Smoking Cigarettes

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    We are hearing a lot of talk in here about how this is bad and that is bad, but I haven’t seen one post on the topic of smoking yet. I’m just curious, that if someone is following the Torah ways how they can think it is “OK” to smoke? Hashem has given you a healthy body, don’t you think you should try to keep it that way? Explain to me how it’s not a slap in the Face of Hashem, every time you pick up a cigarette.

    Now don’t claim ignorance over here. We ALL know the dangers of smoking. Do you not consider smoking a sakana? Please explain to me how that is possible. Explain to me how you think it’s not against the Torah to smoke?

    If there is someone out there that truly does not understand the dangers of smoking, here’s a little education for you right from the National Cancer Institute.

    -Cigarette smoking causes 87 percent of lung cancer deaths and is responsible for most cancers of the larynx, oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, and bladder.

    -Secondhand smoke is responsible for an estimated 3,000 lung cancer deaths among U.S. nonsmokers each year, and is responsible for up to 300,000 cases of lower respiratory tract infections in children up to 18 months of age in the United States each year

    -Tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemical agents, including over 60 substances that are known to cause cancer .

    -Smoking harms nearly every major organ of the body

    What are your thoughts?



    My mother is a heavy smoker and has been so for over forty years. She knows that it is bad for her… but she has a physical addiction that is very hard to break. You can tell her from here to tomorrow that it is against halacha, but in this case, the physical addictions acts as a VERY strong ta’aivah. She’d love to quit… but she just can’t.



    WolfishMusings – has your mom tried the medication, zyban? it has worked wonders for some people. it takes away the cravings for cigarettes and makes you feel nauseous to smoke one.



    I was giving a shiur about how a yid has to be in control of himself 24 hours a day, I was challeged – I was a heavy smoker 20 hour a day, six days a week, for 30 years. I was actually smoking at that moment.

    I put it out and never lite up again, that was three years ago.

    Yes, I still miss smoking but – every yid must be in control of himself!



    I never smoked in my life b”h so I dont know what pleasure someone has doing so.

    But what I don’t understand is where is Kavod Habrios??

    When you smoke, your causing a non-smoker to inhale the poison, and he/she gets second-hand smoke which is just as dangerous as first-hand.

    I’m not telling you all to stop smoking, (I leave that for your doctor to do) I’m asking you to smoke in a private place, not when we non-smokers walk out of a simcha hall we inhale the smoke!

    Oh, and another thing I see fathers smoking in cars WITH THEIR KIDS IN THERE! In my opinion its like your a murderer, your killing your kids.

    (For those who do want to stop smoking, studies show its one of the easiest addictions to break, more than stopping an addiction to coffee.)

    Good Luck,




    I don’t know if she has or not. Unfortunately, my mother has a host of medical issues which might prevent her from taking it. I’ll mention it to her, however. I know she *wants* to quit… but is just physically unable to do so.

    The Wolf



    I worked in an office last year where most girls coughed nonstop for hours so that 1 of our bosses there could have a good smoke. We’re talking about a large suite with many offices attached. So kal v’chomer his family!!! poor wife & kids!



    WolfishMusings: “my mother has a host of medical issues which might prevent her from taking it”. That’s would a laugh, if it weren’t so serious. WAKE UP!!! If she doesn’t stop immediately, it may be too late.

    I started smoking my Rebbe’s brand of cigarettes when I was thirteen (you could get cancer in those days for about 35-50 cents a pack) and gave up my two pack-a-day habit when my wife became pregnant. While you are addicted for life, the smoking habit becomes disgusting to you. I can name allot of Rabbeim who could not kick the habit and unfortunately they left their families too soon without a husband or father.

    I agree with koton, if you have any type of weakness (uncontrolled Taiva) which may include either: cigarettes; food; kavode; gambling; drugs; sexual; alcohol; money; etc.; then you have no right to expect another person to control a Taiva that you don’t have. A Rebbe or Manhal will expel a bachur for a certain vice while they can’t control their own vices.



    That’s would a laugh, if it weren’t so serious. WAKE UP!!! If she doesn’t stop immediately, it may be too late.

    Cherry… you may (sight unseen) disagree with my statement – but please don’t laugh about my mother’s medical condition. I didn’t bring it up for your amusement.

