The Smoking Gun

From the July 2004 Trumpet Print Edition

As if we needed more information to convince us that smoking kills people. According to the June 23 Wall Street Journal, a 50-year medical study found that “at least half of the people who begin smoking in their youth, and perhaps as many as two thirds, are eventually killed by the habit ….” The British researchers concluded that “on average, cigarette smokers die 10 years younger than nonsmokers.”

Herbert Armstrong smoked on occasion as a young adult. But once God opened his mind to the truth, he soon realized that it violated a principle of God’s law. “Why do I smoke?” he asked himself, as recorded in his autobiography. “To please others—to help others—to serve or minister to or express love toward others—or only to satisfy and gratify a desire of the flesh within my own self?

“The answer was instantaneously obvious. I had to be honest with it. My only reason for smoking was lust of the flesh, and lust of the flesh is, according to the Bible, sin! … The physical human body is, God says, the very temple of His Holy Spirit. If we defile this temple—this physical body—God says He will destroy us! God intended us, if we are to be complete, to live happy, healthy and abundant lives, and to gain eternal life, to take in His Spirit—not poisonous foreign substances like tobacco.”

If you’ve picked up this nasty addiction early in life, it’s never too late to make a change for the better. The British study found that even if you have had a history of smoking, you can still tack on a few extra years to life by simply quitting.