I saw your articles on smoking. I have always believed heavy smoking is bad when it is something done constantly. Actually I hate cigarettes and the only time I do smoke is about three times a year. I have a cigar with one of my best friends as we sit down talk until late hours of the morning. I do believe deliberately harming your body is stupid, like cutting yourself. I always wondered whether cigars were wrong since you're not supposed to inhale. Some people do that have a habit of smoking but usually people puke.
I honestly have liked the smell of cigars since I was little. Kind of the same thing with gasoline, you like the smell, you don't know why but you like it. I no longer like the smell of gasoline but I used to. But I will be honest, I like the taste of cigars, but I am not a chain smoker. Though I know that doesn't change the facts about smoking, don't get me wrong.
But, for example, in certain Muslim countries they will smoke a pipe. Use of it is more of a social event of guys getting together, if I remember correctly. Now they might not know the dangers of smoking, I know that it harms the body, but it always comes to mind is so does fast food and pop. How bad is it for the body? You can literally live without fast food or pop and it would be the best thing for you. Does smoking fall in that category of not being abused, or does it fall under a different category because it's not food?
I was wondering your thoughts are on all this. I know smoking three times a year isn't going to effect my health. But then again I still would like an opinion on it to see it from different eyes.
Since you admit that cigarette smoking isn't good for a Christian, I won't repeat the arguments given in "What is wrong with smoking?" Instead, let's focus on your arguments:
Fast Food and Soda are Also Harmful
Actually, neither of these are considered harmful if they are consumed in reasonable quantities. As an example, honey is considered a healthy substance that can be enjoyed. "My son, eat honey because it is good, and the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste" (Proverbs 24:13). But unrestrained consumption of honey is bad for a person. "Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, lest you be filled with it and vomit" (Proverbs 25:16). It is the overuse which can turn harmless substances into something harmful.
As you noted, cigars don't fall into the same category. There is no health benefits to smoking a cigar in even small portions. At least fast food and sodas give some nutrition to the body, even if they are out of balance for an overall healthy diet.
In Some Regions it is a Social Activity
It is also a social activity in the past and still in some regions to smoke opium with other people. The method or reason for use doesn't necessarily justify the activity. Drug users get together and share needles, but this social activity is filled with dangers. Thus the line of reasoning is not justifiable.
I Like the Smell and Taste of a Cigar
Again, personal preference is not a determiner of whether something is right. A drunkard likes the taste of alcohol, a drug addict likes the effect of his drug on his perceptions, but neither tells us whether is is right or harmless.
I Don't Smoke Often
If we determine that it is harmful, does the frequency in which we face harm makes it acceptable? Fornication is a sin. Does it become less of a sin if a person says, "I only do it a few times a year"? Clearly we have to decide independently if something is right or wrong, harmful or harmless, before addressing whether how often makes a difference. Frequency by itself is not a determiner.
Is Cigar Smoking Harmless?
There is an interesting article that you should read called "The Dangers of Cigar Smoking" on About.com. They note the following:
- One cigar generally contains the same amount of tobacco as an entire pack of cigarettes.
- Cigars are addictive, even when the smoke is not directly drawn into the the lungs, because nicotine in the smoke is absorbed through the lining of the mouth. Cigars typically contain from 100 to 200 milligrams of nicotine and can reach as high as 400 milligrams. In comparison, a typical cigarette contains 1 to 2 milligrams of nicotine.
- Cigars contain far higher levels of known carcinogens than cigarettes because of the manufacturing process.
- The second-hand smoke from cigars is far more toxic than cigarettes because cigars do not burn as completely as cigarettes. So even if you are not directly drawing smoke into your lungs, it doesn't mean you are not breathing the smoke indirectly.
- Cigar smoking is connected with several cancers, though the increased risk isn't detectable until you reach the cigar a day level.
- Cigar smoking is connected to early tooth loss.
- Cigar smoking and exposure to cigar smoke is connected to erectile dysfunction.
As the article concludes, "There is no such thing as a "safe" tobacco product."
Perhaps at the level of use that you are currently consuming cigars, the damage being done to your body is low enough that it isn't easily detectable, but the point is that cigar smoking causes harm whenever it is used. And on the other side of the coin, there isn't a benefit that can be attributed to its use. Therefore money is being wasted, addiction is being encouraged, and health is being damaged for no particular purpose.