If a Christian smokes just a cigarette, he commits no sin


The Roman Catholic Church teaches that a Christian is allowed to smoke, for we read in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: ‘The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine.’ (CCC 2290) As you can see, the Catholic Church teaches that one must avoid the abuse of tobacco and not the use of tobacco. That’s why even many priests and friars smoke cigarettes. Amatulli Flaviano, Founder and General Director of the Ecclesial Movement ‘Apostoli della Parola’ (Apostles of the Word) in his book La Chiesa Cattolica e le sette protestanti (The Catholic Church and the protestant sects) says that ‘insofar as smoking harms one’s health, it is a sin. To say that one cannot smoke even a cigarette is an overstatement which only ‘favours one’s pride’ ’ (Amatulli Flaviano, La Chiesa Cattolica e le sette protestanti, Putignano, Italy, 1991, page 182. The book has the Imprimatur. Translated by myself).

Smoking is allowed even among many Evangelicals; Piero Suman, an Italian Baptist Pastor, has stated that in his opinion a cigarette after a cup of coffee is not a sin (cf. Il Tempo, March 10, 1995). It is most likely that his opinion on smoking was influenced by that of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the well known Baptist preacher who lived in the nineteenth century, who stated (in the autumn of 1874): ‘If anybody can show me in the Bible the command, 'Thou shalt not smoke,' I am ready to keep it; but I haven't found it yet. I find ten commandments, and it's as much as I can do to keep them; and I've no desire to make them into eleven or twelve. ….. I wish to say that I'm not ashamed of anything whatever that I do, and I don't feel that smoking makes me ashamed, and therefore I mean to smoke to the glory of God.’





The apostle Paul says to the Corinthians: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17 – NIV), and again: “Do you not know that your body is a [the] 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 honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – NIV).

Therefore, inasmuch as smoking destroys one’s body (no matter how many cigarettes one smokes each day, whether they are many or a few, smoking is detrimental to one’s health for it causes several diseases which in most cases shorten the life of smokers) a Christian must abstain from smoking lest he destroy his body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Let no one deceive you with empty words.