater one—I had walked away from God, and when my selfish plans didn’t bear fruit, I gave up on doing much of anything good for myself or anyone else.

But it’s over. I know it’s over because God told me in a recent dream it’s over. And I wouldn’t even have been privileged with such a dream if I were still well outside of His good stead.
 

Solitarius

Sparrow
Is smoking a sin?

I don’t think so. And I’ve been doing it in one form or another since age 13.

I was born mildly autistic and with a very long learning curve. Born into a household with an atheistic father who happened to be a musician, and who wanted his son to be a musician just like himself. Only I had no innate musical talent—nor any capacity to focus my attention on learning sheet music. I’d drift, then forget everything I was taught as soon as I left the piano.

This got worse once I started elementary school. I was frequently near failing a grade. And you can imagine what my home-life was like with my atheistic dad trying to impress his relatives his son was a “musician” and a “genius”.

The guy actually talked the school’s vice principal into putting me into all 4 of our school’s accelerated classes. This, because I did well on abstract reasoning tests—but again, no attention span and a very long learning curve.

So I failed out of all those classes. And once you do that in an American public school system you lose your former social life—the only kids who will hang out with you are the delinquents. And in the early 80’s they all smoked, so I started smoking.

The nicotine improved my concentration. That, along with caffeine helped me eventually graduate high school with a “b” average.

Later, when I became an over-the-road truck driver, it was simply a necessity. Wasn’t even something you’d question.

Well, after 38 years of smoking you start getting COPD. I grew to have a very diminished “gas exchange” in my right lung—so much I had to sleep on that side and breathe through my left lung, as otherwise my breathing was too labored to allow me to sleep.

Two years ago I switched to vaping.

It’s still an irritant and I still have right lung breathing problems—but it’s not doing to me what smoking did. And I know, as I’ve been able to go back to jogging at Planet Fitness.

Thing is, it depends on what you’re trying to do in life. If you’re trying to become a priest, yes, it would look awkward to be spending $100 month on a cig habit. Or spending a similar amount on whatever it costs to vape—I’m unsure of the price, as I’ve been able to buy my vaping products wholesale over the internet—although the states don’t like this cutting into their tax revenue, so there’s a bunch of new laws against getting vape products that way.

Thing is, what the tobacco companies started doing in the 1960’s is adding a ton of flavoring, preservatives, and other chemicals to peddle increasingly cheap and poorly-grown tobacco. They’d spray their plants with pesticides that would remain in the tobacco after it’s been cultivated. People started dying all over the place. And so the federal government forced the companies to create a “superfund” that would give states money for healthcare.

However, to qualify for the superfund the states had to sell a certain amount of tobacco products each year.

And so you can see why the states would now have a very strong antipathy to people switching from smoking to vaping.

And so you had these ridiculous “scares” come out. Kids who were buying THC-laden vaping oil to get high would start getting sick—yet it had more to do with chemicals added to the base oil (which is vegetable glycerin propylene glycol—or a mixture of both) than with vaping itself. Nonetheless, the states then launched an ad campaign to insist vaping was “proven harmful”, paying physicians to say as much. It was a bunch of lies.

It’s an irritant. Any gas you inhale that isn’t oxygen is going to be an irritant. That, or it’s going to be a worthless gas for breathing—such as CO2 or nitrogen (can’t get any oxygen from those things).

But “irritant” doesn’t mean “lethal”—at least not unless you’ve got a preexisting condition. The same with poison ivy and bee stings.

And I may go back to being a truck driver. For now, I’m trying to do other things in my life. But again, vaping keeps me alert (I’m vaping as I write this). Once I stop, I’ll start drifting—double my sugar intake, double my caffein intake. That, or do next to nothing—eat, take a bath/shower, stare at a few news stories, go back to bed.
I wouldn't count on vaping not being as bad or worse than smoking. Look up ethylene glycol & vaping. They could put anything in the stuff & almost certainly do. After all who's going to hold them to account, they own the various regulatory agencies & control the governments of the world. By "they" I mean the (((millionaires))) that own all of the corporations, banks & everything of any importance.
 
