CBN TEACHING SHEETS
Clearing the Air on Smoking
before Christopher Columbus first set foot in the New World, the Indians there
were growing and smoking tobacco. This curious practice must have caught Christopher's
attention, because he made sure tobacco seeds found a place among the souvenirs
he brought home from his voyage.
After that, it didn't take long for the smokey
habit to take hold in Europe. By the time the colonists settled in America, tobacco
had become an extremely profitable crop. Europeans paid so much for the leafy
American export that the colonists had to enact laws to force farmers to dedicate
some of their land to food crops.
The tobacco industry has been raking in profits
ever since. In the early 1980's the U.S. cigarette industry's annual sales neared
But the love affair with the tobacco plant was tinged with betrayal
right from the start. As early as the 17th century, suggestions were
raised that smoking could cause health problems. Not until 1960, however, did
scientists establish that smoking tobacco products could cause lung cancer, heart
disease and other health problems. By 1985 more than 30,000 studies on smoking
and its effect on health had been published worldwide.
All of this has had
an effect on the number of adults who light up. The percentage of adults in the
U.S. who smoke dropped from an all-time high of 42 percent in the early 1960s
to 26 percent by the 1980s.
The number of people who smoke would undoubtedly
drop even more dramatically if it were not for two powerful factors:
years, the cigarette industry has poured billions of dollars into advertising
that portrays smoking as a glamorous, sophisticated activity. Their investment
is paying off. Nearly one million teenagers pick up the smoking habit each year.
The nicotine in cigarettes is as addictive as cocaine or heroin. That's the
finding of the U.S. Surgeon General. No wonder people continue to smoke despite
the horrifying statistics associated with it.
Help for those who want to quit
(or for those who know they should, but don't yet want to) is what this study
guide is about. It will help you think through your own attitude about smoking.
It will also help you discover what the Bible says about it.
Please ask God
to show you His wisdom before you start. Then look up each scripture and write
down your answers to the questions. There are no right or wrong answers. What's
important is your willingness for God to show you His will and His resources for
Does the Bible Say I Shouldn't Smoke?
While the Bible doesn't address the issue of smoking directly, you will find
a number of biblical principles which apply to your smoking habit. The following
study guide will help you discover these principles: (Print this page and fill
in the blanks)
1. When you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, God puts
His Holy Spirit into you. Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
a. According to this
passage, how does God view your body?
b. How should you treat your body in light of this?
c. Considering what is known about the effects
of smoking on your body, do you think smoking is in conflict with how you should
treat your body?
a. What did God give man to rule over?
b. How does the earth's plant life fit into this
plan? How can man "rule" over it? Where do you think the tobacco plant fits into
3. In 2 Peter
2:19, the Bible addresses the danger of false teachers who had given themselves
to indulging fleshly appetites and were leading others into worldly behavior.
a. How does this verse describe someone who is controlled by something?
b. The nicotine found in cigarettes
has been proven to be addictive. Therefore, based on this verse, how would you
describe a habitual smoker's relationship to cigarettes?
c. How does this compare to the order God intended
when He gave man rule over all the earth?
4. Read Ephesians 5:17. Based on the scientific evidence of the
effects of smoking and your understanding of what the Bible says, what do you
think God wants YOU to do about smoking?
5. If you believe that smoking is something that God wants you to
stop doing, then it is a sin for you to smoke because you are doing something
contrary to God's will. Read Romans 6:12 and write what it means to you as far
as smoking is concerned.
What Are God's Promises?
6. Cigarette addiction is one habit of this
world that many people struggle with. Write in your own words the promises God
gives you that will help you overcome the desire to smoke:
7. One problem that concerns many smokers who want to quit is how
the withdrawal will affect them emotionally. What promise does God give in Isaiah
26:3 to those who trust God?
What If I Need More Help?
8. Jesus acknowledged
that people sometimes have difficulty doing what they know is the right thing
to do. Read Matthew 26:41. What are two things He says to do?
9. Psalm 119:11 mentions something else that will
give you strength. What is it?
Note: 1 John 2:17 and Philippians 4:13 are two good verses to
"hide in your heart" (memorize them and then think about them if you feel the
need to smoke). You will find many other verses that will help you grow strong
in your walk with God.
10. Are you filled with God's Spirit? If you
have made Jesus your Lord and Savior, ask God to FILL you with His Holy Spirit
and to give you HIS power to do ALL that He wants you to do-not just to quit smoking.
Read Luke 11:11-13 and Galatians 5:16. Write out your prayer for God's Spirit
to fill you and give you the power to be free from cigarettes:
What If I Fail?
Read 1 John 1:9. This verse tells you how to face any failure you have in obeying
the will of God.
Summarize this verse in your own words.
12. Follow up any failure you meet in obeying
God's will with 2 Thessalonians 3:13. What's the nugget of wisdom in this verse?
When You Smoke
- Each puff you take assaults your lungs with about 4,000 chemicals,
more than 40 of them known to cause cancer.
- You are 10 times more likely to
get cancer than a nonsmoker.
- You are two times more likely to have a heart
attack than a nonsmoker.