    She is well aware of the risks of smoking. She knows what it is doing to her. She has tried on multiple occasions to stop. Every single one of her children and grandchildren want her to stop — and she knows it. And yet, for whatever reason, she cannot. I’m very glad that you have been able to overcome this, and I hope that she gains the same chizzuk that you had.

    That being said, you can’t take someone with my mother’s medical history (of which you know nothing) and just toss another drug (Zyban) into the mix without first consulting with her numerous physicians. If you don’t trust me on this, well… I don’t know what to tell you.

    The Wolf



    if we were to look at each cigarrete separately, how dmuch more detrumental is it than a fatty steak?



    Wolf, I apologize. Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Lazeh. The point I was making is that it’s not a laughing matter and that this is Pikuach Nefesh. Wanting is not the same as doing. Kofin oso ad s’amar rotze ani.

    At this point, she must get detoxed to rid her of the chemicals that are part of her guf and that are making her smoke. If she’s serious then sometimes hypnosis can work. Find out immediately by phone if her physicians allow Zyban, and if if they do, then immediately get the medication for her. I know that smoking is the hardest thing in the world to lick but not impossible. Don’t let up. I have very close and dear relatives that smoke but since they are young the urgency is not apparent. This is a big mistake.




    I always had a lot of respect for my Rebbe, despite the fact that he was a big smoker. The level of respect shot way up when he quit smoking. He explained “how” he quit.

    His Rebbe, held like the opinions that one should not smoke on Yom Tov (I am not issuing a psak, merely stating the opinion held by this Rosh Yeshiva,) so no matter how much my Rebbe wanted to smoke, he knew that his own Posek ruled no, so he did not, it was akin to eating treif. It was that much harder on a “3 day yom tov”. Nevertheless, he managed to survive without smoking. After Yom Tov, he wanted to light up. He tried to rationalize “hop he addicted he is”, “how enjoyable it is” and then he realized he lived without this “addiction” for three days and nothing happened to him. He felt that all the reasons he gave for smoking until that point, were nothing more than excuses. He simply stopped smoking. As a product of a “Slabodka Mussar” yeshiva, the gadlus ha’adam told him, stop giving into this naarishkeit. And he did. Cold Turkey. He stopped smoking about 3 minutes before Shkiya one Erev Yom Tov and never resumed.



    Last night one of my relatives who is a smoker showed me an “electronic cigarette” which he bought on eBay and is totally safe. It’s amazing. It looks and “tastes” like the real thing. The “cigarette” which produces an artificial smoke (which is actually vapor) has a nicotine cartridge and battery inside so when you drag and inhale you get the taste (in your lungs) and effect of a real cigarette. The tip even “glows” like the real thing when you drag on it. It comes with three levels of nicotine cartridges. It’s also very reasonably priced (in the $50’s).



    jphone, That’s an incredible thing your Rebbe did, I congratulate him for kicking such a tough habit, that is both physically and emotionally addicting, & also improving his health and added years to his life. Your Rebbe knows that he was able to quit smoking and this will forever give him the power to overcome many obstacles in life.

    I agree very much with how he quit. Cold turkey may sound like the most difficult method of quitting to some people but think of it this way, you’re trying to not smoke, but every time you pick one up it weakens your ability to do so. You want to stay as far away as you can until you can handle being around it without obsessing, and craving it. This works with a lot of things, Take dieters, they go on atkins, but if they “cheat” just once within the first couple weeks of the diet, the taste is just so overwhelming, they can’t stop at one bite… This idea SOMETIMES works for drug addicts and alcoholics as well.

    Congrats to all who quit, and for those who are trying, you must have some other kind of “crutch” to lean on, and support from friends, families and so on, to help with the addiction.



    I’m a non-smoker, but I deal with many baalei teshuva who smoke. I’m curious for some responses to what one such baal teshuva said to me last year: “Why are people always using the svara that smoking is unhealthy therefore assur when they stuff themselves with food – being overweight is unhealthy as well but I don’t see anyone screaming that the next serving of chicken is assur.”




