1: Most people think of death, if they think of it at all, as something that happens to other people. Very seldom do we think of it as something to be closely associated with ourselves. Yet many people are doing things that will put them in the grave much earlier than might otherwise be the case.
2: A very common nickname given to these little white rolls is "coffin nails". Nicknames like this do not come without a reason. Many years ago, before all the present scientific knowledge about cigarettes had been learned, understanding people recognized that the use of cigarettes could contribute to an early death, and so called them "coffin nails."
3: Perhaps, you have wondered if smoking really does contribute to shortening a person's life, and if so, by how much. Now it is known that every cigarette smoked definitely cuts down a person's life potential. Of course, it depends on how much a person smokes. For a light smoker of say 4-6 cigarettes per day, it is 6 minutes per day. For heavier smokers of a pack or 2 packs per day, each cigarette cuts down life potential by as much as 18 minutes.
4: This is because each cigarette contains about 28 different kinds of poison. Fortunately, when a person smokes he does not take all of these poisons into his body. The nicotine from 2 cigarettes alone, if concentrated, could kill a large size man. Besides nicotine there are other deadly poisons in tobacco. However, there is no way a smoker can avoid retaining some of these poisons in his body each time he smokes. Little by little, they build up until they destroy the smoker.
5: In these days we are hearing a great deal about cancer. Not many people realize that cancer of the lungs kills more than any other kind of cancer. One out of every 18 smokers will die of lung cancer. More than 120 persons a day die of lung cancer in the USA. A person who has smoked for 20 years of cigarettes is almost certain to die of lung cancer or a tobacco related disease.
6: Perhaps before going farther, we ought to know that healthy lungs looks firm. Then we could look inside the lungs of a man who has smoked for more than 20 years, we would find that it certainly looks like it has had a rough time during its life. It has been subjected to very unfair treatment. It is coated black all over and the tissue have been damaged badly.
7: The tar from cigarettes really does cause lung cancer. There is no possible way to deny that now. It has been proved beyond any shadow of doubt. Lung cancer among smokers is 20 times more common than non-smokers; and that's not all. Heart disease is three times as prevalent among smokers as compared with non-smokers. Emphysema is times more; premature deaths are twice as much.
8: For one thing, nicotine constricts the blood vessels. That means that the body cannot get its proper supply of blood . Smoking damages the blood circulation. Special color x:ray machines, developed in the search for cancer, show how the blood vessels in the fingers have constricted thereby preventing the blood from flowing freely, and consequently causing a drop in temperature. The blue color shows where there is inadequate blood supply, this has happened as the result of smoking only one half of one cigarette! By the time a whole cigarette has been smoked, the constriction will be much worse.
9: Smoking also causes a rise in the blood pressure. As the blood vessels constrict, they put an added burden on the heart which is already suffering from an inadequate supply of oxygen because many cells tend to combine with the carbon monoxide of the cigarette smoke more easily than they do with oxygen in the air and so, not only the heart but the whole body is cheated of the vital oxygen it really needs!
10: Thomas Edison, inventor of the electric light, never used tobacco and said that he would not hire anyone who did because he had learned that every time one smokes a cigarette or a pipe or cigar, some brain cells are destroyed. These brain cells could never be replaced. They were forever lost. A student who smokes has placed himself under an unnecessary 10% mental handicap with the students who do not smoke. The same is true, of course, for adults also.
11: Every athlete knows that smoking will disqualify him from reaching the top in any competition. Consequently, we find that men and women who are serious about winning in sports are also very serious about abstaining from anything that would keep them from winning, including tobacco and alcoholic beverages.
12: We sometimes wonder why, since tobacco is so bad for people, do people continue to use it. For one thing, the power of example is very strong. Children want to "grow up" as quickly as possible. At every opportunity they will imitate their elders. Then again, there is advertising. Many countries of the world are strongly restricting the advertising of tobacco. Some of the large publishing companies have announced that they are not taking any more advertising. In some countries governments are requiring cigarette companies to put a warning sign of each packet of cigarettes stating that the use of cigarettes can cause lung cancer.
13: However, if one just considered his pocket book for a minute, he'd understand how much better off he'd be without using tobacco. For instance, a person using a packet a day of any very ordinary brand will have spent hundreds of dollars in the course of one year. What did he do with his money? He just burned it up! That really is paying a lot for ill health, poor appetite, poor mental performance, and a very painful death.