- You are more likely than a nonsmoker to suffer from
emphysema, chronic bronchitis, a stroke, male impotence or one of numerous other
ailments to which smoking has been linked.
- You chance joining the 320,000
people who die unnecessarily each year -- because of smoking.
- Research with
nonsmoking spouses and children of smokers confirms you may be hurting the health
of people you love.
- If you are addicted to cigarettes, you are essentially
a slave to a plant. Yet God created you to rule over the earth.
When You Quit
- No matter how old you are, or how long you've
been smoking, unless irreversible disease has begun:
- Your risk of heart disease
- Your circulation improves immediately.
- Within days
your lungs begin to clear.
- Your risk of cancer drops steadily.
- After 5
years your risk of many diseases is the same as a nonsmoker. After 10 years your
overall risk of death is the same as someone who has never smoked.
Steps to Victory Over Smoking
- Admit to God you have been doing
something you consider wrong - you have been harming your body, God's temple.
Tell God you want and need His forgiveness. He will hear you!
- Admit to
God that you need His help in order to live your life rightly. Ask Him to deliver
you from the addiction.
- Decide to quit smoking. Resolve that with God's
help, you will never again smoke another cigarette.
- Make a total break.
Say, "That's it. No more." Then get rid of everything that might tempt you. That
may mean staying out of situations where you normally would have smoked.
- Find others - preferably Christians - who have given up the habit. Seek their
help and prayers.
God can instantly deliver you from the desire to
smoke, both psychologically and physically. But whether you experience immediate
freedom or you be in a "battle for freedom," you can be assured that God will
strengthen you. Your part is to get serious with yourself and God.
you want to obey God but don't really want to quit smoking? Talk to God about
it. If you truly want to have the desire to stop smoking, ask God, and he will
give it to you.
Practical Help for Withdrawal
to do to minimize the effects of withdrawal:
- Keep active. Exercise,
especially before eating.
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.
- Eat low calorie
snacks (stay away from sweets).
- Suck low calorie candy to counteract dry mouth.
- If you experience difficulty coping with withdrawal, call a friend. Or call
the CBN Prayer Line at 1-804-420-0700.
Common Withdrawal Symptoms You May Feel
- Hunger, especially for sweets
- Dry mouth
will go away!
Note about weight gain: Smoking speeds up your metabolism. When
you quit, your body will need less food to maintain your weight. The above suggestions
will not only help with withdrawal symptoms, but will also help you avoid gaining
weight. Just remember, when you quit smoking you will look and feel better - even
if you gain a few pounds initially.
Verses For Study on Smoking
- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - Do you not know that your body is a 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.
- Genesis 1:26 - Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness,
and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the
livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the
- 2 Peter 2:19 - They promise them freedom, while they themselves
are slaves of depravity - for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.
- Ephesians 5:17 - Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's
- Romans 6:12 - Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body
so that you obey its evil desires.
- 1 Corinthians 10:13 - No temptation
has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not
let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will
also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
- James 4:7 -
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
- Philippians 4:13 - I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
- John 2:16-17 - For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the
lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the
Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who
does the will of God lives forever.
- Isaiah 26:3 - You will keep in perfect
peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
- Matthew 26:41
- Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing,
but the body is weak.
- Psalm 119:11 - I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
- Luke 11:11-13 - Which of you fathers,
if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for
an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to
give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father in heaven give
the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
- Galatians 5:16 - So I say, live
by the spirit, and will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our
sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
- Thessalonians 3:13 - And
as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.
The smoking habit held
Mark firmly in its grip. But as he puffed on, Mark didn't think much about whether
or not he should quit - or how much control it had on him.
Then a dramatic
change occurred in Mark's life. Afterwards, Mark still didn't spend much time
"thinking" about cigarettes or any of the other habits and problems that plague
him. Nevertheless, one by one the old bondages dropped from his life.
happened? Mark gave his life to Jesus Christ.
The Bible says all mankind is
born into the bondage of sin. Sin breaks the fellowship God intended for man to
have with Him and leads to eternal death (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23).
in His great love provided a way for man to be free from the control of sin and
to experience eternal life with Him. "For God so loved the world, that He gave
His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal
life" (John 3:16). Jesus died on a cross as payment for our sins.
If you have
not already done so, pray this prayer to receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord (John 1:12, Rev. 3:20).
"Jesus, I need You. I thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Cleanse
me from my sins. I thank you for forgiving me. Take control of my life and make
me the kind of person you want me to be. Amen."
If this prayer expresses
your own desires, why don't you pray it right now. Then tell someone.
Have you invited Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior?
Send us an e-mail using
our online form so that we can pray with you.
If you have an immediate prayer request, or if you need to talk to a caring Christian friend, please call
our 24-hour Prayer line at 1-800-759-0700.
you have a prayer Request?
your prayer request using our online prayer request form.
We pray over each need that is presented to us.
a Church Near You
If you need ongoing support, we encourage
you to contact the pastor of your local church. With the guidance of your pastor,
you might also consider seeking professional Christian counseling. Here are some
national ministries that we can recommend:
The Association of Christians
in Private Practice
New Life Ministries
Rapha National Network
you searching for peace with God? Find it here!
taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984
International Bible society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
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