    I have heard the same argument from the ffb crowd – it is not a bt “issue”.

    to amswer your question: I usuallt reply that yes it is true that there are those of us who eat more than we should and perhaps even eat the wrong types of foods. Facts being facts we need to eat and we should make healthier choices and eating most foods as directed (meaning in moderation as part of a well balanced diet) do not lead to cancer and a host of other ailments. Cigaraettes, when used as directed – kill. they lead to a whole host of diseases such as lung cancer, gum cancer, tongue cancer, other respitory problems and other circulatory problems. it is the only product that I can think of that when used as directed has such dire consequences.



    The comparison to food is a bit incongruous. Smoking, unlike eating, when performed as directed, is deadly. Eating is healthy and, in fact, vital, when performed as directed.

    That doesn’t mean that over-eating is healthy or justifiable. But since, unlike food, even the first cigarette is unhealthy, smoking is, therefore, the clear “bad guy” of the two.

    Also, flatulence aside, what you eat will have no effect on anyone else. What you smoke, however, will have an effect, and can even cause physical harm to someone else, aside for making them uncomfortable.

    I don’t know what office those girls worked in, but I think the proper reaction is to ask him to stop, and, if he doesn’t, to avoid the steady second-hand smoke exposure by quitting on health grounds (and get unemployment, BTW, presumably, though I am simply guessing since I do not know the laws).

    For all the guys who think they’ll stop when they date, once the fantasy wears off and/or any pressures kick in, the smoking will be extremely tempting, and I know of people who try (laughably unsuccessfully, of course) to hide their smoking from their wives, and others whose wives simply have to put up with it (with all the discomfort and dangers to themselves and their kids therein) because their addicted husbands won’t help themselves.

    Hashem Yishmor.


    anon for this

    yontel, I agree that being overweight is dangerous as well. However, the analogy isn’t perfect because it’s possible, and indeed, preferable, not to ever smoke, but everyone needs to eat. Therefore, it isn’t as easy to draw the line between eating and overeating (and this line can vary from person to person). Also, there’s no equivalent to secondhand smoke with respect to overeating.

    That said, it is true that just as smoking causes/ exacerbates a host of other health problems, so does being overweight.

    Also, it’s possible to experience health problems due to poor diet without being overweight, and obesity is not caused solely by overeating.


    Feif Un

    yontel, you can tell him that it’s a separate issue. Just because they don’t say anything about weight doesn’t make smoking ok.



    i dont know if most people know but a big cause how people begin to spoke is from peer pressure (purim) when they were bochurim and they develop an addiction at a very young age if we want to stop this tragedy of people smoking then a good idea is to start at this stage all yeshivas should assur smoking in and outside yeshiva and even on purim this is a time when bochurim try their first cigarette not because they want to have a geshmake feeling because the first cig is not geshmak they see everyone else doing it and believe that its in the spirit of purim to do it eventually they get hooked another tragedy is the idea of chosson cigarettes i have no clue from where this originated but its horrible and should not be encouraged bottom line it is possible stop this smoking matzif



    I received information that one of the Yiddish magazines will write a major article about smoking.



    Umfortunately social customs that later prove to be very harmful take a very long time to die out. Even within Judaism we may have certain practices that may have been instituted for health reasons based upon the best knowledge at that time, but with more recent knowledge those practices may now be known to be actually harmful. Our leaders must be able to respond to this recent knowledge and advise accordingly.

    But, for sure the fact that Rabbi so and so from 100 years ago smoked is no excuse for anyone to take up or continue smoking.



    I think that all parents need to sit down with thier children and have a chat about the dangers of smoking. They need to know that there will be peer preasure at some point in their lives, and how difficult it truly is to quit. We are living in a day and age that there shouldn’t ever be any new smokers. Yet saddly there are more and more kids getting addicted and are thus foeced in a situation that is extremely difficult to fix.

    The responsibility lies on the parents to make sure their children don’t start. Period. Yes there will be peer presure, but as a parent we need to know who are kids friends are, who they will be associating with and what temptations they will be faced with. When looking into a Yeshiva, one of the early questions should be about what the yeshiva’s policy is about smoking. Plus, never let your kids smoke on purim. I never understood why this has been an acceptable minhag in some places which has nothing to do with the spirit of Yom Tov.

