According to the American Heart Association, nicotine addiction has historically been one of the hardest addictions to break, while the pharmacological and behavioral characteristics that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those determining addiction to heroin and cocaine.
Tobacco addiction, the second-leading cause of death in the world, is a culprit for approximately 5 million deaths each year or 1 in 10 adult deaths. Currently, about 1.3 billion smokers live in the world; most (84%) live in developing countries. With the present smoking trends, tobacco will kill 10 million people each year by 2020. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that in the United States, tobacco use is responsible for about one in five deaths annually (about 443,000 deaths per year, and an estimated 49,000 of these smoking-related deaths are the result of secondhand smoke exposure). More Americans are killed by cigarettes than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs.
Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction) and contributes to the severity of colds and pneumonia. Tobacco has a damaging effect on women’s health and is associated with increased risk of miscarriage, pre-term delivery, stillbirth, and infant death, and is a cause of low birth weight in infants. For every person who dies from a smoking-related disease, 20 more people suffer with at least one serious illness from smoking.
My paternal grandfather was so addicted to cigarettes that even after he had a tracheostomy (a surgeon cut a hole through his neck directly into his trachea to improve his breathing), he would sneak cigarettes and inhale them through the surgical opening. My grandfather was over 6 feet tall and normally weighed about 185 pounds. The radiation treatments were so debilitating that by the time he died from lung cancer, he was emaciated down to 90 pounds. I do not want to see anyone have to suffer unnecessarily because of nicotine addiction as he did.
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Mark 8:46
Despite the health problems, lawsuits, and rising prices associated with cigarettes, there’s still something seductive about the tobacco industry – the profits! The tobacco industry sells about six trillion cigarettes each year. The industry is highly concentrated with a handful of firms controlling the majority of the global tobacco market. The tobacco market was worth about $614 billion in 2009.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:10
There is a smoking ban for inmates who are incarcerated in Florida prisons but this restriction has been lifted for visitors and workers. The following is an excerpt from a letter that I received from an inmate at Apalachee Correctional Institution in Sneads Florida:
About all they did by stopping the selling of cigarettes was create a big black market for them. The staff is still allowed to bring in cigarettes but must go to designated areas to smoke. But because they can bring cigarettes into the prison that leaves an avenue open. Lots of guys have and are selling cigarettes for $2.50 each. Guys are buying them up and smoking them like Crackheads! Then they rob and steal from others to get more.
I noticed that there was a lot less violence before they “outlawed” cigarettes. I’d rather that there were no cigarettes but that is not going to happen since staff can bring them in. I’m sure $50 a pack of cigarettes is appealing to some of the staff. Usually there are 20 cigarettes in a pack. From the tobacco in a pack, 40 or 50 hand-rolled cigarettes can be made. You do the math! Anywhere from $100 to $125 can be generated from a single pack of cigarettes and it costs $10 for a lighter. But you really don’t need one because you can use batteries and a small piece of wire instead.
The back pages from all the Bibles in the Chapel are gone. They used those pages for rolling paper. When that supply ran out, they started using the wrapping paper from the toilet paper rolls! Pages from the dictionaries in the library are now gone too! I never thought that nicotine would have such control over the guys, but it does. What’s going to happen to these guys when they get out? If they can’t control their urge to smoke, what happens when they are exposed to addictive drugs and alcohol? Scary!
If I offered a group of 100 people each a cigarette laced with arsenic and told them that before they finished smoking their cigarette that they would die a horribly painful death, do you think that even one person would try it? Why then are people so willing to smoke cigarettes knowing full well that eventually they will develop a painful and potentially fatal smoking related ailment such as lung cancer or emphysema?
Are smokers simply self-destructive, in denial or incapable of making rational decisions? Perhaps they were tempted by advertising or gave in to peer-pressure when they were susceptible youths or took up their parent’s bad habit and now are addicted. Many smokers do not want to stop smoking regardless of the consequences. Those who want to quit, find it nearly impossible to do so on their own because nicotine addiction is not just a chemical problem it is a spiritual stronghold!
Pharmakeia is a word found three times in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is the root word from which we get our English word pharmacy or pharmacist. Pharmakeia is translated as witchcraft or sorcery. It speaks of the occult magical arts which are often found in connection with idolatry. Drug and alcohol abuse including nicotine and caffeine addictions, like witchcraft, are powerful, demonic strongholds.
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. Exodus 9:1
When the Hebrew slaves were in bondage in Egypt they cried out to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for a deliverer. Passover recalls the deliverance of Israel from the bondage of Egypt. Passover is both a historical account and a prophetic picture. Moses “The Deliverer” is a type of the Messiah (Christ). The bondage of slavery in Egypt is a type of the bondage of sin in the world. Pharaoh typifies Satan. The Passover, when the firstborn male child passed from death to life by the blood of the lamb, is a picture of our passing from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son by the shed blood of the Lamb of God.
Persons who are addicted need to break the demonic strongholds in their lives by repenting of their sins and placing their trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross. They need to be born again and receive the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
Many people wonder why God does not help them when they cry out to Him to be set free from their addictions. The reason that they remain in bondage is that they want to be set free – but are unwilling to surrender their lives to Jesus. The “KEY” that will set a person free is to understand that the Almighty’s purpose in setting a person free is to “SERVE HIM.” Jesus must not only be your Savior but your Lord! When you cry out, “Dear Jesus, forgive me of my sins and deliver me from my addiction and I will serve you the rest of my life!”– Not only will you be set free, and have a healthier lifestyle, you will inherit eternal life, know true joy and receive God’s blessings!
You can be set free from smoker’s cough. You can be free from the horrible smoke smell that permeates your clothes and your home and from the cigarette butts and dirty ash trays. You can save thousands of dollars a year that literally goes up in smoke. You can benefit from whiter teeth and pinker lungs. You can add years to your life span and enjoy a better quality of life!
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:8-10
If you have never made a confession of faith then say the following prayer aloud:
“Lord Jesus Christ,
I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.
Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN
Then you have just made a decision by faith, to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins.
You have been born again. As a new-born, you need to be nourished.
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38
In order to grow and mature spiritually you need to:
- Be baptized into Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)
- Speak to God each day through prayer. (Pray each day in the name of Yeshua/Jesus).
- Read your Bible every day. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you through His Word. (If you don’t own a Bible, then we will help you get one.)
- Find a Bible believing church and attend regularly – both worship services and a Bible study.
- Share with someone what God has done for you.
Please contact us. We want to rejoice with you!