Last edited:

Godward

Robin
Smoking, like drinking, is not a sin per se. The problem is addiction, and the fact that certain substances get you addicted very easily. As such, the addiction will inevitably harm you spiritually and physically — it will enslave you. Everything worldly that enslaves you is a sin.

So, I think this is important for us to understand: something is not a sin, because it is harmful. Rather, something is harmful, because it is a sin.
 

Liviu

Sparrow
Orthodox
The previous post pretty much solved the issue, theologically.

You want a rough statement ? Devil inspired his own incense. If you remain addicted of smoking until your death , you won`t stay in fire in the other world, but in smoke.
 

bucky

Ostrich
I dont see it as a sin, but it is absolutely retarded.
There's a guy on here, can't remember his name, who will swear up and down that smoking isn't bad for you, it's modern, industrial tobacco products that are harmful. If you get high quality tobacco and roll cigarettes yourself they're fine, even good for you, his reasoning goes. He will very much die on this hill and I'm surprised he hasn't shown up on this thread yet.

I highly doubt all of the above but will admit that I don't know enough to say for sure he's wrong.

I've never been around Orthodox Christians much in real life. Do you see people surreptitiously smoking outside before and after church services? I see that a lot at my wife's Catholic parish. That is, it's not prohibited or considered officially sinful, but there seems to be some shame associated with it, and the smokers mostly try to stand a bit off from the main group of people outside the church and I usually only see them smoking after the sun is down when it's less obvious.
 

Trewolla

Sparrow
My opinion, anything which damages the Temple (your body) is a sin. Obviously, being a non Orthodox Christian, I believe that all humans are sinful and I don't think that smoking or drinking (in excess) is sufficient to cost one their salvation. But I do believe that abstaining from smoking and excessive drinking is something that a Christian should strive towards.
 

DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
There's a guy on here, can't remember his name, who will swear up and down that smoking isn't bad for you, it's modern, industrial tobacco products that are harmful. If you get high quality tobacco and roll cigarettes yourself they're fine, even good for you, his reasoning goes. He will very much die on this hill and I'm surprised he hasn't shown up on this thread yet.

I highly doubt all of the above but will admit that I don't know enough to say for sure he's wrong.
I used to smoke cigars, maybe two a week and if I were to smoke a cigar the night before running it would add almost a minute to my run time when my normal time was around 6-6:30/mile. These were usually high quality large cigars.
I've never been around Orthodox Christians much in real life. Do you see people surreptitiously smoking outside before and after church services? I see that a lot at my wife's Catholic parish. That is, it's not prohibited or considered officially sinful, but there seems to be some shame associated with it, and the smokers mostly try to stand a bit off from the main group of people outside the church and I usually only see them smoking after the sun is down when it's less obvious.
Hasn't been something I've noticed. I'm 99.99% sure smoking before church is not allowed.
 
In addition to being a sin - harming non-smokers who have to inhale the poison you emit, it's also an incredibly stupid thing to do, which doesn't have a single benefit.

It drains your wallet and in return you get bad breath, yellow teeth and damaged lungs and blood vessels.

I intensely dislike smoking and wouldn't outright ban it, but I would ban smoking anywhere outside your personal residence. A woman that smokes is almost automatically excluded from a possible partner choice as well, at least for me.

When I see a person that smokes, I immediately have a lower opinion of them, I know they lack discipline and order. For all the smokers in the thread, please stop smoking, make it a top priority in your life, and with God's help you will do it.

I know these words seem harsh, but if stopping smoking is a problem for you, if you don't have the strength for such a small task, how do you expect to be a real Christian who carries his Cross?

May God help all the smokers free themselves from the demonic chains of cigarette addiction.
 

Bamboozler

Pigeon
Smoking marijuana's always sinful because it skews your perspective by infusing your mind with mind-altering substances. The Church's always condemned all typical shamanic practices, and taking drugs is one of them.

Tobacco's a different matter. Just like alcohol or sugar, it's ok to use it unless you're addicted to it. I've seen some posts here which took a rather puritanical approach to the subject. Comparing smoking to infesting the Temple of the Holy Spirit is a step too far for me. I assure you God's not offended with one casual glass of Scotch and stogy. Or even two.
 
Top