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I know among some Christian groups (e.g. Laestadians) almost everyone smokes, while some other groups are very strict about it. However, the Bible doesn't have cigarettes.

Is smoking sinful?

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I'm not sure that "is x sinful?" is a constructive line of questions to follow. –  wax eagle Aug 29 '11 at 14:27
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I came to the conclusion the community is better off without this question, so voted to close myself. christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/1011/… is a better question. –  dancek Aug 29 '11 at 18:51
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closed as not constructive by wax eagle, dancek, Caleb, El'endia Starman, JustinY Aug 29 '11 at 18:52

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2 Answers

Good question! I enjoy a cigarette every once and a while, socially.

The Bible does not forbid smoking "anything" directly, so we'll need to look and see if we can find any other qualities of smoking forbidden.

Generalized

At the most general level we can equate cigarettes with damage to your body, thus this verse stands to teach us.

1 Cor 6:19-20 (NIV)

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.

And this warning about gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature.

Eph 2:1-3 (NIV)

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.

Here's the stand that I take: "In moderation" God did not come down to tell you that you cannot enjoy life, but instead He came down to teach you how to love others. I would say that smoking hurts nobody but yourself, thus you are not breaking the law of love. In moderation smoking will not kill you.

Eph 5:18 (TCN)

Do not drink wine to excess... but seek to be filled with the Spirit of God.

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" I would say that smoking hurts nobody but yourself" so second hand smoke need not apply? –  DTest Aug 29 '11 at 14:56
    
that's debatable. you could smoke in the alley with the rest of us and only be sharing :) –  Jonathon Byrd Aug 29 '11 at 15:01
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I'm partial to the idea that "it's OK to hurt myself so long as I doesn't hurt anyone else" (libertarianism) is the opposite of the commandment to love (and mixed with despair) because A.) you assume your existence is not a blessing to those around you and B.) because you take for granted the existence God has given you. –  Peter Turner Aug 29 '11 at 15:06
    
So... you give two quotations that would lead most people to conclude that smoking (regular smoking, not just one cigar a week or such) is a sin. But then turn around and claim it isn't. One wonders... oh, and don't compare it to wine, because moderation with nicotine is much harder. –  Jürgen A. Erhard Aug 29 '11 at 16:51
    
I could have equated these verses to "is not getting up when the alarm clock goes off at 5am a sin?" they are generalized verses. –  Jonathon Byrd Aug 29 '11 at 17:21
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There are some questions you can ask yourself about smoking. For example:

  1. Does smoking show respect or disrespect for God's gift of life?? Acts 17:24,25, Philippians 1:10,11

  2. Is it consistent with what God requires Christians to render to him? Romans 12:1

    • Is it consistent for a person to present himself to God for sacred service and then deliberately to ruin his health?
  3. Does it violate the divine requirement that we love our neighbor? James 2:7, Matthew 7:12

  4. Does smoking contaminate the body? 2 Corinthians 7:1

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How about generalizing this answer for this question: What makes any particular action a sin or not? –  Caleb Aug 29 '11 at 16:17
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