Is smoking mutar?
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- This topic has 111 replies, 51 voices, and was last updated 10 years ago by The little I know.
May 24, 2013 9:47 pm at 9:47 pm #954652
truthsharer -“Who said harm has to be significant? Hurting yourself is still assur. Smoking one cigarette does harm, albeit tiny harm.”
Even if I’d agree with this statement -since it’s just a tiny harm this you can definitely use the Heter of Hakol Doshin Bo.
“Why is cosmetic surgery assur? It’s assur because you can’t harm yourself. Same here.”
Who said it’s Ossur?May 26, 2013 1:59 am at 1:59 am #954653yitayningwutParticipant
Benignuman explained the chiluk very well. You may as well say that buying a knife is assur, because it is the first step to killing someone. If someone is confident that they will not smoke often enough for there to be a significant health hazard, you cannot say that each puff they take is assur, because they are not setting into motion any more potential damage than the guy who buys a knife.May 26, 2013 3:21 pm at 3:21 pm #954654
Thank you.May 26, 2013 6:42 pm at 6:42 pm #954655
yitayningwut – Even though I agree with you on this particular part -this is going way off topic.
Smoking in general amongst Frum Jews is Not considered an Aveira and in the Yeshivos too. In a lot of Yeshivos it’s Not even considered taboo, let alone an Issur! Imagine what would happen in some of these main stream Yeshivos if s/o brought in a computer with the Net. Well if you can’t imagine -I’ll tell you -they would be chucked so fast -they wouldn’t know what happened. In these same places you can smell cig smoke in the halls and dorms.May 26, 2013 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #954656
When I was in Yeshiva, the Rosh Yeshiva tried to stop smoking by fining bochurim caught smoking $500. I don’t know if anyone actually stopped but you definitely couldn’t smell it in the dorms anymore.
(The Rosh Yeshiva left the next zman and the smoking came back in full force.)May 27, 2013 7:37 am at 7:37 am #954657PinchasParticipant
but if s/o smokes a pack once a year – on let’s say Purim, for the fun of it, then I see nothing wrong with this.
Health, in tenth grade, my friend smoked one cigarette at our Rebbi’s house on Purim. That lead to many more cigarettes and at age 26 he was dead (by lung cancer). So, I personally see something very wrong with it.May 27, 2013 2:04 pm at 2:04 pm #954658
In the many posts in the CR on smoking, there are always a few voices that equate smoking with overeating or alcohol, therefore being mevatel the concept of issur. Aside from the fact that this challenges the gedolei haposkim of today’s generation, this is flawed logic. Food and alcohol are not dangerous, and are not toxic to the body. There would not be a requirement of basic nutrition nor mitzvos involving wine if these were unhealthy. However, anything can be used to excess or in dangerous patterns, and that is assur. The Rambam addresses this openly. However, there is nothing that can be considered a mitzvah or healthy from inhaling smoke. Nothing. In fact, if not for tobacco smoking, one would be shocked at the very practice of inhaling smoke. If your pot of chicken on the stove burnt, would you stand by the lid opening and whiffing or would you ventilate the kitchen?
For someone with a personal sensitivity (similar to an allergy), one must refrain from something that is otherwise okay. That is where wine and food fit. If the insinuation is that there is an issur for an alcoholic to drink even a single sip of spirits, that would be a logical parallel. For the eating disorder sufferer to indulge in foods that are toxic to his/her personal sensitivity, 100% agreed that this is assur. But the parallel with the single cigarette that does cause damage (even though the body can recover and repair the minimal ingestion) is incorrect. Again, the poskim have spoken, and I referenced their psak halacha earlier. If anyone here in the CR disagrees, I hope you are equal ????? ?????? to the poskim that declared the issur.May 27, 2013 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #954659
Unlike the Sanhedrin, modern Poskim cannot create issur. The concept of chochma uminyan is inapplicable.
There are many things we do to our bodies that causes minor damage from which we recover (or which does not pose any significant long term danger) and there is no suggestion that it is assur. Has anyone ever suggested that there is an issur to pick scabs or to pierce ears?
Alcohol does damage the brain even in smaller amounts (hence slurring of speech, impaired decision making etc.) but the brain recovers after a few hours.
Also don’t confuse dicta and psak.May 27, 2013 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm #954660
Pinchas -“Health, in tenth grade, my friend smoked one cigarette at our Rebbi’s house on Purim. That lead to many more cigarettes and at age 26 he was dead (by lung cancer). So, I personally see something very wrong with it.”
My point wasn’t that Purim can’t be a starting point for a smoker – obviously it can be. Same with taking a Chosson cig. or taking because the crowd/clic are all smoking. I was talking about s/o who is pretty sure if they take that Purim or Chosson cig. they won’t be taking another one for a very long time.
But your post brought up an interesting side point:
“yitayningwut -I have been told by a real doctor that a smoker will generally not do significant long term damage if he quits before the age of thirty.”
I think the stress in this line is “generally”, but our Torah Assurs the possibility since it’s Not a far away possibility and your friend Lo Aleinu is an example. Being a smoker on a regular basis is Ossur at any age.May 27, 2013 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #954661
The poskim have not created an issur. They simply applied it. That is why the issur of chovel be’atzmo or venishmartem which always existed were not followed with regards to smoking in earlier years. In fact, all of Torah shebe’al peh is the application and derivation of halachos of life from Torah. No one is creating gezairos (though Rabenu Gershom did precisely that with bigamy, privacy, and forced gittin).
Alcohol does not damage the brain. It affects the brain, and the brain recovers from the effects. The brain damage from alcohol is irreversible. Check with any neurologist or addiction professional. If it damaged anything, the halachos of chovel etc. would be relevant.
I could get into piercings, but I’m fear dragging this thread into other directions. Simply put, piercings have always been done, and we find it in Torah as well. If a piercing is done irresponsibly, there is risk of infection, and would fall into the halachic categories mentioned earlier. This is an issue with some teens at risk who cannot get parental permission or funding to get these done, who then choose to do it themselves. This would be assur, not by my decree, but by simply applying known issurim and their criteria.May 27, 2013 6:13 pm at 6:13 pm #954662
You were invoking Chochma Uminyan which is a concept relevant for overturning the gezeiros of an earlier Sanhedrin.
Effects in a negative way is the same thing as temporary damage.
Smoking a couple of cigarettes once a year on Purim is not appreciably different getting drunk once a year on Purim.
If smoking is done in a responsible manner there would be no long term damage or danger and it would not be chovel b’atzmo or v’nishmartem.May 27, 2013 6:41 pm at 6:41 pm #954663
Smoking in a responsible manner? What have you been smoking? Besides, who said the commonly believed practice of getting drunk on Purim is OK? Drunkeness is not the danger free state you think, and that is clearly assur. That is NOT the Purim mitzvah. Other threads in the CR address that, and have done so annually. I won’t repeat my position on that subject, and the poskim need to every year because of their responsibility to the community. It may be practical to say that the damage done to the lungs from a single cigarette is so small that the lungs will function well even with a few non-functional, plugged alveoli. But that does not mean that halacha permits this minimal damage. That is not what occurs with alcohol.
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