Temptation and vices are present everywhere in our daily lives. it’s something that we have to deal with in our human world. In this post, we will talk about the vice of smoking or the use of tobacco and in our modern times, vaping. Cigarettes, tobacco, and vape is something widely accessible everywhere in the world. A lot of people smoke cigarettes but we also see everywhere that smoking is detrimental to our health. Isn’t that odd? What’s the deal with smoking? Is smoking a sin? Is it something that the Catholic Church completely forbids? Well, let’s dig in deeper and find out!
Is Smoking a Sin?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church views smoking as something to avoid in excess but does not forbid its use.
CCC 2290 The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others’ safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.
Just like in almost anything in the world, anything in excess is not good and usually leads to sin. The use of tobacco products in general is not evil, but it becomes a sin when it controls your life and also causes harm to other people around you.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church specifically states that the abuse of tobacco that goes against the virtue of temperance is what we need to avoid. Smoking is not condemned by the church, but the sin of excess is what makes it unaccepted.
How is Smoking Harmful?
Smoking is very harmful when done regularly. Tobacco is very dangerous to your health and can give you long-term health problems that can ultimately lead to death. These health problems are not limited to lung or respiratory-related problems, the effects of smoking go beyond that, and can affect your central nervous system, digestive system, reproductive system, and your immunity.
Can Smoking Cause Mental Problems?
We always hear about the physical health problems that smoking brings, but we never really talk about the mental ailments that smoking can cause. For starters, smoking can be addicting. This is because of the presence of nicotine in the cigarette, which can give you stress relief and relaxation. That “relief” that smoking provides is the reason why most people are most drawn to smoking, but what they do not understand is how all of this “relief” is hugely temporary.
Once you stop smoking, the presence of nicotine in your body decreases and diminishes, making you want more. This reaction ignites the addiction to smoking, and will gradually morph into dependence on cigarettes. If a person is suffering from depression and other mental illnesses, smoking can be an option for relief, giving that person false hope, only to fall into more anxiety, and complicated mental illness, and ultimately not being able to deal with the root of their problems, but rather having it masked with the “relief” and “ease” of their pain and discomforts.
Can You Vape as a Catholic?
Vaping has become accessible and widely acceptable around the world, some say it’s the “healthier” alternative to smoking, and won’t give you a lot of the negative effects and diseases you can obtain from smoking tobacco. Can you Vape as a Catholic? Is vaping a sin?
Well, just like smoking, Vaping is not condemned or forbidden by the Church. However, once again this touches on the subject of addiction. Vaping is not a sin, but having an addiction for Vaping can be a sin.
How Can Smoking Affect Your Spiritual Growth?
In the Catholic Church, we see spiritual growth as your personal growth in holiness and having a deeper relationship with Christ through adhering in Catholic practices such as participating in the sacraments, reading and understanding the scripture, and creating a life that seeks faith, and devotion in Christ.
Reflecting on that, does smoking help your spiritual life grow? Well, if you know that smoking has caused you addiction, and it is embedded in your life as something more important than anything else, to the point that you spend all the money that you have left to buy a cigarette rather than buying food, then the answer is quite obvious. Although, the Church doesn’t completely forbid smoking, if in excess and is given the power to control your life, then smoking definitely harms your spiritual growth.
How Can I Stop Sinning?
If you think you have a smoking addiction and you want to quit and heal, then this is great. You are in the first step of healing, which is having the desire for it. The best thing to do would be to get professional help. You can go to your local health clinics or centers and they might have programs for people who want to quit smoking. The next best thing you can do is to go to the sacrament of confession and spiritual direction from your local priest. Ask for repentance from the Lord, as well as for guidance to help you get through your addiction and quitting process. You can do this!