    Being the child of parents who “use” to smoke and now working with a brother who we are getting to stop smoking I see first hand of the importance to stop the tmeptation even before it begins.


    smoking is good


    Think BIG

    I think one of the sad outgrowths of the smoking problem amongst our bachurim is that most girl don’t want to date a smoker. This situation leads many to lie about the fact that the prospective date smokes. They somehow justify this lie to themselves, or they say, “he smokes very infrequently” when he actually smokes a pack a day.

    Many justify lying about it by saying that many men stop once they get married or have kids, but in reality, many don’t, and if they eventually do, who can measure how much tzaar that couple experienced in sholom bayis because of this issue. Many kallos and wives feel duped when they find out that their friend’s husbands lied to them, when they asked for inormation about this issue. Sometimes the boys themselves lie to. And we are talking here about b’nei Torah who would never cheat, steal or lie in other areas.

    This is just one more negative result to the smoking problem, besides for all the health issues. If Bochurim would think for a minute how unattractive this makes them as a shidduch option, and how hard it will be to stop, they would perhaps not light up the first time.


    my father has been a heavy smoker for 30+ yrs—-He stopped smoking one pesach when he heard there was a chshash on smoking cigarettes on pesach

    B”H a hasn’t smoked since.

    does any one know of any other stories that got ppl to stop smoking, i know s/o else that smokes and i wonder if there is anything that could get him to stop?



    to cantoresque,

    I truly hope that you are trying to be funny and are not serious.


    Think BIG

    “trying” is the key word here. Its rather more sad than funny to use a warped sense of humor to attack and villify Gedolim and emunas chachamim.

    As to your question itself, if it would be stated with a bit of humility and temimus, it would be a valid and good question. But I will leave that to the Talmidei chachomimon on this site to address.



    Native Israeli


    does any one know of any other stories that got ppl to stop smoking?

    Yes. My friend’s grandfather was a heavy smoker, smoking a couple of packs a day. Her grandmother kept asking him to stop, but to no avail. One fine day, his Bubby was fed up. Zeidy came home one evening, & a surprise awaited him when he went to take a bath. The bathtub was filled with water, while 300 cigarettes were floating around carelessly…

    Grandpa got the message, although the hard way.

    True story.

    P.S. I assume the shalom bayis was fine otherwise, if the woman wasn’t afraid to do that… 🙂



    sorry.. wrote his bubby instead of ‘his wife’



    the idea is original, but i don’t know how practical?!!



    “studies show its one of the easiest addictions to break”

    I don’t know what studies you’re studying but to the extent of my knowledge it most defiantly isn’t easy as any addicted smoker who has tried quitting will tell you.

    And by the way, is one or two cigarettes a week also unhealthy or only if you’re smoking a good pack a day?



    to cantoresque,

    I truly hope that you are trying to be funny and are not serious.


    It was tongue in cheek. But at the same time, I think certain elements on this forum need to address the bigger issue raised by my post. At what point do they not rely on the pronouncements of rabbonim and rather defer to secular wisdom?


    Think BIG

    That question really is almost pointless, because one or two a week will invariably lead to more. Once you let the yetzer hara for nicotene in, it will only grow. Ask any smoker who will tell you so. (even though most claim they are in “control”.

    Also, if a person has another medical condition, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol etc. even one once in a while can be very harmful.

    all the young guys think they will be healthy forever, not thinking of the future, but then it catches up with them r”l. Don’t even start with one or two a week!



    Re Think BIG

    You’re 100% right!!!



    Rabbi Schach smoked for many years, but stopped when his doctor told him it was dangerous. In 1984 he issued an isur banning smoking. The Lubavitcher Rebbe Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn was a smoker. It made him ill.


    Think BIG

    Thank you noitall. I am right bec I speak from experience, unfortunately.


    Think BIG


    answer, at NO point. when it comes to the ruchnius of things, we dont need to go to secular places. When it comes to gashmius (medical etc.), for the most part, the Rabbanim are very respectful of that information.

    see cherrybim, he answers your questiion about Rav Shach smoking.


    Think BIG

    sorry, i meant to write, rabbonim are very respectful of the medical/ scientific information of the secular world.

    example, a rav will rely on doctor whether one should fast, be induced, etc.

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