Religion and Cigarette Smoking

A comparison of the percentage of people smoking cigarette in Christian and Islamic societies do not actually depict a wide discrepancy as should have been expected, owing to the fact that, while there is a relaxed attention towards the ban on tobacco-smoking in Islamic tilting societies; recent secularism allows for a freedom and liberty that extends to the right to smoke. Come let's walk through the Pathway of Cigarette-Smoking and its associated religious codes and practices.

Catholic Ban

The catholic church was one of the earliest institutions to ban the smoking of cigarette. The Catholic Pope (Urban VII) was said to have banned smoking cigarette or pipe, sniffing of Snuff and chewing of tobacco; as early as the year 1590. It was recorded that the ban also took a severe perspective with a threat of excommunication on anyone who by any means fluat the law. Here, the ban on smoking cigarette may not be based on adherence to strict religious code, but rather, a question of public health and hygiene as evident in most of what is known about the affiliation between smoking and some diseases. The offensive odour, cigarette ash dirt, darkening of teeth, cloud of smoke and left over smell of cigar smoke; are some repulsive elements that can distract normal church activities.

Religious Rationale

In the year 1633, Sultan Murad IV of the Ottoman Empire was said to have prohibited smoking in his entire area of jurisdiction. Also, the 'Mexican Ecclesiastical Council' became the first to ban smoking as early as 1575. Considering that there are some religious connotations to these ban, one would be swift to infer that perhaps both the 'Prophet of Islam' and the Bible might have some forms of direct dis-affections for smoking. But the truth is that, both Faith are inclined on morality that is not in good favour of smoking. This is supported by a biblical position that preaches against the ingestion of harmful substances to the body. If the public health risk of smoking cigarette is true, then it is fair to adopt it as a confirmation of a biblical principle.

Biblical Perspective

There is no known biblical reference to the sinful nature of smoking cigarette. This should have been enough to infer that the Bible is not against smoking afterall. Hence, it should have encourage Christians to engage in indiscriminate smoking, but on the contrary. Pastors and christian teachers are known to preach against the smoking of Cigarette, in some cases referring to the practice as an act of sin.

The inability to present a concrete strict biblical code against smoking may not be deliberate considering that the Bible was written out of common experience within the vicinity of the Authors. Hence, what is popular in distance societies cannot be included in the content and could only either be compared to related examples or simply be defined from moral perspective. For instance, you wouldn't expect to find Palm wine in a Biblical Passage. Neither do we imagine a reference to palm kernel oil. But what is certain is 'Wine and Palm'.

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James Agbogun 4 years ago Author

Thank you Didge! Love your comment!

Didge profile image

Didge 4 years ago from Southern England

Several very cool ideas James Agbogun!

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