14: As we began this series of lessons, we tried to stress the fact that each person is a complex unit: physical, mental, social, and spiritual. We have noticed the harm that tobacco does mentally and physically.
15: Perhaps we should point out here that a person who smokes in the presence of non-smokers is really taking a very unfair advantage of them. He unthinkingly pollutes the air they must breathe, forcing them to breathe his second hand smoke, saturates their clothes with highly undesirable odors, which will not leave until the garments have been sent to the cleaners. In short, tobacco seems to deprive the user of any sense of regard for the rights and comforts of others, a highly developed characteristic of the socially balanced person.
16: Not only does tobacco unbalance a person physically, mentally, and socially. Of greater importance is the fact that it unbalances him in his relationship with God. It unbalances him spiritually.
17: Paul in writing to the early Christian church in Corinth said, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and the spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is Holy, which temple ye are." 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17.
18: In the beginning man was created as a perfect creature: physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. There was nothing to prevent him from having direct communion with God. He could both see God and converse with God. Sin brought a barrier between man and God. "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you." Isaiah 59:2.
19: Satan has tried by every means possible to fasten man in his hold so that man would be completely separated from God forever. First, by leading man into rebellion against God, so separating himself from God. Then by leading man to do things that are displeasing to God and so widening the gulf between man and God.
20: In His mercy and love to man God made a way through His son Jesus Christ whereby all man's sins could be paid for in the sacrifice of Jesus and any one who so desired could avail himself of the great transaction of Calvary. "For ye are bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:20.
21: By sin man sold himself to the devil, a hard master who only brings disease, sorrow, suffering, and death. A master who has no love for these he has deceived into following him, but only seeks to lead them into deeper and deeper degradation.
22: In His wonderful love Christ has paid for our sins and bought us back to be His possession and now He admonishes us, "Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31.
23: By taking into his body a poison like tobacco or any other narcotic like it, that defiles the body itself, and degrades the mind and sensibilities, one cannot possibly glorify God. God desires us to be well and healthy in full possession of our minds and faculties. A sickly body and clouded intellect do not glorify God. Paul advises us that "ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1.
24: Speaking of the New Jerusalem in the New Earth, we are very clearly told "and there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth." Revelation 21:27. Neither in heaven nor on the New Earth will there be any smokers, or any one using anything that defiles. To prepare for a home there, we are advised that now we are to "cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit." 2 Corinthians 7:1.
25: Tobacco in any form is dangerous, whether it is used in pan or in pipe, cigar, or cigarette, biri, or hookah. It has been described as a "slow, insidious poison." It works slowly, but surely, deceiving its user with a feeling of having a "lift"; At the same time it is stealing his happiness and life away. It is a deadly killer. Using it is contrary to God's command that says, "Thou shalt not kill."
26: There are some who use a tobacco powder or crushed leaves. They put it under their tongues. The Bible gives a very vivid description of such an act in Job 20:12:14. "Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hides it under his tongue, though he spare it and forsake it not, but keeps it still within his mouth, yet his meat (food) in his bowel is turned. It is the gall, (poison) of asps (serpents) within him."
27: In olden times God instructed His people that they were not to plant or even have among themselves any poisonous plants like tobacco. "Lest there be among you a root bearing gall and wormwood (poison)". Deuteronomy 29:18.
28: So, we see that tobacco is a killer, not only of the body and mind, but also of the soul and spirit. It is to our eternal benefit to follow the Bible injunction of Colossians 2:21, "touch not, taste not, handle not."
29: The purpose of Christ's first coming was to prepare the way whereby He could give to man the life He had forfeited in Eden, Abundant life here and hereafter. Satan seeks to bind us to himself with chains of habit that we cannot break. But Christ has defeated Satan and is able to break every chain that would separate us from Him. With Him, is all power to set us free from the habits with which Satan has bound us. He will do it and we shall be free indeed.
30: Christ is returning, He is coming back to this world to take to His home those who have permitted Him to make them free of Satan's devices. At that time, He will not be helping those who have held on to their bad habits until then. He will be coming for only those who have already been made clean by hearing and obeying His words. May we all be ready to meet Him at that time.
Here is additional information on caring for our body temple:
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31.
"And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things." 1 Corinthians 9.25.
"I beseech you .. that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God." Romans 12:1.
"Eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness." Ecclesiastes 10:17.