Trying to stop smoking in the military

The men and women in our military, for various understandable reasons, smoke quite a bit more than the general public.  So our government has been launching campaigns of both persuasion and coercion to make our troops stop using tobacco.

Whatever you think of the controversy, you have to appreciate this quotation from a Marine:  ” “We sleep in the dirt for this country. We get shot at for this country. But we can’t have a cigarette if we want to for this country, because that’s unhealthy.” [Read more...]

Smoking to the Glory of God?

Have you heard about this book?  The Christian Gentleman’s Smoking Companion: A Celebration of Smoking to the Glory of God.  Jonathan Binnie, who told me about it, says that his brother attends a church that has a “men’s cigar outreach ministry.”  It’s called “El Lector,” after the practice in Cuba of having somebody reading a book out loud to the cigar-rollers as they work.  They have readings, as everybody smokes their stogies, or a speaker, as here.  See a description of the book after the jump.

What do you think of this?  Is it an exercise of Christian freedom or promoting an extremely unhealthy habit?  Is it a good way of reaching men or an example of churchifying what is properly secular?

Actually, this sounds kind of like the Men’s Club of our congregation back in Wisconsin, with its very traditional ethnic customs, which consisted largely of sitting around drinking beer, eating cannibal sandwiches, and playing Sheepshead. [Read more...]

Electronic cigarettes

We Americans tend to get suspicious of people enjoying themselves too much, especially if it involves some kind of physical crutch.  Smoking was condemned as a vice even before the incontrovertible evidence of how bad it is for you.  But now electronic cigarettes have been invented, little battery-operated devices that look like a cigarette but involve no burning of any tobacco, just dispensing a nicotine-laced water vapor to breathe in.

But even though there have been no studies proving them harmful, the anti-smoking forces, not content with their victory over tobacco, are trying to put restrictions on electronic cigarettes also.  In Europe, on the other hand, the medical profession is lauding the devices as “infinitely less dangerous” than tobacco and far more effective than nicotine patches in helping people stop smoking. [Read more...]


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