Tobacco Habits Thrive Despite Abundant Cautions

“No smoking in public places.”

Thankfully, that has become regulation in many communities. It has always been a controversial issue and has required voting to become law. Slowly but surely, right is winning out, as more cities have approved rules forbidding people to smoke in public.

Smokers have always offended us, even though many of our relatives had the dirty habit. Grandma  Buchman at age 88 continued smoking long Kool cigarettes in the rest home on the day she broke her hip and was hospitalized a few days before passing away.

Her repeated claim was she didn’t start smoking until her daughter, our Aunt Lu (a short Kool smoker), took up the practice as a mature woman. At our grocery store, we knew all the brands as part of the job. A pack of 20 was a quarter for shorts and 30
cents for filtered, like Marlboro, which cowboys were supposed to smoke, as advertised.

Dad smoked short Camels, but mostly it was the pipe with Carter Hall, or chewing Beech-Nut. Mom never smoked, and neither have we.  One time, we daringly put an
unlit Viceroy to our lips. Other cowboys once tempted us to try Skoal snuff. We turned purple before regurgitating on the floor, to their delight. Red Man tasted terrible, too.

Wherever we went as a youth, people smoked, and we hated it. During supper, at a café, had to be the very worst. Advertisements promoted tobacco heavily with movie stars, athletes and public figures. Government farm programs paid incentives to tobacco growers. Soldiers during war were even provided cigarettes with the public’s tax dollars.

Most users, unknowing how dangerous it was, became addicted to the dirty smoking habit. They couldn’t live without it, because quitting really did shock and upset the body. Now there’s no excuse for smoking. Everything, everywhere warns against it.

Smoking creates bad breath, yellow teeth and fingers, hard skin and stinky clothes. It is costly and is always offensive to others. Worst of all, tobacco is harmful to the health of the user and to anyone exposed to the second-hand smoke. Yet, many people start using tobacco or continue to smoke or chew. It is completely illogical and

Caution against addictive habits is offered in Proverbs 18:9: “Slack habits and sloppy work are as bad as vandalism.” More direct warning is given in Galatians 5:19:“It is obvious what kind of life develops out of uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions.
If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.”

Best advice comes in First Corinthians 7:23: “Don’t, out of old habit, slip back into being or doing what everyone else tells you. Friends, stay where you were called to be. God is there. Hold the high ground with him at your side.”